Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Harald Janovjak received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the Biocenter of the University of Basel and his doctorate for research in single-molecule biophysics from the laboratory of Daniel J. Müller at the University of Technology Dresden. After post-doctoral research in the laboratories of Ehud Y. Isacoff at the University of California Berkeley and Dirk Trauner at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich in molecular neuroscience, Harald joined the Institute of Science and Technology Austria near Vienna as an Assistant Professor.

Since 2018, Harald is an EMBL Australia group leader based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) and Monash University. His principle research interest is to manipulate animal physiology using synthetic biology with a focus on identifying new approaches for tissue regeneration.

Harald was most recently awarded an ARC Future Fellowship and received the Future Research Leader award of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a career integration grant of the European Union framework program, a long-term fellowship of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and young investigator fellowships of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the German Research Foundation. 

Research interests

The research of the Janovjak Group lies at the interface of synthetic biology and mammalian physiology. The group has established new methods to control cellular signalling pathways, e.g. those activated by receptor tyrosine kinases and GPCRs, and to regulate the behaviour, e.g. proliferation and survival, of nerve cells, cancer cells and key cell populations involved in metabolism. Their methods offer spatial precision, e.g. to activate only selected cells or tissues ex vivo and in vivo, and temporal precision, e.g. to intervene with specific stages during development and disease progression, and include but are not limited to optogenetics.

The group is currently applying these methods to understand and manipulate cells and tissues affected by degeneration, with a particular focus on Type I diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Their interdisciplinary research combines the development of new molecular tools and the study of disease in the mouse and the fruit fly.

For more information, please also visit the Janovjak Group website (www.janovjak-lab.com).

Supervision interests

The interdisciplinary Janovjak Group focuses on delivering outstanding eduction to students of all career stages at the interface of biology and engineering. Please refer to the link at the top of the page for available research projects. These projects are available to PhD, Master and Honours students in the life sciences, the chemical sciences and engineering.

Education/Academic qualification

Biology, PhD, Technische Universitat Dresden (Dresden University of Technology)

Biology, MS, Universität Basel (University of Basel)

Research area keywords

  • Optogenetics
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Cell biology
  • Cell signalling
  • Receptors
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