Skip to Main Content

Dirk Trauner, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

photopharmacology, optogenetics, channels, transporters, GPCRs, cytoskeleton, molecular neuroscience, electrophysiology

Neuroscience is one of the most exciting fields of research and synthetic chemistry can contribute much to its further development. Our current focus lies on the functional manipulation of ion channels, GPCRs, and transporters with synthetic photoswitches.

The artificial photoreceptors so obtained can be inserted into neurons and other cell types and can be used to control various biological pathways with light (Photopharmacology). One of our major biological goals is the restoration of vision in the blind using synthetic photoswitches.
The reach of photopharmacology, however, goes well beyond applications in neuroscience and sensory physiology. It is already clear that this approach is very useful for controlling the highly dynamic systems that underlie cell motility, cell division and (unwanted) proliferation. As such, photopharmacology provides powerful tools for cell biology and could open a new direction in precision medicine.

Lab Website
Is this your profile?

PhD from University of Vienna

Willems, Sabine; Morstein, Johannes; Hinnah, Konstantin; Trauner, Dirk; Merk, Daniel

Journal of medicinal chemistry. 2021 Jul 22; 64(14):10393-10402

Reynders, Martin; Trauner, Dirk

Cell chemical biology. 2021 Jul 15; 28(7):969-986

Perfect and Defective13C-Furan-Derived Nanothreads from Modest-Pressure Synthesis Analyzed by13C NMR

Matsuura, B S; Huss, S; Zheng, Z; Yuan, S; Wang, T; Chen, B; Badding, J V; Trauner, D; Elacqua, E; van, Duin A C T; Crespi, V H; Schmidt-Rohr, K

Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2021 Jun 30; 143(25):9529-9542

Donthamsetti, Prashant; Konrad, David B; Hetzler, Belinda; Fu, Zhu; Trauner, Dirk; Isacoff, Ehud Y

Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2021 Jun 23; 143(24):8951-8956

Doroudgar, Mahmoudreza; Morstein, Johannes; Becker-Baldus, Johanna; Trauner, Dirk; Glaubitz, Clemens

Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2021 Jun 16;

Matsuura, Bryan S; Huss, Steven; Zheng, Zhaoxi; Yuan, Shichen; Wang, Tao; Chen, Bo; Badding, John V; Trauner, Dirk; Elacqua, Elizabeth; van Duin, Adri C T; Crespi, Vincent H; Schmidt-Rohr, Klaus

Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2021 Jun 15;

Chander, Nisha; Morstein, Johannes; Bolten, Jan S; Shemet, Andrej; Cullis, Pieter R; Trauner, Dirk; Witzigmann, Dominik

Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 2021 Apr 20; e2008198

Morstein, Johannes; Kol, Matthijs; Novak, Alexander J E; Feng, Suihan; Khayyo, Shadi; Hinnah, Konstantin; Li-Purcell, Nasi; Pan, Grace; Williams, Benjamin M; Riezman, Howard; Atilla-Gokcumen, G Ekin; Holthuis, Joost C M; Trauner, Dirk

ACS chemical biology. 2021 Mar 19; 16(3):452-456