Speaker: Dr. Xiaohan LI
Institution: Investigator Scientist, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), University of Cambridge
Hosted by: Professor Jinqing HUANG
The classical structure-function paradigm states that a protein needs to adopt a specific secondary and higher-order structure for biological function. However, recent advances suggest that over 40% of cellular functions are mediated by intrinsically disordered proteins/regions (IDPs/IDRs) that lack stable secondary or higher order structure under physiological conditions. Therefore, they have been termed “the dark proteome”. The awareness of the dark proteome expands the traditional paradigm to a new disorder-function paradigm, where intrinsic protein disorder plays a key role in mediating biological functions. Here, we combine biophysical techniques with bioinformatics analysis to get insight into the disorder-function paradigm of the dark proteome. With both experimental and computational efforts, we aim to elucidate functional mechanisms of IDPs from its primary sequence, to understand its role in both physiology and pathology.
About the speaker
Dr. Xiaohan Li received his BS in chemistry from Peking University in 2012. He then went to Yale University and got his PhD majoring biophysical chemistry in 2017, studying intrinsically disordered protein using single-molecule fluorescence techniques. He then went to MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK, to work with Dr. M. Madan Babu on intrinsically disordered proteins, combining experimental approaches with bioinformatics. Xiaohan’s research interest focuses on understanding the functional mechanisms of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). As an early-career scientist, he received Marie-Curie individual fellowship in 2019 and is currently an investigator scientist at the LMB. He has top-notch publications in journals such as Science, Cell, and Journal of the American Chemical Society.