Jin Chen received his B.S. from Yale University in 2010, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2015 with Jody Puglisi as a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow. He did his postdoctoral work with Jonathan Weissman at UCSF/HHMI as a Jane Coffin Childs postdoctoral fellow, and was awarded the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award. In 2020, he joined the faculty at UT Southwestern in 2020 as an Endowed Scholar and CPRIT Scholar in the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences (a center focused on gene regulation) and the Department of Pharmacology. 

The primary research interest of the Chen lab is to understand the emerging roles of the “unannotated genome,” which encodes a whole new class of uncharacterized microproteins. In particular, the lab focuses on the relevance and function of this “dark proteome” in regulating development and disease. More broadly, the major goal is to study how gene regulation is controlled at the translational level, and how translational control is misregulated in cancer and other disease contexts. The lab is exploring these mechanisms using a repertoire of interdisciplinary approaches, including CRISPR-based functional genomics, next generation deep-sequencing techniques, biophysical characterization, and bioinformatics.

Chen lab website 


Research Interest

  • CRISPR-based and single-cell functional genomics
  • Gene regulation in development and disease
  • Proteomic "dark matter" and novel proteins
  • RNA biology
  • Translational control


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Nonfluorescent quenchers to correlate single-molecule conformational and compositional dynamics.
Chen J, Tsai A, Petrov A, Puglisi JD, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2012 Apr 134 13 5734-7

Honors & Awards

  • Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas First Time Faculty Recruitment Award
  • UT Southwestern Endowed Scholar
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
  • Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship