Latest posts

  • Protein arrays on mineral surfaces

    Protein arrays on mineral surfaces

    Today we report the design of synthetic protein arrays that assemble on the surface of mica, a common and exceptionally smooth crystalline mineral. This work, which was performed in collaboration with the De Yoreo lab at PNNL, provides a foundation for understanding how protein-crystal interactions can be systematically programmed. Our goal was to engineer…

  • Protein design by citizen scientists

    Protein design by citizen scientists

    Citizen scientists can now use Foldit to successfully design synthetic proteins. The initial results of this unique collaboration appear today in Nature. Brian Koepnick, a recent PhD graduate in the Baker lab, led a team that worked on Foldit behind the scenes, introducing new features into the game that they believed…

  • Designed ligands tune cytokine signaling

    Designed ligands tune cytokine signaling

    Today the Baker lab shares some exciting collaborative results of their efforts to design rigid and tunable receptor dimerizers. The first authors of this report are Kritika Mohan, Stanford, and George Ueda, IPD. From Science: Exploring a range of signaling Cytokines are small proteins that bind to the extracellular domains of transmembrane…

  • Tunable pH-dependent assemblies

    Tunable pH-dependent assemblies

    Natural proteins often shift their shapes in precise ways in order to function. Achieving similar molecular rearrangements by design, however, has been a long-standing challenge. Today, a team of researchers lead by scientists at the IPD report in Science the rational design of synthetic proteins that move in response to their…

  • Receptor sub-type binders

    Receptor sub-type binders

    This week we report in NSMB a combined computational design and experimental selection approach for creating proteins that bind selectively to closely related receptor subtypes. This project was led by Luke Dang, a former Baker lab graduate student, and Yi Miao, a postdoctoral researcher in Christopher Garcia’s lab at Stanford. Abstract: To discriminate…

  • De novo 2D arrays

    De novo 2D arrays

    This week we report in JACS a general approach for designing self-assembling 2D protein arrays. This project was led by Zibo Chen, a recent Baker lab graduate student, and featured collaborators from the, DiMaio, De Yoreo and Kollman labs at UW. Abstract: Modular self-assembly of biomolecules in two dimensions (2D)…

  • Our outstanding postdoc mentors

    Our outstanding postdoc mentors

    We’re thrilled to share that four members of our Institute have been nominated for the UW Graduate School’s Postdoc Mentoring Award. Each brings invaluable guidance and advice to their graduate student and undergraduate trainees. This Year’s Winner: Gabriella Wolff, Biology Finalists: Michael Beyeler, Psychology David Grossnickle, Biology Matthew Hart, Pathology…

  • Introducing our Audacious Project

    Introducing our Audacious Project

    We’ve been selected to join The Audacious Project, a philanthropic collaborative organized by TED. Read all about our project here. In short, we’re expanding our institute into a global hub of innovation so that protein design can be applied to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Our…

  • Designing a stable and potent RSV vaccine candidate

    Designing a stable and potent RSV vaccine candidate

    Today we report in Cell our first computer-designed nanoparticle vaccine targeting respiratory syncytial virus, the primary cause of pneumonia in young children and the leading cause of infant mortality worldwide after malaria. Although virtually every child will get infected by RSV before the age of three, an estimated 99 percent…

  • Potent anti-cancer proteins with fewer side effects

    Potent anti-cancer proteins with fewer side effects

    Today we report in Nature the first de novo designed proteins with anti-cancer activity. These compact molecules were designed to stimulate the same receptors as IL-2, a powerful immunotherapeutic drug, while avoiding unwanted off-target receptor interactions. We believe this is just the first of many computer-generated cancer drugs with enhanced specificity and potency.…