|Grant ID: RR200095|
Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members
University of California, San Francisco
August 19, 2020
Nearly twenty years after the completion of the Human Genome Project, much of the genomic code remains a mystery. While many regions of the genome have been mapped to genes, large segments aren’t yet well understood. These segments may code for proteins whose significance has yet to be discovered.
Now a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center cancer biologist is probing the depths of the unmapped genome to find the functional significance of overlooked proteins. Jin Chen was recruited in 2020 from the University of California San Francisco, where he was a postdoctoral fellow, with the help of a First-Time Tenure-Track Award from CPRIT.
In particular, Chen is studying so-called "microproteins," which may play roles in regulating cellular processes. "People traditionally had this arbitrary cutoff as to what a protein size should be," he says. "The cutoff was typically 100 amino acids; the proteins I’m looking at are 15 to 100 amino acids, on average around 50."