Author Archives: janovjak

NEWS: Current Opinion on light-activated GPCRs

Our most recent Review Article about light-activated GPCRs (OptoXRs), published in Current Opinion in Structural Biology, is now available!

In it, we discuss current OptoXR approaches, applications and limitations, but also how new insights gained from GPCR structures can be used for the design of next-generation OptoXRs and what opportunities lie in the use of them.

Have look at the article here!

NEWS: Paper on optogenetic vector library – congratulations, Alex!

Alex was leading the project on engineering a vector library for the generation of modular light-controlled protein-protein interactions!

The paper detailing the vectors and cloning strategy is now published in the Journal of Molecular Biology – you can find the paper here.

If you are interested in any of the vectors, they will be made available on shortly (keep an eye on our Reagents page), or you can get in touch with us directly.

Congrats to Alex and the rest of the team – good work!

NEWS: Collaborative paper in eLife!

Our newest paper from a collaboration with Carl-Philipp Heisenberg’s lab (IST Austria), published in eLife, is now available (LINK)!

In this project, light-activated Frizzled7 was used to elucidate the role of non-canonical Wnt signalling in the migration of mesenchymal cells in the gastrulating zebrafish.

Congratulations to the whole team, especially to first author Daniel, and to Alex and Maurizio from our lab for their contributions to receptor design! Well done!

NEWS: Welcome, Sam!

With the beginning of the new year, Sam joined our lab as a post-doctoral fellow!

Sam completed his PhD in the lab of Jean-Paul Vincent at the Francis Crick Institute in London, UK. During his PhD, Sam studied the role of EGFR signalling in early Drosophila development. You can read about his research here. 

Welcome to the team, Sam, it’s great to have you!

NEWS: Congrats, Alex, for your successful conferences and travel award application!

In the last weeks, Alex has been presenting her work at several conferences, and was doing so very successfully: 

At the 11th Australian Islet Study Group Meeting, she received a Young Investigator Travel Award (sponsored by JDRF). 

Her attendance at the BPS-MPGPCR meeting and conference dinner was fully sponsored by a BMG LABTECH Student Award. At the same conference, she was also awarded the Best Student Oral Prize (sponsored by the British Pharmacological Society). 

In addition to this, she was also successful in her application for the EMBL Australia Short-term travel grant. 

Congratulations Alex for this impressive performance, keep up the great work! 

NEWS: Meet us at conferences around Australia!

The year may be coming to an end, but we are still active presenting our lab’s work at conferences around Australia! Here is an overview where you can meet us in the upcoming weeks:

Harald will be giving a lecture on light-based regeneration in the pancreas at the Australian Islet Study Group Meeting in Canberra at the end of November (LINK). Alex and Eva will be presenting their work as well, so make sure to chat to them at their posters.

At the same time, Elliot will be attending the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform Workshop in Sydney, where he will be presenting his work on modular optogenetic cloning platforms to his fellow CSIRO SynBio FSP community.

At the beginning of December, you can meet Alex and Elliot at the BPS-MPGPCR meeting in Melbourne (LINK). You can visit Alex at her poster or listen to her talk about light-activated GPCRs.

If you are around, come and chat  – it would be great to meet you!

For our overseas friends: we will be posting a first overview of our international travels for 2019 soon, so keep checking in for updates on where to meet us!

NEWS: Congratulations to our latest graduate: Catherine McKenzie, PhD!

Like a knife through butter, Catherine successfully presented and defended her PhD thesis on synthetic neurotransmission!

Catherine joined as a PhD student when the lab was still in its baby shoes, and she was fundamental in shaping the lab and all its members over the years. With her endless passion and dedication for her work, she spear-headed the neuroscience branch of the lab. Catherine’s friendship was hard-earned, but her fierce loyalty made anyone lucky to have her as a friend!

From all of us: Congratulations on your success, Catherine! We are proud and happy to see your hard work paying off, and wish you all the best for your next steps!


NEWS: Collaborative paper in Nature Chemical Biology

Our newest collaborative paper with the labs of Christian Henneberger (University of Bonn) and Colin Jackson (Australian National University) just came out in Nature Chemical Biology (LINK)!

The project was funded by a HFSP project grant that we all were awarded a couple of years ago!

Congratulations to team GlyFS, especially to the co-first authors William and Michel, and to Inma for her many contributions to sensor design in our lab!