Author Archives: janovjak

NEWS: Welcome, Wang Lok!

Wang Lok is joining us as the lab’s first student completing a Master’s by Research.

Wang Lok previously finished his Bachelor and Honours at the UNSW, and has now made the move to Monash and ARMI.

Welcome and all the best for your time here!

NEWS: Harald is awarded an ARC Future Fellowship!

Congratulations, Harald!

Harald and the group were awarded the Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship to develop methods and instrumentation for the spatio-temporal activation of genes in cells and mice.

ARC Future Fellowships target researchers that grow knowledge and innovation for the benefit of the Australian community.

The fellowship is highly competitive, with a success rate of <15% this year.

Well done, Harald! We are all truly proud of you.

News coverage can be found here:

NEWS: Not just one but two new Methods papers published Methods in Molecular Biology!

Two of our newest papers have been published as part of the Photoswitching Proteins series and are available to read now!

The first paper, with our recent PhD graduate Steffi as first author, describes the design and application of light-regulated receptor tyrosine kinases and how the reengineering of these receptors can be used to generate signals with high spatial and temporal precision.

The paper can be accessed here.

The second paper, in collaboration with Viviana Agus from Axxam, presents prototypical cell-based drug screening assays using Channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) to induce changes in membrane potential and test for voltage-gated ion channel blockade.

This article can be accessed here.

Congratulations to Steffi, Viviana and Harald – great work!

NEWS: Farewell, Zoe!

Zoe joined our lab in the middle of last year as part of the Undergrad Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

You will be greatly missed!

It has been a pleasure to have you in the lab and we wish you all the best for your future endeavours!

NEWS: Congratulations, Christina!

Christina was awarded the JDRF PhD Top-Up Scholarship by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Australia for her research in Type 1 diabetes (T1D)

JDRF has played a massive role in driving innovation and encouraging Australia’s most promising scientists to pursue a career in T1D.

Great work, Christina! We are all very proud of you!

NEWS: Collaborative paper on optogenetic control of excitatory post-synaptic differentiation!

Our newest paper from a collaboration with Oliver Thoumine’s lab (University of Bordeaux & CNRS) has been published in eLife!

This project explores the role of neuroligins in neuronal differentiation by using our light-activated receptor tyrosine kinase Opto-FGFR1.

You can access the article here!

Congratulations to the whole team – well done!

NEWS: Welcome Amira and Daniel!

Amira has previously been involved with the lab as a summer scholarship student and is now the lab’s first Honours student.

Daniel has joined the lab as part of his Master’s research year and will be working with us over the course of the next 12 months.

Welcome Amira and Daniel, we are happy to have you both join our team!

NEWS: OptogeneticsAustralia Hands-on Workshop TODAY!

The 1st OptogeneticsAustralia Hands-on Workshop is on today!

We have a great line-up of speakers on Day 1 and Hands-on Workshops on Day 2! To find a full program and more information about OptogeneticsAustralia, have a look at the OptogeneticsAustralia website [LINK]. You can also follow along on twitter @OptogeneticsAus.

The talks on Day 1 are open to all Monash students and staff, so feel free to join us. We are looking forward to two great days packed with optogenetics!

NEWS: Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Kainrath, latest graduate of the Janovjak lab!

What better way to end 2019 than with a successful thesis defense?

Just before Christmas, Steffi defended her thesis titled “Synthetic tools for optogenetic and chemogenetic inhibition of cellular signals” at IST Austria, and passed with flying colours! Congratulations!

Steffi first joined the lab in 2014 as a Master Student, and then as a PhD Student in 2016. During her time as PhD Student, she worked both at IST Austria and at ARMI/Monash University, and was so successful in getting fellowships that she accumulated more affiliations than anyone in the lab – including Harald! Both Steffi’s scientific expertise as well as her open and easy-going personality made her an important part of the lab!

Heartfelt congratulations, Steffi! We are very proud and wish you all the best for your next steps!

(and a pleasant surprise: almost all lab members from before our Australia-move came to the defense!)

NEWS: First OptogeneticsAustralia Workshop in 2020!

The first OptogeneticsAustralia Hands-on Workshop has been announced for 13-14 February 2020, here at ARMI!

In addition to talk and poster sessions, the program also includes exciting practical workshops! For more information about the schedule or registration and abstract submission, head over to

We look forward to seeing many of you there!