Biomedical Physics > People > Jan Christoph

Dr. Jan Christoph

I investigate heart rhythm disorders and develop a novel ultrasound-based imaging technique for visualizing and mapping cardiac arrhythmias. My research interests include biophysics of complex biological systems, nonlinear dynamics, structure and pattern formation, computer vision, biomedical engineering, mathematical modeling and computer simulations. I work at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in the Max Planck Research Group Biomedical Physics and at the Center for Cardiovascular Research in Göttingen (DZHK e.V.).

Email me: (jan.christoph at

Curriculum Vitae

since Nov. 2014 Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Research Group Biomedical Physics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Selforganization, Göttingen, Germany
2011 - 2014 Ph.D. student, International Max Planck Research School for "Physics of Biological and Complex Systems", Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany
2007 - 2008 Research & Development Intern, Coherent Inc., Santa Clara, USA
2004 - 2011 Studies of Physics at the Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany


J. Christoph, M. Chebbok, C. Richter, J. Schröder-Schetelig, P. Bittihn, S. Stein, I. Uzelac, G. Hasenfuß, F. Fenton, R. Gilmour Jr., S. Luther, Electromechanical Vortex Filaments during Cardiac Fibrillation, Nature, Volume 555, p. 667-672, doi:10.1038/nature26001, 2018

J. Christoph, J. Schröder-Schetelig, S. Luther, Electromechanical Optical Mapping, Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Focus Issue Cardiac Mechano-Electric Coupling and Arrhythmias, Volume 130, p. 150-169, 2017

J. Christoph, Intramural Visualization of Scroll Waves in the Heart, Dissertation, Georg-August-University Göttingen, 2015

T. Lilienkamp, J. Christoph, U. Parlitz, Features of Chaotic Transients in Excitable Media Governed by Spiral and Scroll Waves, Physical Review Letters, Volume 119, 2017

C. Richter, J. Christoph, S. E. Lehnart, S. Luther, Optogenetic Light Crafting Tools for the Control of Cardiac Arrhythmias, Optogenetics: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, p. 293-302, Volume 1408, Springer, 2016

C. Richter, J. Christoph, S. Luther, Spot on Cardiac Arrhythmia: Spatiotemporal pattern generation in optogenetic cardiac systems, Acta Physiologica, Volume 216, 2016

Upcoming Conferences and Scientific Meetings

September 2018: Europhysiology 2018, Keynote Speaker, Early Career Symposium, London, UK (Link)

September 2018: 52nd Annual Scientific Conference of the DGBMT on Biomedical Engineering, Aachen, Germany

September 2018: Computing in Cardiology, Maastricht, Netherlands

July 2018: KITP Meeting on Integrative Cardiac Dynamics, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, USA

Previous Invited Talks

J. Christoph "Reconstruction of Cardiac Dynamics from Cardiac Deformation Mechanics", SIAM Conference Applications of Dynamical Systems, Snowbird, Utah, USA, 2017

J. Christoph "Ultrasound-based Mapping of Electromechanical Rotors during Cardiac Fibrillation", Gordon Research Conference on Arrhythmia Mechanisms, Ventura, California, USA, 2017

J. Christoph "Collective Dynamics of Coupled Cardiac Electromechanics", Collaborative Research Center SFB937 ‘Collective Dynamics of Soft and Biological Matter’, Göttingen, Germany, 2017

J. Christoph "Ultrasound-based Imaging of Arrhythmias and Remodeling: Linking Cardiac Dynamics to Structure", International Symposium of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1002 ‘Modulatory Units in Heart Failure’, Göttingen, Germany, 2015

Previous Contributed Talks

J. Christoph, "Synchronization-based Reconstruction of Cardiac Electrical Wave Dynamics from Mechanical Deformation using High-speed 4D Ultrasound", Annual Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society, Berlin, Germany2018

J. Christoph "Mechanical Phase Singularity Dynamics during Cardiac Fibrillation", Harz-Seminar on Structure Formation in Chemistry and Biophysics, Hahnenklee, Germany, 2018

J. Christoph "Electromechanical Vortices during Cardiac Fibrillation", Biophysics by the Sea Conference, Alcudia, Spain, 2017

J. Christoph "Electromechanical Turbulence in the Heart", Annual Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society, Dresden, Germany, 2017

J. Christoph "Motion Artifact Removal in Optical Mapping of Cardiac Tissue", Annual Meeting of the Swiss, Austrian and German Societies of Biomedical Engineering, Basel, Switzerland, 2016

J. Christoph, "Electromechanical Coupling in the Heart", Annual Meeting of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1002 ‘Modulatory Units in Heart Failure’, Eisenach, Germany

Honors & Awards

Award ‘Best Oral Presentation’ at Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms 2017, winning talk from Gordon Research Seminar selected for presentation during Gordon Research Conference "Ultrasound-Based Mapping of Electromechanical Rotors During Cardiac Fibrillation"

Paper of the Month: J. Christoph et al., Electromechanical Vortex Filaments during Cardiac Fibrillation, Nature, Vol. 555, p. 667-672, 2018, awarded by the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), April 2018, Link

Media Coverage

'From the Literature: Imaging Technique Reveals the Dynamic Processes in the Fibrillating Heart', Circulation (July 2018)

'EP News: Electromechanical Vortex Filaments during Cardiac Fibrillation', Heart Rhythm Journal (July 2018)

'Imaging vortex filaments during cardiac fibrillation' in Physics Today (April 2018)

Special on German TV (March 2018) 

'Ventricular fibrillation - using ultrasound to detect its causes' (May 2018)

'Tornadoes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest' in Nature (News&Views) (February 2018)


German Physical Society (‘Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e.V.’)

German Center for Cardiovascular Research’ (‘Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung e.V.‘)

Research Interests

Electromechanics of the Heart, Ultrasound Imaging, Optical Mapping and Fluorescence Imaging, Cardiac Fibrillation; Generally interested in: Nonlinear Dynamics, Pattern Formation, Medical Image Processing, Complex Systems, Cardiology, Biomedical Engineering.