Jernej Murn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at University of California, Riverside. Prior to joining UC Riverside as faculty in 2017, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital where he trained with Yang Shi in epigenetics and RNA biology. Prof. Murn completed his Ph.D. in molecular biology that he shared between University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and CEA Laboratory for Functional Genomics in France.
Research projects: Dr. Murn believes that how gene expression is controlled at the RNA level to support cellular function is arguably the most important unsolved problem in molecular biology. His projects primarly focus on understanding the proteins that bind to RNA and serve as its effectors and regulators. His investigations are in the field of mechanistic principles and phenotypic impact of RNA-binding proteins in two cellular paradigms: 1) cell lineage commitment, especially differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to neurons, and 2) stem cell maintenance, with an eye toward a related process of cancer development. With his team, they employ a broad range of biochemical, genetic, cellular, and computational approaches to obtain a systems-level understanding of the regulatory roles of protein-RNA complexes. In his research, Dr. Murn also develops novel methods combining bioengineering., genome editing, and optogenetics to study how disruption of protein-RNA interactions contributes to neurological disorders.