Translational Investigator Research Program

We are increasing the impact of protein design through commercialization. Our Translational Investigator Research Program enables entrepreneurial scientists to turn their first working versions of designed proteins into commercially viable assets. Trainees also receive the guidance needed to launch new companies.

Basic Research

We bring diverse researchers under one roof to explore fundamental questions in protein science. Most projects begin here — and often on a whiteboard.

Translational Investigation

We offer the tools, time and space needed for breakthroughs to mature. Translational Investigators receive guidance from within and beyond the institute. 


We encourage Translational Investigators to step into the role of founder. Projects at this stage remain at the UW while licensing agreements are inked and markets analyzed. 


Company formation with eventual employment is one important career path for researchers who train at the IPD. To date, our spinouts have raised over $1 billion.

Current Investigators

Jilliane Perkins, PhD
Translational Postdoc

Derrick Hicks, PhD
Translational Postdoc

James Lazarovits, PhD
Translational Postdoc

George Ueda, PhD
Translational Investigator


Cyrus Biotechnology

Cyrus aims to use Rosetta, AI algorithms, and massively parallel cell-based screening to create unique therapeutics. Cyrus has also created an online GUI that brings the core suite of Rosetta algorithms to over 100 life science companies —

PvP Biologics

PvP was founded to ease the burden of living with celiac disease. Acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2020, the company developed an enzyme to break down gluten in the stomach that is in human clinical testing today. —

Neoleukin Therapeutics

Neoleukin aims to develop new proteins to treat cancer. The company’s lead product candidate, NL-201, is a combined IL-2 and IL-15 agonist designed to eliminate alpha receptor binding. —

Icosavax, Inc

Icosavax aims to develop safe and effective vaccines for a variety of infectious diseases. They use a novel, computationally designed virus-like particle technology. —

A-Alpha Bio

A-Alpha has developed a synthetic biology platform called AlphaSeq to aid in the development of drugs that interact with multiple targets. AlphaSeq is a multiplexed, quantitative, and versatile platform for characterizing entire protein interaction networks in a single test tube. —

Monod Bio

Monod is a developing advanced biosensors. Their technology combines binding, transduction, and amplification to detect a wide range of target molecules, enabling the development of simple, powerful sensors for biotechnology and medicine. —

Mopac Biologics

Mopac seeks to create safe, effective, and convenient therapies for autoinflammatory disease. Their lead molecule, MB1, is an oral protein inhibitor of IL-23R in preclinical development for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

Vilya, Inc

Vilya is using advanced computational design approaches to amass vast libraries of membrane-permeable peptides for drug development. —

Lila Biologics

Lila aims to design highly selective integrin inhibitor therapeutics for diseases including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a debilitating lung disease that affects millions worldwide.