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2022 Allen Distinguished Investigator award

The Allen Distinguished Investigator program provides three-year grants between $1M and $1.5M to individuals and teams

Aging proteins: biology or chemistry? Systematic characterization of young and old proteins in vivo

Some proteins, like those in the lenses of our eyes, are as old as we are, while some proteins are created and degraded much more rapidly. How do cells know how old their proteins are, and how do they decide when to replace them? To understand these vast differences in protein aging and lifespan, Mikhail Savitski and Alexander Aulehla are leading a project to ask whether certain modifications on proteins mark their age or target them for turnover.

Mikhail Headshot

Mikhail Savitski, Ph.D.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Elham Azizi headshot

Alexander Aulehla, M.D., Ph.D.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory

This project is part of the 2022 Protein Lifespan cohort

Proteins are the building blocks of life — nearly all cellular structures and processes are built and carried out by proteins. Do our proteins age like our bodies age? While scientists have discovered how cells turn over old proteins to create new forms, it’s not clear how lifespan varies among different kinds of proteins, what it means to have “old” proteins, or how the cellular environment could affect protein aging. Researchers in this cohort are building new technologies and designing experiments to address important questions around protein lifespan and aging.

Science Programs at Allen Institute