Harald Janovjak

Harald Janovjak


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Research Interests

“What I cannot create, I do not understand.” Richard Feynman (1988)

My research lies at the interface of engineering and physiology with a focus on reconstructing the inner working of cells in health and disease. Most recently, my research group has established new engineering methods to "remote control" processes in cells, e.g. those that are normally activated by hormones or neurotransmitters, with the end goal of regulating the behaviour and survival of cancer cells and nerve cells. Our methods offer unprecedented spatial precision (down to millimeters), e.g. to activate only selected cells or tissues ex vivo and in vivo, and temporal precision (down to seconds), e.g. to intervene with specific stages during development and disease progression. We are currently applying these methods, which include but are not limited to optogenetics, in disease models in cells, the mouse and the fruit fly.

My research has resulted in >30 first or senior author publications in, e.g., EMBO Journal, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Communications, Angewandte Chemie and shared senior author publications in, e.g., Cell Reports and eLife. Our research has been supported by national (e.g., ARC, NHMRC, JDRF Australia) and international sources (e.g., HFSP, EUFP7) with >AU$7,000,000 competitive grant funding in the past ten years. My group has filed six patent applications in the past ten years.

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

The vision of the Janovjak Group:
We aim to be the global leaders in large-scale protein engineering to understand and cure disease.

The core values of the Janovjak Group:
Collegiality: We look after each other and support each other in the best way we can; we interact with our colleagues and the community following the same ethos.
Ownership: We drive our projects through dedication and hard work; we try to inspire others to do the same.
Bravery: We are fearless when it comes to defining new problems; we bravely invest our time and energy to achieve technical excellence to solve these problems.
Innovation: We strive to enter unchartered territory and be pioneers; we understand that the opportunity to do so is a privilege.

The Janovjak Group is hiring:
Two fully-funded PhD scholarship positions are available. Please refer to FindAPhD.com or the Flinders University Scholarship database for further information, or simply reach out to Harald. Past graduate students of the group have secured excellent and diverse positions, including at prestigious institutions (e.g. at Stanford University or the University of Bordeaux) or in industry (e.g. at Roche AG or Takeda Pharmaceutical Ltd.).


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