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. We are an interdisciplinary team of physicists, engineers, biologists, and neuroscientists working together to enable extracting information from biological specimens that was previously inaccessible.

We place a strong emphasis 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 about half the wavelength of light or ~200 nm for conventional light microscopes. Diffraction-unlimited methods with a resolution of tens of nanometres allow capturing considerably more details of biological specimens than conventional light microscopes. They promise to elucidate the molecular arrangements within cells and the mutual spatial relationships between different molecules. To this aim, we engage in the development of novel imaging approaches, building on our expertise in the physical principles of the measurement process. We integrate the imaging with state-of-the-art technologies to manipulate cells and tissues and novel approaches to highlight specific molecules with fluorescent labels.

The life scientists in our group are thus able to directly take advantage of home-built, high performance optical microscopes tailor-made for specific biological problems. For the physicists and engineers in the group, it is exciting to exchange ideas on novel measurement techniques and microscopy approaches with their life science colleagues in a very direct interaction and to witness the application of new technologies in the biological context.

Recent Publications

  • Imaging brain tissue architecture across millimeter to  nanometer scales.
    J. Michalska, J. Lyudchik, P. VelickyH. Stefanickova, J. F. WatsonA. Cenameri, C. Sommer, N. Amberg, A. Venturino, K. Roessler, T. Czech, R. Höftberger, S. Siegert, G. Novarino, P. Jonas, J.G. Danzl.
    Nature Biotechnology, published online 31th of August, 2023. Available at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-023-01911-8.
    Biorxiv: https://biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.08.17.504272v1

  • Dense 4D nanoscale reconstruction of living brain tissue. 
    P. Velicky, E. Miguel, J. M. Michalska, J. Lyudchik, D.Wei, Z. Lin, J. F. Watson, J. Troidl, J. Beyer, Y. Ben-Simon, C. Sommer, W. Jahr, A. Cenameri, J. Broichhagen, S. G. N. Grant, P. Jonas, G. Novarino, H. Pfister, B. Bickel and J. G. Danzl.

    Nature Methods, published online 10th of July, 2023. Available at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41592-023-01936-6.
    See associated Research Briefing: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41592-023-01937-5.

  • A direct excitatory projection from entorhinal layer 6b neurons to the hippocampus contributes to spatial coding and memory.
    Y. Ben-Simon, K. Kaefer, P. Velicky, J. Csicsvari, J. G. Danzl, P. Jonas.
    Nature Comm. (August 2022).
    Biorxiv: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.01.26.477814v1

  • Cul3 regulates cytoskeleton protein homeostasis and cell migration during a critical window of brain development.
    J. Morandell, L. A Schwarz, B. Basilico, S. Tasciyan, G. Dimchev, A. Nicolas, C. Sommer, C. Kreuzinger, C. P Dotter, L. S Knaus, Z. Dobler, E. Cacci, F. K M Schur, J. G Danzl,  G. Novarino.
    Nature Comm. (May 2021).
    BioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.10.902064 

    Selected Previous Publications

  • 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).