Farewell to 10 outstanding lab members!

Many talented scientists are leaving the lab this New Year: Carl, Daniel and Umut are off to start a company — Neoleukin Therapeutics — to bring their interleukin mimics to market. Brian W., Glenna, Marc, Matt and Scott have all joined Lyell Immunopharma, an new immuno-oncology firm. Jooyoung has finished his WRF Innovation Fellowship and …

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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. “People have …

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New designer proteins mimic DNA

To close out the year, we 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 T and C pairs with G. Because …

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Dynamic filaments from scratch

Built to be reversible There has been some success in designing stable peptide filaments; however, mimicking the reversible assembly of many natural protein filaments is challenging. Dynamic filaments usually comprise independently folded and asymmetric proteins and using such building blocks requires the design of multiple intermonomer interfaces. Shen et al. report the design of self-assembling …

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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 out critical functions in biology, …

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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 DNA technology allowed researchers to …

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New CPUs = new proteins

Modeling even the smallest protein requires a big computer. That’s why we are expanding and modernizing our in-house computing resources. Recently, Luki Goldschmidt, Senior Manager of Computing, and Patrick Vecchiato, our Computer Support Analyst, upgraded our local high-performance cluster known as DIGs. We use DIGs to develop new computational methods and protocols. While a typical …

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David selected for 2018 Hans Neurath Award

The Protein Society has selected David Baker as this year’s Hans Neurath Award winner. The award recognizes “a recent contribution of unusual merit to basic protein science.” The Society writes that David’s breakthroughs “reduce to practice what was for many decades the holy grail of protein science: fundamental understanding of the determinants of protein structure …

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Lab ski trip: Stevens Pass

Spring has sprung in Seattle, and blue skies mean mountain ski trips for the lab. To kick of 2018, lab members Tarik, Fatima, Scott, TJ, Brian C, Gabe B, David B, and friends spent a Sunday at beautiful Stevens Pass

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