Latest posts

  • 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.…

  • Our publication was voted ‘2018 Reader’s Choice’ by Nature News & Views

    Our publication was voted ‘2018 Reader’s Choice’ by Nature News & Views

    Readers of Nature News & Views selected an article about our work as their 2018 Reader’s Choice. The article, written by Roberto Chica of the University of Ottawa, details our recent publication on de novo fluorescence-activating proteins and explores the challenges of de novo protein design more generally. From the…

  • New designer proteins mimic DNA

    New designer proteins mimic DNA

    To close out the year, Baker Lab scientists published a new report describing the creation of proteins that mimic DNA. We believe this breakthrough will aid the creation of bioactive nanomachines. DNA is a widely used building material at the nanoscale because it is simple and predictable: A pairs with…

  • How synthetic biology could treat celiac disease

    How synthetic biology could treat celiac disease

    Dr. Ingrid Pultz, an IPD Translational Investigator and Chief Scientific Officer at PvP Biologics, has written a special report for the American Council on Science and Health about how protein design is being used to help fight celiac disease. Pultz describes how an international competition, a video game, and venture…

  • Rolling out new jellies

    Rolling out new jellies

    The basic parts of proteins — helices, strands and loops — can be combined in countless ways. But certain combinations are trickier than others. This week scientists from the IPD, along with collaborators in Brno and Santa Cruz, published the first-ever example of designed non-local beta-strand interactions. Beta-sheet proteins carry…

  • Fluorescent proteins designed from scratch

    Fluorescent proteins designed from scratch

    In the summer of 1961, Osamu Shimomura drove across the country in a cramped station wagon to scoop jellyfish from the docks of Friday Harbor. He wanted to discover what made them glow. It took Shimomura and other biochemists more 30 years to find a full answer. By then, recombinant…