Design of Enzymes:  The IPD is developing general methods for creating catalysts for chemical reactions not catalyzed by naturally occurring enzymes.

View of a designed enzyme (green) bound to its substrates (purple). Picture taken from Siegel, J.B., Zanghellini A., et al. 

While naturally occurring enzymes catalyze a wide range of chemical reactions, many important synthetic reactions lack a naturally occurring enzymatic counterpart.  Therefore, the design of enzymes with new catalytic activities could have broad applications in biotechnology, including degradation of toxic chemicals into inert byproducts and the synthesis of biofeuls.  Using protein design methods, IPD scientists have successfully designed several novel enzymes catalyzing novel chemical reactions.