Harald Junge, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences

Harald Junge

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-624-6017

Office Address:
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences
University of Minnesota
Room 310A LRB, 2001 6th St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

PhD, Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine/ Philipps University Marburg, 2003


The major goals of the Junge laboratory are to understand neurovascular signaling in the eye and visual system using the mouse as a model system. Areas of focus are regulation of the blood-retina barrier and retinal angiogenesis by neural signals, how the pathways under study function at the molecular level, and the application of novel transgenic mouse models to study ocular disease. We use integrated approaches including mouse genetics, cell-based assays, molecular manipulations (e.g., CRISPR/Cas9), RNA-Seq, and proteomics to understand processes at cellular, developmental, and disease levels.

Awards & Recognition

Philipps University, Marburg, Germany
Ph.D./Dr. rer. nat. summa cum laude.

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science
Otto-Hahn medal for outstanding scientific accomplishments of young scientists, 2005.

Genentech Recognition Award, 2009.

Boettcher Foundation
Boettcher Foundation Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Award, 2012.


Research Summary/Interests

Research Topics

  • Neurovascular interactions
  • Blood-retina barrier
  • Retinal angiogenesis
  • Retinopathies, Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy
  • Norrin and Wnt signaling
  • Classical complement system


Selected Publications

Endothelial Cell-Specific Inactivation of TSPAN12 (Tetraspanin 12) Reveals Pathological Consequences of Barrier Defects in an Otherwise Intact Vasculature. Zhang C, Lai MB, Pedler MG, Johnson V, Adams RH, Petrash JM, Chen Z, Junge HJ. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Nov;38(11):2691-2705.

Ligand-Selective Wnt Receptor Complexes in CNS Blood Vessels: RECK and GPR124 Plugged In. Junge HJ. Neuron. 2017 Aug 30;95(5):983-985.

TSPAN12 is a Norrin Co-Receptor that Amplifies Frizzled4 Ligand Selectivity and Signaling.? Lai MB, Zhang C, Shi J, Johnson V, Khandan L, McVey J, Klymkowsky MW, Chen Z, Junge HJ. Cell Rep. 2017 Jun 27;19(13):2809-2822.

Norrin-induced Frizzled4 endocytosis and endo-lysosomal trafficking control retinal angiogenesis and barrier function.? Zhang C, Lai MB, Khandan L, Lee LA, Chen Z, Junge HJ. Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 4;8:16050. doi: 10.1038/ncomms16050.

Neurite Mistargeting and Inverse Order of Intraretinal Vascular Plexus Formation Precede Subretinal Vascularization in Vldlr Mutant Mice. Johnson V, Xiang M, Chen Z, Junge HJ.? PLoS One. 2015 Jul 15;10(7):e0132013.

TSPAN12 regulates retinal vascular development by promoting Norrin- but not Wnt-induced FZD4/beta-catenin signaling. ?Junge, HJ, Yang, S, Burton, JB, Paes, K, Shu, X, French, DM, Costa, M, Rice, DS, and Ye, W. Cell, 139(2):299-311. 2009.

Calmodulin and Munc13 form a Ca2+ sensor/effector complex that controls short-term synaptic plasticity.? Junge, HJ, Rhee, J, Jahn, O, Varoqueaux, F, Spiess, J, Waxham, MN, Rosenmund, C, and Brose, N. Cell, 118(3):389-401. 2004.

See complete publication list here: