I am interested in how biological systems produce and shape bioinorganic hybrid materials. My research focuses on molecular, cell, and evolutionary biology of phytoplankton biomineralization. I employ reverse genetics, imaging, omics, and bioinformatics in biosilica-producing heterokont algae Thalassiosira pseudonana and Synura petersenii to decipher the molecular basis of this remarkable vesicle-based, sunlight-driven nanotechnology.
Understanding of biosilica morphogenesis in these environmentally ubiquitous organisms will advance our knowledge of its link to global nutrient cycles including silicon and carbon. It will provide new insights into how biomolecules interact with inorganic surfaces with implications for the origin of life and biomaterials design.
Keywords: Phytoplankton, Biomineralization, Plastids, Polyamines, Protein Disorder
Turnšek J, Brunson JK, Viedma MDPM, Deerinck TJ, Horák A, Oborník M, Bielinski VA, Allen AE. 2021. Proximity proteomics in a marine diatom reveals a putative cell surface-to-chloroplast iron trafficking pathway. eLife 10:e52770. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.52770 URL
Faktorová D, Nisbet RER, Fernández Robledo JA, Casacuberta E, Sudek L, (...), Turnšek J, (...), Lukeš J. 2020. Genetic tool development in marine protists: emerging model organisms for experimental cell biology. Nat Methods 17:481–494. DOI: 10.1038/s41592-020-0796-x URL
Conrado RJ, Wu GC, Boock JT, Xu H, Chen SY, Lebar T, Turnšek J, Tomšič N, Avbelj M, Gaber R, Koprivnjak T, Mori J, Glavnik V, Vovk I, Benčina M, Hodnik V, Anderluh G, Dueber JE, Jerala R, DeLisa MP. 2012. DNA-guided assembly of biosynthetic pathways promotes improved catalytic efficiency. Nucleic Acids Res 40:1879–1889. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr888 URL
PhD, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard University
MSc, Biotechnology, University of Ljubljana