Roman  Romanov


My research interest focuses on unraveling the molecular and cellular organization of the brain and sensory systems with specific attention to molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopment and cell-to-cell interactions. I believe that such knowledge is essential for the progress in finding new preventive and therapeutic strategies for some of the most relevant public health concerns of our times – neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.
During my postdoctoral studies in the Tibor’s laboratory, I took advantage of the hypothalamus as a model system that contains the highest known local diversity of neurons to underpin an array of individual metabolic functions. Our most recent results were published in several research articles, including my first-authorship publications in Nature and Nature Neuroscience (eg. Romanov et al, EMBO J 2015; Romanov et al, Nature Neurosci, 2017; Alpar et al, EMBO J, 2018; Romanov et al, Nature, 2020). In particular, our investigations of the neuroendocrine phenotype of hypothalamic neurons in the hypothalamus led to successful attempts of solving at least two fundamental scientific questions. First, we unraveled hypothalamic neuronal cell type diversity underlying functional networks performing specific functions (Romanov et al, 2015, Alpar et al 2018, Romanov et al 2017). Second, we revealed how cell-type diversity and connectivity are established during pre- and postnatal development (Romanov et al, Nature, 2020). Our model of hierarchical molecular codes (Romanov et al, Nature, 2020) provided deep insight into the genetically encoded processes of differentiation and wiring, leading to unprecedented adult heterogeneity and functional performance of the diencephalon.

Appointment history:

2012-2014    Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
2015-2016    EMBO Long-term Fellowship for post-doctoral research
Medical University of Vienna, Center for Brain Research, Austria
2017-2018    Post-doctoral position at Medical University of Vienna,
Center for Brain Research, Vienna, Austria
2018-2019    EMBO Advanced Long-term Fellowship for senior post-doctoral research
Medical University of Vienna, Center for Brain Research, Austria
June 2019-    A.o. Professorship tenure-track promotion (Interne Karrierevereinbarung)
Medical University of Vienna, Center for Brain Research, Austria

National and international prizes and awards

2019    Otto Loewi Award (Austria) for outstanding scientific contributions in an active field of neuroscience (provided biannually by the Austrian Neuroscience Association).
2017    EMBO Advanced Fellowship (2018-2019). Up to 5 international awards are available annually.
2016    Young Investigator Award from International Regulatory Peptide Society (at Regulatory and Neuropeptide Conference, RegPep2016, Rouen, France)
2014    EMBO Long-term Fellowship (2015-2016)
2013    Medal from Russian Academy of Sciences for Young Scientists (Physiology) for the extensive studies of mechanisms of taste reception (provided annually for outstanding scientific achievements).

Publication Summary:

47 peer-reviewed publications (including 16 in Russian), cited 1502/2113 times, h-index 16/18 (as of 04.2021, Web of Science / Google Scholar). ORCID 0000-0002-3937-518X.

5 Keynote Publications

1.    Romanov RA, Tretiakov EO, Kastriti ME, Zupancic M, Häring M, Korchynska S, Popadin K, Benevento M, Rebernik P, Lallemend F, Nishimori K, Clotman F, Andrews WD, Parnavelas JG, Farlik M, Bock C, Adameyko I, Hökfelt T, Keimpema E, Harkany T (2020) “Molecular design of hypothalamus development”. Nature, 582(7811):246-252. Times Cited: NA (Web of Science); 7 (Google Scholar). IF 42.778.
2.    Romanov RA, Zeisel A, Bakker J, Girach F, Hellysaz A, Tomer R, Alpar A, Mulder J, Clotman F, Keimpema E, Hsueh B, Crow AK, Martens H, Schwindling C, Calvigioni D, Bains JS, Mate Z, Szabo G, Yanagawa Y, Zhang M-D, Rendeiro A, Farlik M, Uhlen M, Wulff P, Bock C, Broberger C, Deisseroth K, Hokfelt T, Linnarsson S, Horvath TL, Harkany T (2017) Molecular interrogation of hypothalamic organization reveals distinct dopamine neuronal subtypes. Nature Neuroscience 20:176-188. Times Cited: 138 (Web of Science); 198 (Google Scholar). IF 20.071.
3.    Romanov RA, Alpar A, Zhang MD, Zeisel A, Calas A, Landry M, Fuszard M, Shirran SL, Schnell R, Dobolyi A, Olah M, Spence L, Mulder J, Martens H, Palkovits M, Uhlen M, Sitte HH, Botting CH, Wagner L, Linnarsson S, Hokfelt T, Harkany T (2015) A secretagogin locus of the mammalian hypothalamus controls stress hormone release. The EMBO journal 34: 36-54. Times Cited: 38 (Web of Science); 53 (Google Scholar). IF 9.889.
4.    Romanov RA, Rogachevskaja OA, Bystrova MF, Jiang P, Margolskee RF, Kolesnikov SS (2007) Afferent neurotransmission mediated by hemichannels in mammalian taste cells. The EMBO journal 26: 657-667. Times Cited: 246 (Web of Science); 326 (Google Scholar). IF 9.889.
5.    Romanov RA, Lasher RS, High B, Savidge LE, Lawson A, Rogachevskaja OA, Zhao HT, Rogachevsky VV, Bystrova MF, Churbanov GD, Adameyko I, Harkany T, Yang RBA, Kidd GJ, Marambaud P, Kinnamon JC, Kolesnikov SS, Finger TE (2018) Chemical synapses without synaptic vesicles: Purinergic neurotransmission through a CALHM1 channel-mitochondrial signaling complex. Science Signaling 11:529. Times Cited: 21 (Web of Science); 34 (Google Scholar). IF 6.467.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES (can be used for Research for Public)

MEDUNI 2021 – The Researcher of the Month (Evgenii Tretiakov), an official web site of EMBO — European Molecular Biology Organization (2019): INTERVIEW: The life of an EMBO Fellow: Roman Romanov

Die Presse (2017): Die zelluläre Landkarte des Gehirns wird genauer

ORF.AT (2018): Wie wir süß und bitter schmecken

KUIRIER (2018): Süß, bitter, umami: Wie Geschmackszellen funktionieren

AUSTRIA PRESSE AGENTUR (2020): Unterschiedliche Zelltypen und Entwicklungsprogramme im neuronalen Gehirn-Netzwerk erstmals identifiziert

AlphaGalileo (2020): Molecular dissection of how the brain’s interface controlling bodily metabolism develops is complete

MedicalPress (2020): Tracking development of the brain’s interface that controls bodily metabolism