The Institute for Protein Design is looking for talented individuals to join its growing team. Persons who enjoy working in a dynamic team environment should contact us to learn more about potential job opportunities.


Practicum Independent Study Opportunity

Foster MBA Student Preferred


Researchers at the Institute for Protein Design have developed breakthrough protein engineering capabilities enabling the computational design of new proteins that can bind with high affinity and specificity to small molecule targets. We are working to design binders for the following targets:

* THC and Cannabidiol to detect and quantify these marijuana plant metabolites in the emerging “pot quality assessment” market.

* Apixaban, aka Eliquis, a $2B / Yr drug product sold by BMS and Pfizer to prevent blood clotting. Unfortunately the drug has no antidote and patients taking it are at risk for lethal bleeds after accidents. An Apixaban binder could be used as a therapeutic antidote and also a diagnostic agent.

* Vitamin D, and its various forms, to provide an alternative for diagnosis of Vitamin D deficiency avoiding costly assays that require mass spectrometry.

An MBA Student is needed to work with IPD leadership to collect market data on these “Small Molecule Binder” applications. The data will be used to build valuation models that will help us to better understand the commercial opportunities for these applications (or others).


The successful MBA candidate will be outgoing, creative, and highly capable of independent study. This person will be willing to pick up the phone and call who ever may be able to answer key questions that might not be available in the public domain.

At the end of this project the IPD will have working, cross-referenced, valuation models for each of these commercial opportunities.


Interested students should email Lance Stewart at ljs5@uw.edu

Gu Lab: Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral positions in protein barcoding and in situ DNA sequencing technologies for protein design at the University of Washington


The laboratory of Dr. Liangcai Gu in the Department of Biochemistry and the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the University of Washington School of Medicine invites applications for up to three postdoctoral positions in image processing for in situ polony sequencing, next-generation sequencing for immune profiling, and protein barcoding technologies. The positions are available immediately.

We use quantitative protein interaction profiling to understand molecular recognition and guide computational protein design. To fundamentally improve quality and cost-effectiveness of high-throughput protein analysis, we develop protein interaction sequencing technologies by coupling ‘protein barcoding’ techniques to in situ barcode (or polony) sequencing, a powerful extension of next-generation sequencing technologies. Proteins are barcoded by attaching them to a barcoding DNA via enzymatic conjugation or protein displays. In situ polony sequencing can directly measure protein interactions in massively parallel at a single-molecule or single-cell level. An example of protein interaction sequencing is a single-molecular-interaction sequencing (SMI-seq) technology we recently developed (Nature, 2014, 515, 554–557) for ‘library-by-library’ or ‘all-by-all’ interaction profiling. We apply SMI-seq and others to measure natural or synthetic protein interactions to explore the druggability of human protein interactomes and to develop molecule sensors, vaccines and therapeutic T cells. We collaborate with world-class laboratories on protein design and sequencing technologies at the University of Washington and other institutes. Postdocs will work in a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment and can be under a joint supervision of Dr. Gu and another advisor(s) with complementary expertise and research interests. Postdocs jointly trained in IPD and any Seattle-area research institute (including the University of Washington) are also eligible to apply for a Washington Research Foundation (WRF)‒IPD Innovation Fellowship (http://www.ipd.uw.edu/fellows/).


Applicants should have a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) in related fields including, but not limited to biochemistry, bioengineering, bioinformatics, biophysics, computer science and chemistry. Highly desirable backgrounds/skills include i) phage, ribosome, mRNA or other protein display techniques for protein engineering; ii) high-throughput image processing and analysis; iii) next-generation sequencing of immune repertoire; iv) strong programming skills in scripting language (Python or Perl), statistical and computing language (R or MATLAB), and/or programing language (C/C++ /Java).

Applicants should have a strong publication record, good spoken and written communication skills. Interested applicants should send i) a cover letter briefly describing your previous experience and your future research interests/plans, ii) a curriculum vitae, and iii) contact information of three references to Dr. Liangcai Gu (gulab1@uw.edu).

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.


Please apply through one of the sites below:

Nature Jobs

Science Careers

IPD Faculty Member

Please check back later for more details.