Dr Michael Janitz

Senior Lecturer
3106, L3 West, Bioscience South E26
(+612) 9385 8608
(+612) 9385 1483

UNSW Research Gateway page: https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-michael-janitz

Professional Experience

  • 2008-current: Senior Lecturer, School of BABS
  • 2000-2008 Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin
  • 1998-1999 Postdoctoral Fellow, German Centre for Rheumatism Research

Research Contribution

Michael has extensive experience in the field of transcriptomics and functional genomics. His current scientific interest focuses on investigations of gene expression and alternative splicing patterns in the human brain, in particular in the context of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA).

Previous research: During his PhD studies and subsequently as a postdoc at the German Centre for Rheumatism Research, Michael specialised in investigating the influence of the sequence polymorphism within the promoter regions of MHC class II genes in several inbred mice strains (Janitz et al. 1997; Janitz et al. 1998; Cowell et al. 1998).

Joining the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG) converged with Michael’s growing interest in studying transcription at the genome-wide level. Amongst others, he was involved in collaborative projects to characterise cDNA sequences on the level of the whole transcriptome in mice T helper cells and bovine brain (Gutjahr et al. 2005; Jann et al. 2006), respectively. While at the MPIMG, Michael and his research group focused on developing a transfected-cell array as a high-throughput genomic tool for functional analysis of genes and their products (Vanhecke and Janitz 2004). This resulted in application of the cell arrays for subcellular protein localisation studies (Hu et al. 2006; Hu et al. 2009; Hu et al. 2010), protein-protein interaction screens (Fiebitz et al. 2008), and functional promoter analysis (Cheng et al. 2010).

In addition, with collaborative partners in national and European Community research programs, he applied gene expression profiling studies to identify the genes involved in T helper lymphocytes type 1 immune response (Niesner et al. 2008) and differentiation of murine palatal development (Nogai et al. 2008). His research group also developed miniaturised microarray platforms for DNA hybridization studies using PNA- (Bauer et al. 2004) and LNA-modified oligonucleotide probes (Guerasimova et al. 2006; Liu et al. 2006 and 2007), thus contributing to more efficient exploration of the genome structure and function.

Present research: Since his appointment at UNSW, Michael has been focused on studying the complexity of the human transcriptome using next-generation sequencing, in particular RNA-Seq. In the last three years, Michael and colleagues published nine papers in the field of brain transcriptome and neurodegenerative diseases (please refer to the list of publications below). Examples include determination of the transcriptional isoform expression patterns specific for different regions of the Alzheimer’s disease brain (Twine et al. 2011, Mills et al. 2013). Very recently, the group also provided new insights into transcriptomes of the human hippocampus and cerebellum, revealing striking differences in splicing patterns and promoter usage (Twine et al. 2013).

Active Research Projects


Click here for Dr Jantiz's publications list