T32 Seminar

David Baker, PhD

Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry
Director of the Institute for Protein Design
University of Washington

Monday, May 6 | 4:00 pm
Pancoe Auditorium
Coffee and refreshments will be served at 3:45 am


The Coming of Age of de novo Protein Design

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.


David Baker is a biochemist and computational biologist whose research focuses on the prediction of macromolecular structures and functions. He is the director of the Rosetta Commons, a consortium of labs and researchers that develop the Rosetta biomolecular structure prediction and design program, which has been extended to the distributed computing project Rosetta@Home and the online computer game Foldit. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and did postdoctoral work in biophysics at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Baker has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, the Overton Prize from the International Society of Computational Biology, and the Feynman Prize from the Foresight Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences.


Hosted by CLP Trainee Bon Ikwuagwu.This is a required activity for CLP Trainees. Supported by the Chemistry of Life Processes Predoctoral Training Program NIH/ NIGMS 5T32GM105538-06