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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

Controlled labeling of the nascent proteome to track protein lifespan in mammalian cells

While techniques exist to capture the entire suite of proteins in an individual cell — also known as a proteome — it’s still difficult to capture the dynamics of protein synthesis and degradation on a large scale. To understand the variation of protein lifespan in the context of the entire proteome, Abhishek Chatterjee and Eranthie Weerapana are developing new technologies to tag and measure newly created proteins at specific timepoints. They’ll use this technique to study protein lifespan in a type of immune cell known as a T cell.

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