Translational Research

Scientific discoveries within the IPD member labs advance the field of protein design and provide opportunities for translation of new knowledge into practical applications. Our entrepreneurial Translational Investigators aim to increase the impact of protein design through real world application of their innovations in new local Start Up and Spin Out companies.

Below you will learn about our current Translational Research efforts and what we are looking to accomplish through these projects.

Aaron Chevalier : Small Molecule Flu Therapeutic

Influenza is a leading cause of death in the US. Each year seasonal outbreaks result in over 30,000 deaths, 200,000 hospitalizations and greater than $12 billion in expenses.* Current small molecule therapeutics incur high resistance rates and have low efficacy, thus there is a crucial need to develop better approaches to protect from seasonal and pandemic influenza outbreaks. In a collaboration between Baker Lab and Fuller Lab, we’ve used the Rosetta Molecular Modeling suit to create small stable proteins that inhibit influenza by targeting a conserved region of the viral protein Hemagglutinin. Unlike other protein therapeutics, ours is developed to have a low cost of goods, be administered intranasally (through the nose), and are storable without the need of refrigeration. Our goal is to improve patient outcomes at a global scale by designing the next generation of anti-influenza defense.

*Murphy, S. L., Xu, J., Kochanek, K. D. & Statistics, V. National Vital Statistics Reports Deaths : Final Data for 2010. 61, (2013).