The human genome has been mapped. Here’s the next monumental step.

Jeffrey Agar, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Northeastern, and colleagues from around the world are on a mission to deepen our knowledge of the human body. And their plan, which they’ve dubbed the Human Proteoform Project, could help humanity develop treatments for hundreds of currently untreatable diseases.

The initiative, Agar says, is the next logical step after the Human Genome Project: outlining the millions of forms of proteins that make up the human body.

“When they talk about the genome being a blueprint, guess what it’s a blueprint for,” Agar says. “Proteins.”

Much of the human body is made up of protein. But protein isn’t just one thing. There are thousands of different kinds of protein molecules that make up all kinds of things in our bodies.

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