Cynthia A. Chan Memorial Lecture: "The Coming of Age of de novo Protein Design"

Lecture | March 2 | 4-5 p.m. |  Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

 David Baker, University of Washington

 College of Chemistry

Proteins mediate the critical processes of life and beautifully solve the challenges faced during the evolution of modern organisms. Our goal is to design a new generation of proteins that address current day problems not faced during evolution. In contrast to traditional protein engineering efforts, which have focused on modifying naturally occurring proteins, we design new proteins from scratch based on Anfinsen’s principle that proteins fold to their global free energy minimum. We compute amino acid sequences predicted to fold into proteins with new structures and functions, produce synthetic genes encoding these sequences, and characterize them experimentally. I will describe the de novo design of fluorescent proteins, new protein therapeutic candidates, membrane penetrating macrocycles, transmembrane protein channels, protein delivery vehicles, and allosteric proteins that carry out logic operations.