Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Wei (Will) Chen, PhD

For gene activation, transcription factors (TFs) must bind to enhancers, often with multiple TFs binding at the same site, and recruit other proteins known as cofactors and polymerases. The interactions between TFs and cofactors are usually nonspecific, meaning the cofactors are interchangeable, which limits our understanding of precise gene activation. Dr. Chen will design new proteins that bind the cofactors with high specificity to clarify the contribution of each cofactor. This research will not only provide new insights into the mechanism of gene regulation but also provide new platforms to modulate gene expression with high precision. Dr. Chen received his PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle, his MS from Cornell University, Ithaca and his BS from Shandong University, Jinan.

Project title: "Decoding the transcription code: de novo protein design for precise gene regulation"
Institution: University of Washington
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): David Baker, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Genomics