Author Archives: janovjak

NEWS: Paper in Nature Communications – Congrats, Maurizio!

Congratulations to our former PhD student Maurizio!

During his PhD research, Maurizio led the project on optical activation of orphan GPCRs, and the work titled “Optical functionalization of human Class A orphan G-protein coupled receptors” was published this week in Nature Communications!

Congrats also to the other authors, the teamwork paid off!

You can find the paper here!


NEWS: Welcome, Elliot!

Elliot was awarded a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowship and is joining our group here at ARMI and EMBL Australia as a post-doctoral fellow.

Elliot completed his PhD in the lab of Rob Lucas at the University of Manchester, where he was working on the structure and function of jellyfish opsins (see here).

Congratulations and Welcome, Elliot! We are happy to have you join our team!

NEWS: Talk season is coming up!

Talk season is coming up for Harald!

Harald is invited to the Gordon Research Conference “Photosensory Receptors and Signal Transduction” (March 5), Stanford University (March 20), UC Davis (March 22) and the Gordon Research Conference “Fibroblast Growth Factors in Development and Disease” (March 25)!

Click here for a list of Harald’s recent and upcoming talks and join him to hear about the newest research of the group!

NEWS: Exciting times for the group!

Exciting times for the Synthetic Physiology group!

As you may have already heard the group is moving to the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) and the EMBL Australia Partnership Laboratory (EMBL Australia) based at Monash University at the beginning of this year!

We are excited to join the vibrant research landscape of ARMI, EMBL Australia, Monash, Melbourne and Australia and more information on our new home will follow soon.

Now is the time to say “Goodbye” and “Thank you!”.

Harald: “First and foremost I would like to thank IST Austria’s president and vice president Tom and Michael for their leadership in the past years. Also, my group and I are indebted to the many facilities and administrative units of the institute that supported us in countless ways through thick and thin. Finally, I would like to thank my Assistant Professor colleagues; we all have had the courage to start our independent careers at a new institute that we advanced and shaped while also developing truly excellent research programs.”

Off to new shores!

NEWS: Congratulations to Eva, PhD, our newest lab graduate!

This week, Eva defended her PhD thesis titled “Optical and Optogenetic Control of Cell Proliferation and Survival” with flying colors!

Eva joined the lab as a PhD student in 2014 and has been an integral part of the team ever since! It is safe to say that, without Eva, the lab would not be where it is today : Her contributions were essential to the major developments in this lab, but also Eva’s work ethic and personal attitude, as well as her ceaseless ability to “rise from the ashes”, have been inspiration to every member of the lab.

Congratulations Eva, from all of us. We expected nothing less from you, and wish you all the best for the next steps in your career!

(images copyright by Ulrike Seiss)

NEWS: Harald is featured in The Scientist!

In this October’s issue, The Scientist published a profile piece about Harald in its “Scientist to Watch” section.

Have a look at the article to find out about Harald’s early career steps, what lies ahead on his path and how old bicycles helped develop his skills as a Synthetic Physiologist!


NEWS: Meet us at international conferences soon!

Conference season is coming up and here is a first overview where you will be able to meet us in the coming months!

Alexandra will be presenting next month on light-based tissue regeneration at the FEBS Congress and the FEBS Young Scientist Forum in Jerusalem (LINK) sponsored by a travel grant! Eva will also be showing her tissue regeneration results in the pancreas at the EASD Annual Meeting in Lisbon in September (LINK). Catherine will be presenting her synthetic neurotransmission project at the SFN Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. in November (LINK).

Both Alexandra and Harald will be teaching at the upcoming EMBO Optogenetics Practical Course (LINK).

Harald will be chairing an optogenetics special interest subgroup session at the ASCB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in December (LINK).

Finally, Harald will be giving invited lectures at The International Society for Neurochemistry Biennial Meeting in Paris already next month (LINK) and then at two Gordon Research Conferences as well as at Stanford and UC Davis early next year (click here for a list of Harald’s recent and upcoming talks).

Maybe we see you soon? It would be lovely to make new friends along the way!

UPDATE – Harald in action at the EMBO course:


NEWS: Welcome, Lucie!

Lucie is joining us for the summer months from the University of Cambridge!

Lucie was accepted to the competitive ISTernship program of IST Austria and the Austrian Academic Exchange Service.

You are our lab’s first ISTern! Welcome and all the best for your time here!

NEWS: Welcome back, Alexandra!

Alex successfully completed her Master thesis in our lab and was accepted to IST Austria’s PhD program.

After a year of rotations, she is now joining the lab as a PhD student!

It’s so great to have you back!