Room 304, Chemistry Building
Professor Ben Garcia
University of Pennsylvania
Mass spectrometry has become a powerful tool for characterization of thousands of proteins from any cellular source. Here in this presentation, I will highlight advances in mass spectrometry based methodology to detect post-translational modifications on histone proteins involved in epigenetic regulation of gene expression, identify RNA-protein interaction domains and understand the dynamics of non-histone acetylated and methylated proteins. We will specifically describe high-throughput comparison of proteins from multiple cellular states, especially stem cell pluripotency and cancer (ii) mass spectrometry methods for quantitative tracking of combinatorial modifications (iii) monitoring in vivo post-translational modification dynamics, and (iv) instrumental methods to improve data acquisition. These studies in combination with biological experiments will help provide a systems biology outlook on gene expression that will lay down the basic scientific foundation to advance several applications, such as stem cell reprogramming and cancer progression.
Benjamin A. Garcia obtained his BS in Chemistry at UC Davis in 2000, where he worked as an undergraduate researcher in Prof. Carlito Lebrilla’s laboratory. He then received his PhD in Chemistry in 2005 at the University of Virginia under Prof. Donald Hunt and then was an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois under Prof. Neil Kelleher from 2005-2008. From there Ben was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Molecular Biology Department at Princeton University from 2008-2012, until his recruitment as the Presidential Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in 2012. The Garcia lab has been developing and applying novel proteomic approaches and bioinformatics for interrogating protein modifications, especially those involved in epigenetic mechanisms such as histones, publishing over 175 publications. Dr. Garcia is on the editorial boards for the BMC Genomics and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics journals, and serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Human Proteome Organization. He has also been recognized with many honors and awards for his mass spectrometry research including the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Research Award, a National Science Foundation early faculty CAREER award, an NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, an AB Sciex Young Investigator award, a Biomed Central Research award in Molecular and Cellular Science, the PITTCON Achievement Award, and the American Chemical Society Arthur F. Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist.