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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

PRO-Watch: an approach to monitor protein lifespan in aging worms

Janine Kirstein and Tim Clausen are building a “protein lifespan” kit to carefully track the complete life cycle of a single protein. They’ll use a specially designed fluorescent tag to monitor the creation, maturation, aging, and degradation of a single muscle protein, myosin, in the microscopic worm C. elegans. They are also tracking mutated versions of myosin known to cause neuromuscular disease in humans, to understand how protein aging, misfolding and other aspects of protein lifespan might play a role in these diseases.

Janine Kristein headshot

Janine Kirstein, Ph.D.

Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena and Leibniz Institute for Aging
Tim Clausen, Ph.D.

Tim Clausen, Ph.D.

Research Institute of Molecular Pathology

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