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Chuan He

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Name  Chuan He

Chuan He httpswwwhhmiorgsitesdefaultfilesOur20Sci
Born  25 February 1972 (age 43) Guizhou, China (1972-02-25)
Institutions  The University of Chicago
Alma mater  University of Science and Technology of China (B.S.) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D.)
Known for  Epigenetics, DNA Methylation
Notable awards  Searle Scholar Award (2003) Beckman Young Investigators Award (2005)
Fields  Chemical biology, Genetics

Other academic advisors  Gregory L. Verdine
Doctoral advisor  Stephen J. Lippard
Institution  University of Chicago

Chuan He (simplified Chinese: 何川) is a Chinese-American chemical biologist, and is currently the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at The University of Chicago, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Chuan He is best known for his work in discovering and deciphering reversible RNA methylation in post-transcriptional gene expression regulation.

Contents

Chuan He Chuan He PhD HHMIorg

Education

He attended the University of Science and Technology of China and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1994. After his Ph.D. training with Professor Stephen J. Lippard at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked with Professor Gregory L. Verdine as a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. He started his independent career in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago in 2002.

Research

In 2010, He proposed that RNA modifications could be reversible and may have regulatory roles analogous to well-known reversible DNA and protein modifications. He and colleagues subsequently discovered the first RNA demethylase that oxidatively reverses N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methylation in mammalian messenger RNA (mRNA) in 2011. The existence of m6A in mRNA was discovered in 1974 in both eukaryotic and viral mRNAs; however, the biological significance and functional role were not known before He’s work. This methylation is the most abundant internal modification in mammalian mRNA. In 2012, two independent studies reported transcriptome-wide mapping of m6A in mammalian cells and tissues, revealing a unique distribution pattern. He and co-workers identified and characterized the direct reader proteins for m6A, which impact the stability and the translation efficiency of m6A-modified mRNA, elucidating functional roles of mRNA methylation. He’s group also purified the methyltransferase complex that mediates this methylation.

The He laboratory also studies DNA methylation. He invented TAB-seq, a method that can map 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) at base-resolution genome-wide, as well as hmC-Seal, a method that covalently labels 5hmC for its detection and profiling. Together with two other research groups, He and co-workers have revealed the DNA N6-methyldeoxyadenosine as a new methylation mark that could affect gene expression in eukaryotes.

References

Chuan He Wikipedia


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