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Danzl Group

High-Resolution Optical Imaging for Biology

How can we decode the molecular architecture of biological systems? How can we analyze living cells and tissues at the required nanoscale spatial resolution? The central aim of the Danzl lab, an interdisciplinary team of physicists, biologist, and neuroscientists, is to shed light on problems of biological and ultimately also medical relevance by developing and using a set of advanced light microscopy tools.

In conventional light microscopy, spatial resolution is limited by diffraction of light waves to about half the wavelength of light, or 200 nm. The Danzl group thus explores and extends the possibilities of diffraction-unlimited methods. These enable resolution of tens of nanometers, allowing them to capture a wealth of details of biological specimens. Analyzing living cells and tissues at high spatial and temporal resolution in a minimally perturbative way poses additional challenges. To this end, the group works toward the development of novel imaging approaches, building on their expertise both in fundamental physics and in high-resolution imaging. They integrate the imaging with state-of-the-art technologies to manipulate cells and tissues, and also to label them.

On this site:


Current Projects

Deep-tissue nanoscale imaging | Minimally perturbing high-resolution imaging | Decoding of synapse nano-architecture | High-content analysis of tissue microarchitecture


Eguchi K, Velicky P, Hollergschwandtner E, Itakura M, Fukazawa Y, Danzl JG, Shigemoto R. 2020. Advantages of acute brain slices prepared at physiological temperature in the characterization of synaptic functions. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 14, 63. View

Truckenbrodt SM, Sommer CM, Rizzoli SO, Danzl JG. 2019. A practical guide to optimization in X10 expansion microscopy. Nature Protocols. 14(3), 832–863. View

Lindner M, Tresztenyak A, Fülöp G, Jahr W, Prinz A, Prinz I, Danzl JG, Schütz GJ, Sevcsik E. 2019. A fast and simple contact printing approach to generate 2D protein nanopatterns. Frontiers in Chemistry. 6, 655. View

Fehrentz T, Huber F, Hartrampf N, Bruegmann T, Frank J, Fine N, Malan D, Danzl JG, Tikhonov D, Sumser M, Sasse P, Hodson D, Zhorov B, Klocker N, Trauner D. 2018. Optical control of L-type Ca2+ channels using a diltiazem photoswitch. Nature Chemical Biology. 14(8), 764–767. View

Gregor C, Sidenstein SC, Andresen M, Sahl SJ, Danzl JG, Hell SW. 2018. Novel reversibly switchable fluorescent proteins for RESOLFT and STED nanoscopy engineered from the bacterial photoreceptor YtvA. Scientific Reports. 8, 2724. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Johann Danzl


since 2017 Assistant Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2012 – 2016 Postdoc, Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
2010 – 2011 Postdoc, Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, Austria
2010 PhD, University of Innsbruck, Austria
2005 MD, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria

Selected Distinctions

2018 Otto-Kraupp Prize for the best medical habilitation of 2017 in Austria, Society of Physicians in Vienna
2012 – 2014 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship
2011 PhD Thesis selected as one of the four best in the years 2009 and 2010 by the AMO (Atomic, Molecular, Optical) section of the German Physical Society
2009 Liechtenstein Prize
2006 Scholarship for Intellectually Highly Gifted Persons, Rotary Club Innsbruck

Additional Information

View group website

Physics & Beyond at ISTA

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