Biochemistry Department

Jernej Murn


jernej murn

Jernej Murn, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Tel: (951) 827-4267
Fax: (951) 827-4283

Murn Research Group

PubMed Citations


B.Sc., University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2001); Ph.D., CEA Laboratory for Functional Genomics, France | University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2006); R.Ph. Slovene Chamber of Pharmacy (2007); Postdoctoral training, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2008-2009), Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School (2009-2017); Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside (July 2017- ). 

Research Interests

How gene expression is controlled at the RNA level to support cellular function is arguably the most important unsolved problem in molecular biology. Our attention is primarily focused on understanding the proteins that bind to RNA and serve as its effectors and regulators. We are investigating the mechanistic principles and phenotypic impact of RNA-binding proteins in two cellular paradigms: 1) neuronal differentiation and neuronal activity-dependent responses, and 2) stem cell maintenance, with an eye toward a related process of cancer development. We 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. We also develop novel methods combining bioengineering, genome editing, and optogenetics to study how disruption of protein-RNA interactions contributes to neurological disorders.  

  • 2017 Discovery Award, Department of Defense
  • 2016 Boston Children’s Hospital Professional Development Award
  • 2015 Harvard Medical School Epigenetics Initiative grant
  • 2012 Nancy Lurie Marks Postdoctoral Fellowship
Selected Publications
  • Murn J, Shi Y. (2017) The winding path of protein methylation research: milestones and new frontiers. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. Aug;18(8):517-527.
  • Murn J*, Teplova M*, Zarnack K, Patel DJ, Shi Y. (2016) Recognition of distinct RNA motifs by the clustered CCCH zinc fingers of neuronal protein Unkempt. Nat Struct Mol Biol. Jan;23(1):16-23. *Co-first authors.
  • Cheloufi S, Elling U, Hopfgartner B, Jung Y, Murn J, Badeaux A, Blanco A, Ang CE, Tennen D, Ferrari F, Wesche D, Abazova N, Hogue M, Tasdemir N, Rathert P, Vidal S, Fellner M, Wenzel D, Zinner M, Stadtfeld M, Almouzni G, Lowe SW, Rinn J, Wernig M, Shi Y, Park P, Penninger JM, Zuber J, Hochedlinger K. (2015) The histone chaperone CAF-1 safeguards somatic cell identity. Nature. Dec 10;528(7581):218-24.
  • Murn J*, Zarnack K, Yang YJ, Durak O, Murphy EA, Cheloufi S, Gonzalez DM, Teplova M, Curk T, Zuber J, Patel DJ, Ule J, Luscombe NM, Tsai LH, Walsh CA, Shi Y*. (2015) Control of a neuronal morphology program by an RNA-binding zinc finger protein Unkempt. Genes Dev. Mar 1;29(5):501-12. *Co-corresponding authors.
  • Laurent B, Ruiti L, Murn J, Hempel K, Ferrao R, Xiang Y, Liu S, Garcia BA, Wu H, Wu F, Steen H, Shi Y. (2015) The LSD1/KDM1A neuro-specific isoform regulates neuronal differentiation through H3K9 demethylation. Mol Cell. Mar 19;57(6):957-70.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Department of Biochemistry
1463 Boyce Hall

Department Chair's Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-2364
Email: Biochem@ucr.edu

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