- Jernej Turnšek, PhD | Department of Plant & Microbial Biology | University of California, Berkeley | 431 Koshland Hall | Berkeley, CA 94720
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a postdoctoral research scientist in Krishna K. Niyogi's laboratory in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. I completed my PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University where I used a genetically encodable tag for electron microscopy and subcellular proteomics to study iron receptor endocytosis, pyrenoid composition, and biosilicification in diatoms, ubiquitous single-celled photosynthetic algae.
- Biomineral morphogenesis in single-celled eukaryotes
- Silicon metabolism | Biogenic polyamines
- Intrinsically disordered proteins | Biomolecular condensates
- Origin of life | Astrobiology | Space exploration
- Endurance sports | Exercise physiology | Sports technology
I am driven to uncover the molecular principles biological systems utilize to produce and shape bioinorganic hybrid materials. My research focuses on molecular, cell, and evolutionary biology of phytoplankton biomineralization.
(A) Morphological diversity of diatom cell walls. The micrograph shows cleaned diatom cell walls arranged in this pattern by the UK-based microscopist and diatom artist Klaus Kemp. (B) Scanning electron microscopy image of Thalassiosira pseudonana, model diatom for biomineralization studies (credit: Nils Kröger). [C] Thalassiosira pseudonana cells. Red and green correspond to plastid autofluorescence and silica, respectively.
My PhD work was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Read more about the broader research initiative my projects were part of here. I originated the core PhD idea and co-wrote a grant that fueled my work with a colleague at Stanford University.
Peer reviewed publications
- Turnšek J et al. 2021. Proximity proteomics in a marine diatom reveals a putative cell surface-to-chloroplast iron trafficking pathway. eLife 10:e52770. DOI
- Faktorová D et al. 2020. Genetic tool development in marine protists: emerging model organisms for experimental cell biology. Nat Methods 17:481–494. DOI
- Conrado RJ et al. 2012. DNA-guided assembly of biosynthetic pathways promotes improved catalytic efficiency. Nucleic Acids Res 40:1879–1889. DOI
- Revisited Thalassiosira pseudonana (Tp) conjugation protocol enables fusion protein delivery to Tp frustule (protocols.io, Feb 18, 2018)
- HA tag enables highly efficient detection of heterologous proteins in Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Pt) exconjugants (protocols.io, Oct 5, 2017)
- Guidelines for highly efficient construction of diatom episomes using Gibson Assembly (protocols.io, Sep 21, 2017)
- Pour plating of Thalassiosira pseudonana (Tp) (protocols.io, Aug 16, 2017)
- Simple & rapid genotyping of marine microeukaryotes (protocols.io, Aug 11, 2017)
- Conjugation of Thalassiosira pseudonana (protocols.io, Oct 19, 2016)
- On phase separating properties of RNA polymerase II
- 15 sec poetronica piece about my PhD
- Marine Microbes: Triathlete's Best Friends
- Tahonts (a short sci-fi story)
- DNA Sciku
Phase Transitions in Polymeric and Protein Systems, 14-15 February 2019, Dresden, Germany
This meeting brought soft matter and polymer researchers together with molecular and cell biologists to discuss macromolecular phase separation and the physical nature of protein condensates.
ASCB | EMBO 2018 meeting, 8-12 December 2018, San Diego, CA
Focusing on cell biology as the fundamental basis of biology and exploring more specialized fields, such as neurobiology and stem cell biology. You can find the poster I presented at this conference on this link.
ASM Microbe 2018, 7-11 June 2018, GWCC, Atlanta, GA
Connecting scientists with their science–showcases the best microbial sciences in the world, and provides a one-of-a-kind forum to explore the complete spectrum of microbiology from basic science to translation and application. You can find the poster I presented at the conference on this link.
A New Age of Discovery for Aquatic Microeukaryotes, 26-29 Januar 2016, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany
This conference celebrated efforts of three major contributions to microeukaryote biology, ecology, and evolution that are catapulting the field forward: the Marine Microbial Eukaryote Transcriptome Sequencing Project (MMETSP), the Tara Oceans Expeditions, and the Malaspina Expedition. You can find the poster I presented at the conference on this link.
