April 13, 2012

Dr. Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine, announces the establishment of the Institute for Protein Design.

IPDA major challenge for designing proteins for specific purposes is predicting three-dimensional shape from the amino acid sequence. David Baker, UW professor of biochemistry and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has had remarkable success in making these predictions and in designing new proteins with new functions. Dr. Baker will serve as the institute’s director. His work includes the development of Rosetta software, which has become the world’s standard for predicting protein structures and designing new proteins. His regular success with the protein structure prediction experiment (CASP) and his numerous awards for protein design breakthroughs attest to his international stature in the fields of protein structure prediction and protein design. His group has used Rosetta to design proteins with a wide range of new functions, including catalysts for chemical reactions, HIV vaccine candidates, and flu virus inhibitors, and involved the general public in these efforts through Rosetta@home.

The Institute for Protein Design will coalesce and expand existing strengths within the UW and Seattle. The institute will integrate UW expertise in biochemistry, engineering, computer science and medicine, and leverage local strength in the software industry to solve problems in medicine, energy and technology.  Together they will pursue new pathways to solving such challenges by using and enhancing already successful strategies that Dr. Baker and his colleagues have developed.

See full press release.