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, membrane penetrating macrocycles, transmembrane protein channels, allosteric proteins that carry out logic operations, and self-assembling nanomaterials and polyhedra. I will also discuss the application of these methods to COVID-19 challenges.
Dr. Baker is head of the Institute for Protein Design and Professor of Biochemistry at University of Washington. Dr. Baker was awared Biochemical Society Centenary Award in 2012 and Sackler Prize in Biophysics in 2009. Dr. Baker’s research is focused on the prediction and design of protein structures, protein folding mechanisms, protein-protein interactions, protein-nucleotide interactions, and protein-ligand interactions.
For details of his research and recent publication, please visit HERE