High-resolution Optical Imaging for Biology

The central aim of the Danzl lab is to shed light on problems of biological and ultimately also medical relevance using a set of advanced light microscopy tools.

In terms of microscopy, the emphasis is placed on approaches that are not limited in their spatial resolving power by the diffraction of light waves. This diffraction resolution limit entails a maximally achievable resolution of ~200 nm for conventional light microscopy. Diffraction-unlimited methods with a resolution of tens of nanometres allow capturing more details of biological specimens than conventional light microscopy approaches.

Analyzing living cells and tissues at high spatial and temporal resolution in a minimally perturbative way poses a significant challenge. To this aim, we engage in the development of novel imaging approaches, building on our expertise both in fundamental physics and in high-resolution imaging. We integrate the imaging with state-of-the-art technologies to manipulate cells and tissues and to label them.

We are an interdisciplinary team of physicists, biologists, and neuroscientists.The life scientists in our group are thus able to directly employ highest performance optical microscopes tailor-made for addressing a specific biological problem while the physicists/engineers in the group enjoy their developments being driven by biological questions and finding immediate application. 

Johann Georg Danzl
Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria)
Am Campus 1
A – 3400 Klosterneuburg

Phone: +43 2243 9000 2051
E-mail: johann.danzl@remove-this.ist.ac.at

»CV and publication list


»Danzl Group website



Rita Six

Phone: +43 2243 9000-1165
E-mail: rita.six@remove-this.ist.ac.at

Phone: please dial +43 2243 9000 and the extensions given below.
Optics lab: ext. 2061
Wetlab: ext. 2077

Group alumni:

  • Daniel Jirovec, IST Graduate School rotation student (physics), 2017
  • Tanja Fritz, intern, Medical University Vienna, A (medicine), 2017
  • Anna Wang, ISTern, Cambridge University, UK (physics), 2017
  • Mia Juracic, scientific intern (biophysics), 2018
  • Michael Riedl, IST Graduate School rotation student (biophysics), 2018
  • Shiva Safari, scientific intern (engineering), 2018
  • Jakob Vorlaufer, undergraduate, TU Vienna, A (physics), 2017/18
  • Joshua Michael Milem, IST Graduate School rotation student (physics), 2018
  • Sai Akanksha Punuganti, Johns Hopkins University, US (scientific intern, biomedical engineering), 2028
  • Michael Riepl (IST Graduate School rotation student, biology), 2018

Job Openings

We encourage applications from the physics, the biology, and the neuroscience sides (and related disciplines).

Students with a physics, medicine, biology, or neuroscience background interested in pursuing a PhD in our group are invited to apply to the IST graduate school. The graduate school has a strongly interdisciplinary character and is modelled after US graduate schools. Entry is possible with a bachelor or a master degree. All information can be found here.

Postdoctoral position in high-resolution optical imaging: We are currently looking for a postdoc with a background in physics, optics, engineering or related disciplines. More information can be found here.
We would like to draw your attention to the IST plus program where you can apply until the 15th of September 2019! Details can be found here.

Students interested in internships should contact Johann Danzl directly.

Selected Publications

  • Strategies to reduce light exposure and photobleaching in coordinate-targeted (STED) nanoscopy. W. Jahr, P. Velicky, J.G. Danzl (2019). Submitted.
  • A practical guide to optimization in X10 expansion microscopy. S. Truckenbrodt, C. Sommer, S. Rizzoli, & J. G. Danzl. Nature Protocols, rdcu.be/bnkMQ  doi: 10.1038/s41596-018-0117-3 (2019).
  • A Fast and Simple Contact Printing Approach to Generate 2D Protein Nanopatterns. M. Lindner, A. Tresztenyak, G. Fülöp, W. Jahr, A. Prinz, I. Prinz, J.G. Danzl, G. Schütz, E. Sevcsik. Front Chem. doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00655 (2019).
  • Optical control of L-type Ca2+ channels using a diltiazem photoswitch. T. Fehrentz, F. M. E. Huber, N. Hartrampf, T. Bruegmann, J. A. Frank, N. H. F. Fine, D. Malan, J. G. Danzl, D. B. Tikhonov, M. Sumser, P. Sasse, D. J. Hodson, B. S. Zhorov, N. Klöcker & D. Trauner. Nature Chemical Biology 14, 764-767 (2018).
  • Coordinate-targeted fluorescence nanoscopy with multiple off-states. J.G. Danzl*, S.C. Sidenstein*, C. Gregor, N. Urban, P. Ilgen, S. Jakobs, S.W. Hell. Nature Photonics 10, 122 (2016). *equal contribution. Nature Photonics cover 02/2016.
  • An ultracold high-density sample of rovibronic ground-state molecules in an optical lattice. J.G. Danzl, M.J. Mark, E. Haller, M. Gustavsson, R. Hart, J. Aldegunde, J. M. Hutson und H.-C. Nägerl. Nature Physics 6, 265 (2010).
  • Quantum gas of deeply bound ground state molecules. J. G. Danzl, E. Haller, M. Gustavsson, M. J. Mark, R. Hart, N. Bouloufa, O. Dulieu, H. Ritsch, H.-C. Nägerl. Science 321, 1062 (2008).
  • Pinning quantum phase transition for a Luttinger liquid of strongly interacting bosons. E. Haller, R. Hart, M.J. Mark, J.G. Danzl, L. Reichsöllner, M. Gustavsson, M. Dalmonte, G. Pupillo, H.-C. Nägerl. Nature 466, 597 (2010).
  • Realization of an excited, strongly-correlated quantum gas phase. E. Haller, M. Gustavsson, M.J. Mark, J.G. Danzl, R. Hart, G. Pupillo, H.-C. Nägerl. Science 325, 1224 (2009).
  • Evidence for Efimov quantum states in an ultracold gas of caesium atoms. T. Kraemer, M. Mark, P. Waldburger, J.G. Danzl, C. Chin, B. Engeser, A. D. Lange, K. Pilch, A. Jaakkola, H.-C. Nägerl and R. Grimm. Nature 440, 315 (2006).


03/2017 Assistant Professor, IST Austria
2012-2016 Postdoc, Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany. Nanoscale fluorescence imaging
2010-2011 Postdoc, Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, Austria
2010 PhD, Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, Austria. Ultracold molecular quantum gases
2005 Medical Doctor, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria

Selected Distinctions

2018 Otto-Kraupp Prize for best medical Habilitation in Austria awarded by the Society of Physicians in Vienna (Gesellschaft der Ärzte in Wien)
2012-2014 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship
2011 PhD Thesis selected as one of the 4 best PhD theses in the years 2009 and 2010 by the AMO (Atomic, Molecular, Optical) section of the German Physical Society
2009 Liechtenstein Prize awarded by the Principality of Liechtenstein, Vaduz
2009 Skinner Prize, Faraday Discussion 142 (Royal Society of Chemistry), Durham, England
2006 Scholarship for intellectually highly gifted persons, Rotary Club Innsbruck, Austria

To top