Lab Profile

Tursun Lab

The Tursun lab uses C. elegans as a genetic model organism in combination with human cells to systematically study the molecular mechanisms, which safeguard cell fates and act as barrier for cellular reprogramming. Genetic screens in the Tursun lab identified 160 new barrier factors (Seelk et al., Elife 2016; Hajduskova et al., Genetics 2018; Kolundzic et al., Dev Cell 2018). Several novel reprogramming barriers contribute to chromatin regulation and are also implicated in Aging, suggesting a link between safeguarding cell fates, cellular homeostasis and the control of lifespan. This epigenetic interconnection might be relevant as many degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Muscular Dystrophy, are age-related. Currently, the Tursun lab is establishing the generation of organoids from reprogrammed human cells, to evaluate reprogramming quality and to model such human diseases. Furthermore, by applying a variety of applications including ATAC-Seq, ChIP-Seq, scRNA-Seq, and Proteomics, the Tursun lab dissects the multi-layered regulatory networks, which control cell fate identities. Such in-depth dissection of molecular pathways will provide a holistic view on how different types of information are processed to ensure homeostasis of tissues. C. elegans is a powerful genetic model and was the first metazoan organism with a fully sequenced genome. 60% of all C. elegans genes have human homologs such that many regulatory processes are also conserved in higher organisms. This is reflected by the fact that C. elegans research pioneered discoveries such as RNAi, Apoptosis, Axon guidance, Aging regulation, and the first micro RNAs emphasizing the immense potential of this model organism to help understanding fundamental questions in basic as well as biomedical research. Overall, the research of the Tursun group aims to provide key knowledge to understand tissue homeostasis at the molecular and genetic level, and to increase the functionality, as well as safety, of reprogrammed cells for future therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine.

  • Reprogramming
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Aging
  • C. elegans

Institution Name

Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology

Institution Short Name


Institution Address

Hannoversche Straße 28
10115 Berlin, Germany

Institution Website


Principal Investigator

Baris Tursun

Group Leader

Hannoversche Straße 28,
10115 Berlin

Tel.:+49 (0) 30 94061730