Prof. Harbauer studied Molecular Medicine at the University of Freiburg and did her PhD at the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Prof. Meisinger). She spent 2015-2019 researching as a PostDoc in the lab of Prof. Tom Schwarz at Boston Children’s Hospital /Harvard Medical School in Boston. Since September 2019, Prof. Harbauer is a Max-Planck Research Goup Leader at the MPI for Neurobiology in Martinsried. She was appointed the Professorship “Neurons and Metabolism” at the TUM in September 2019.

Education and positions held

  • 2019 – present
    • Max Planck research group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich, Germany
  • 2015 – 2019
    • Postdoctoral research fellow at F.M. Kirby Center for Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA
  • 2009 – 2014
    • Ph.D. at the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany
  • 2003 – 2009
    • Diploma in Molecular Medicine, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Research Summary

Prof. Harbauer (*1984) studies the metabolism of neurons, with a special focus on mitochondrial biogenesis. Even small disturbances in the energy conversion process can lead to toxic reactive oxygen species, therefore rigorous mitochondrial quality control is essential for cellular survival. If not addressed adequately, damaged mitochondria can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, most prominently Parkinson’s disease. Her laboratory researches the mechanisms and signals that adapt mitochondrial output to their surroundings to ensure their functionality specifically in neurons

Key publications

  • Harbauer, A.B.; Ordonez, M.; Cai, Z.; Ashrafi, G.; Cartoni, R.; Brommer, B.; He, Z.; Schwarz, T. L. „PINK1 mRNA is transported with mitochondria and translated locally to support axonal mitophagy.” 2020. Manuscript under revision.
  • Kravic, B.; Harbauer, A.B.; Romanello, V.; Simeone, L.; Vögtle, F.N.; Kaiser, T.; Straubinger, M.; Huraskin, D.; Böttcher, M.; Cerqua, C.; Martin, E.D.; Poveda-Huertes, D.; Buttgereit, A.; Rabalski, A.J.; Heuss, D.; Rudolf, R.; Friedrich, O.; Litchfield, D.; Marber, M.; Salviati, L.; Mougiakakos, D.; Neuhuber, W.; Sandri, M.; Meisinger, C.; Hashemolhosseini, S.: „In mammalian skeletal muscle, phosphorylation of TOMM22 by protein kinase CSNK2/CK2 controls mitophagy.“ Autophagy. 2018; PubMed PMID: 29165030.
  • Harbauer A.B. „Mitochondrial health maintenance in axons“ Biochem. Soc. Trans. 2017; 45 (5):1045-1052, Pubmed PMID: 28778985.
  • Harbauer A.B., Opalińska M., Gerbeth C., Herman J.S., Rao S., Schönfisch B., Guiard B., Schmidt O., Pfanner N., Meisinger C. „Mitochondria. Cell cycle-dependent regulation of mitochondrial preprotein translocase.” Science. 2014; 346 (6213):1109-13, PubMed PMID: 25378463.
  • Schmidt O., Harbauer A.B., Rao S., Eyrich B., Zahedi R.P., Stojanovski D., Schönfisch B., Guiard B., Sickmann A., Pfanner N., Meisinger C. „Regulation of mitochondrial protein import by cytosolic kinases.“ Cell. 2011; 144 (2):227-39, PubMed PMID: 21215441