My research interest lies at the interface of synthetic biology and mammalian physiology in the new research field synthetic physiology.

In past few years, the focus of my work was on the ‘synthetic’ of synthetic physiology and my group established new methods to control the signaling and behavior of nerve cells, cancer cells and key cell populations involved in metabolism. These methods offer spatial and temporal precision and included but were not limited to optogenetics.

My work is currently transitioning to the ‘physiology’ of synthetic physiology with a focus on understanding and manipulating cell signaling and cell behavior selectively in tissues affected by degeneration. Our interdisciplinary research builds on application of new molecular tools in animal models (mouse and Drosophila) of disease.

Harald Janovjak received his PhD in single molecule biophysics from 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 and optogenetics, he joined the Institute of Science and Technology Austria.

In 2017, Harald was appointed EMBL Australia Group Leader at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. His work is centered on manipulating mammalian physiology with synthetic biology with a focus on identifying new approaches for tissue regeneration.

Published In

Kainrath S, Stadler M, Reichhart E, Distel M, Janovjak H.

Green-light-induced inactivation of receptor signaling using cobalamin-binding domains.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017 Apr 10;56(16):4608-4611. doi: 10.1002/anie.201611998. Epub 2017 Mar 20.

Mitchell JA, Whitfield JH, Zhang WH, Henneberger C, Janovjak H, O'Mara ML, Jackson CJ.

Rangefinder: A semisynthetic FRET sensor design algorithm

ACS Sensors (2016) 1: 1286-1290.

Sako K, Pradhan SJ, Barone V, Inglés-Prieto Á, Müller P, Ruprecht V, Čapek D, Galande S, Janovjak H, Heisenberg CP.

Optogenetic control of nodal signaling reveals a temporal pattern of nodal signaling regulating cell fate specification during gastrulation.

Cell Rep. 2016 Jul 19;16(3):866-77. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.06.036. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Reichhart E, Ingles-Prieto A, Tichy AM, McKenzie C, Janovjak H.

A phytochrome sensory domain permits receptor activation by red light.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 May 17;55(21):6339-42. doi: 10.1002/anie.201601736. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Inglés-Prieto Á, Reichhart E, Muellner MK, Nowak M, Nijman SM, Grusch M, Janovjak H.

Light-assisted small-molecule screening against protein kinases.

Nat Chem Biol. 2015 Dec;11(12):952-4. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1933. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Whitfield JH, Zhang WH, Herde MK, Clifton BE, Radziejewski J, Janovjak H, Henneberger C, Jackson CJ.

Construction of a robust and sensitive arginine biosensor through ancestral protein reconstruction.

Protein Sci. 2015 Sep;24(9):1412-22. doi: 10.1002/pro.2721. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Hühner J, Ingles-Prieto Á, Neusüß C, Lämmerhofer M, Janovjak H.

Quantification of riboflavin, flavin mononucleotide, and flavin adenine dinucleotide in mammalian model cells by CE with LED-induced fluorescence detection.

Electrophoresis. 2015 Feb;36(4):518-25. doi: 10.1002/elps.201400451. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Grusch M, Schelch K, Riedler R, Reichhart E, Differ C, Berger W, Inglés-Prieto Á, Janovjak H.

Spatio-temporally precise activation of engineered receptor tyrosine kinases by light.

EMBO J. 2014 Aug 1;33(15):1713-26. doi: 10.15252/embj.201387695. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Janovjak H, Sandoz G, Isacoff EY.

A modern ionotropic glutamate receptor with a K(+) selectivity signature sequence.

Nat Commun. 2011;2:232. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1231.

Janovjak H, Szobota S, Wyart C, Trauner D, Isacoff EY.

A light-gated, potassium-selective glutamate receptor for the optical inhibition of neuronal firing.

Nat Neurosci. 2010 Aug;13(8):1027-32. doi: 10.1038/nn.2589. Epub 2010 Jun 27.