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Baris Tursun

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Baris Tursun
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Baris Tursun *1974 is a German biologist of Turkish descent. He is a Professor of Molecular Cell Biology of Animals at the University of Hamburg.[1] His research focuses on genetics, epigenetics and gene regulation with regard to the reprogramming and protective mechanisms of living cells.[2]


Tursun studied biology with a major in genetics and molecular biology at the University of Hamburg from 1996 to 2001. In 2006, he received his doctorate at the Centre for Molecular Neurobiology of the Medical Faculty of the University of Hamburg (ZMNH).

After a six-month postdoctoral stay at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester (USA).[3]) where he continued working on the topic of his doctoral thesis, he began a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in New York (USA) in summer 2006[4]. In Oliver Hobert's research group, he started using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic model organism for his research. With the help of C. elegans, he investigated the regulation of genes in the development and reprogramming of nerve cells.[5] For his research at Columbia University, Tursun received a research fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the 'Goelet Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Research' (Francis Goelet Trust, USA).[6]

From 2012 to 2021, Tursun was a research group leader at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) in Berlin. At the MDC's Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) department, he continued his research with C. elegans.[7] There, he established his group's investigation of epigenetic mechanisms with regard to gene regulation during cell reprogramming and ageing processes. At the MDC, he also began to transfer his findings to the research field of human stem cells using C. elegans.[8] During his time at the MDC, Tursun was awarded research funds including the Marie Curie CIG[9] and the ERC-STG, endowed with 1.5 million euros, from the European Research Council sowie der mit 1,5 Mio. EUR dotierte ERC-STG von der European Research Council[10]

In 2021, Baris Tursun accepted an appointment as Professor of Molecular Cell Biology of Animals at the University of Hamburg. At the University of Hamburg, Tursun continues his research using C. elegans and investigates molecular mechanisms of gene regulation that play a role in cellular safeguarding mechanisms.

Research focus[edit]

Tursun uses the model organism C. elegans (nematode) for his research. Using genetics as well as cell and molecular biological techniques, his research group investigates epigenetic and other gene regulatory mechanisms during reprogramming of cells and organismal ageing. A variety of molecular processes including metabolism ensure the maintenance of cell function and health, thereby playing a central role in creating barriers to the reprogramming of cell identities. The aim of Tursun's research is to better understand the molecular nature of protective mechanisms of cells to improve cellular reprogramming.[11]

The findings from Tursun's research using the nematod e C. elegans could be useful for regenerative therapies in the future. Molecular mechanisms have already been identified that prevent the reprogramming of cells in both C. elegans and mammalian cells. Obtaining specific cell types or stem cells by reprogramming could be used in the future by medical practitioners to regenerate diseased organs or injured tissues in patients..[12]


Selected publications[edit]

  • G. Baytek, A. Blume, F. G. Demirel, S. Bulut, O. Popp, P. Mertins, B. Tursun: SUMOylation of the chromodomain factor MRG-1 in C. elegans affects chromatin-regulatory dynamics. Biotechniques. 2022 Jun;73(1):5-17. doi:10.2144/btn-2021-0075.
  • I. Marchal, B. Tursun: Induced Neurons From Germ Cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. Front Neurosci. 2021 Dec 3;15:771687. doi:10.3389/fnins.2021.771687. PMID 34924939; PMCID: PMC 8678065.
  • M. Kazmierczak, C. Farré i Díaz, A. Ofenbauer, S. Herzog, B. Tursun: The CONJUDOR pipeline for simultaneous knockdown of multiple genes identifies RBBP-5 as a germ cell reprogramming barrier in C. elegans. Nucleic Acids Research 2021, 1, 1-14. doi:10.1093/nar/gkaa1171
  • N. Ul Fatima, B. Tursun: Conversion of germ cell to somatic cell types in C. elegans. Journal of Developmental Biology 2020, 8, 24. doi:10.3390/jdb8040024
  • M. Hajduskova, G. Baytek, E. Kolundzic, A. Gosdschan, M. Kazmierczak, A. Ofenbauer, M. L. Beato Del Rosal, S. Herzog, N. Ul Fatima, P. Mertins, S. Seelk-Müthel, B. Tursun: MRG-1/MRG15 is a Barrier for Germ Cell to Neuron Reprogramming in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics. 2019 Jan;211(1):121-139. doi:10.1534/genetics.118.301674.
  • S. Müthel, B. Uyar, M. He, A. Krause, B. Vitrinel, S. Bulut, D. Vasiljevic, A. Akalin, S. Kempa, B. Tursun: The conserved histone chaperone LIN-53 links lifespan and healthspan regulation. Aging Cell 2019, Aug 9:e13012. doi:10.1111/acel.13012.
  • E. Kolundzic, A. Ofenbauer, S. Seelk, M. He, S. Sommermeier, G. Baytek, B. Uyar, A. Akalin, S. Diecke, A. S. Lacadie, B. Tursun: FACT is a barrier for cellular reprogramming in C. elegans and humans. Developmental Cell 2018, 46, 611-626. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2018.07.006
  • A. Reid, B. Tursun: Transdifferentiation: do transition states lie on the path of development? Curr Opin Syst Biol. 2018 Oct;11:18-23. doi:10.1016/j.coisb.2018.07.004.
  • B. Tursun: PcG Protein in Caenorhabditis elegans. Book Chapter for Polycomb Group Proteins. Elsevier Academic Press 2017, 289-315. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-809737-3.00012-X.
  • S. Seelk, I. Adrian-Kalchhauser, B. Hargitai, M. Hajduskova, S. Gutnik, B. Tursun (Corresponding Author), R. Ciosk (Corresponding Author): Increasing Notch signaling antagonizes PRC2-mediated silencing to promote reprograming of germ cells into neurons. Elife. 2016 Sep 7;5:e15477. doi:10.7554/eLife.15477.
  • B. Tursun (Corresponding Author), T. Patel, P. Kratsios, O. Hobert (Corresponding Author): Direct conversion of C. elegans germ cells into specific neuron types. Science 2011, 331: 304-308. doi:10.1126/science.1199082.

Web links[edit]

  • Department of Biology at the University of Hamburg [1]
  • External page of the laboratory
  • Complete publication list via PubMed [2]

Individual references[edit]

  1. Tabellarischer Lebenslauf auf der Website der Universität Hamburg
  2. Fachbereich Biologie der Universität Hamburg
  3. "ORCID".
  4. "Lab Alumni ·".
  5. "Oliver Hobert | Columbia University Department of Systems Biology".
  6. "ORCID".
  7. "Baris Tursun".
  8. "ORCID".
  9. "Lab Alumni ·".
  10. "Oliver Hobert | Columbia University Department of Systems Biology".
  11. "Research".
  12. "ORCID".

Kategorie:Biologe Kategorie:Deutscher Kategorie:Türke Kategorie:Geboren 1974 Kategorie:Mann

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