The Eleventh Annual Broad Institute Retreat, 14-15 December 2015, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
This event brings together researchers and affiliates of the Broad Institute to discuss institute's most recent advances at the interface of science and technology. You can find the poster I presented at the retreat here
Wyss Institute 7th Annual Retreat, 19 November 2015, Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA
This event brings together researchers and affiliates of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to discuss institute's most recent advances at the interface of science and technology. You can find the poster I presented at the retreat on this link.
Molecular Life of Diatoms 2015, 7-10 July 2015, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Molecular Life of Diatoms 2015 brought together an interdisciplinary mix of scientists to discuss recent advances in our understanding of diatoms and the way they shape our planet. You can find the poster I presented at the conference here.
2014 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit, 30 November-4 December 2014, Boston, MA
- ASCB | EMBO 2018 meeting Satellite Event: "Genetic Tool Development in Marine Protists: Emerging New Model Organisms for Cell Biology", 12/12/2018
- SIO262 - Seminars in Marine Chemical Biology and Natural Products, Scripps Insitution of Oceanography, 11/01/2017 | slides
- Synthetic Biology Platform Meeting, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, 03/01/2016 | slides
SITN Waves Correspondent
SITN Waves Expert
- Friend or Foe? Getting the body to make peace with bioengineered drug delivery systems
- Algae: Applications in Removing Arsenic and Beyond
- Can we send a message to the future with DNA?
- Electric Bacteria – Groundbreaking Science or Old News?
- Scientists Learn to 3D Print Cells One Drop at A Time
In the news
- VELIKI KORAKI, May 2019
- Prvih uspešnih sedem desetletij ljubljanske Biotehniške fakultete, February 2017 (in Slovene)
- MetaPHoDcast, January 2016 (interview in Slovene)
- Wyss Institute, December 2015
- Slovenec, ki na Harvardu secira alge, February 2015 (interview in Slovene)
I am an avid and accomplished multisport athlete having competed in numerous open water swimming, running, cycling, and triathlon races including two marathons and two Half Ironman triathlons. I was a competitive basketball player prior to transitioning to endurance sports.
Teams and clubs I have been affiliated with
- GCN Cycling Club | Swami's Cycling Club | Triathlon Club of San Diego | La Jolla Cove Swim Club | MIT Triathlon Club | Harvard University Cycling Association | Harvard Triathlon Team | November Project
- Ironman 70.3 triathlon | Timberman 2016 08/2016: 5h 24' 02"
You can find reflections on my first Ironman 70.3 journey here.
- Olympic distance triathlon | Mass State Triathlon 07/2016: 2h 17' 24"
- Sprint distance triathlon | Mission Bay Triathlon 10/2017: 58' 33" (qualified for The 2018 Olympic-Distance Age Group National Championship)
- 26.2 | Baystate Marathon 10/2013: 3h 30' 55"
- 13.1 | Boston's Run to Remember 05/2013: 1h 26' 30"
- 10K | Mardi Gras 10K 02/2017: 38' 26"
- 5K | Triton 5K 04/2017: 18' 32"
- University of Ljubljana basketball champion in 2008 and 2009.
Science, Technology, Entertainment, Design
- Hidden Brain | Quanta Science Podcast | Invisibilia
- The Rich Roll Podcast | Purple Patch Podcast | The Freedive Cafe Podcast
- Supernatural with Ashley Flowers | Stoic Coffee Break
- Intelekta | Studio ob 17h | Vroči mikrofon | Frekvenca X
The last 10 books I read
- Indian running | Peter Nabokov
- The Doors of Perception | Aldous Huxley
- Deep Simplicity | John Gribbin
- Pravica | Srečko Kosovel
- Karantena. Rim. | Janko Petrovec
- Rojstvo teorema | Cedric Villani
- Get a Financial Life | Beth Koblinger
- The Rules | The Velominati
- Quirky Berkeley | Tom Dalzell
- Long Distance | Bill McKibben
- Cal Newport's website
- Izbor misli iz knjige Franceta Cokana: Eno življenje je premalo (in Slovene)
- Starting your own lab - lessons & tips
- Growing list of mostly ambient electronic music artists
- The Secret Life of Plankton | Five Reasons to Thank Plankton | Ocean Drifters | The Diatomist | Journey to the Microcosmos
Slovenian Language and Culture