GIVING IN ACTION: Making Dreams Come True

Baker Headshot

David Baker

Director, Institute for Protein Design (created in spring 2012)
Professor of Biochemistry
Adjunct Professor in Genome Sciences; Physics; Computer Science & Engineering; Chemical Engineering; and Bioengineering
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Area of Research
Protein design

Supported By
Barton Family Foundation, Life Sciences Discovery Fund,
Bruce and Jeannie Nordstrom, and Three Dreamers

David is creating new proteins to solve health and environmental challenges and is working to make his hometown a leader for biotechnology innovation.

Make a Gift
Support David’s research and contribute to the Institute for Protein Design Fund.

Proteins are an important part of all living things. They have evolved over time to effectively digest food, move oxygen in our bodies and much more. But we’re facing new problems faster than evolution can solve them. To combat this, we’re designing proteins with the potential to solve countless challenges, from stopping cancer to treating celiac disease.

New proteins that exist only in a lab aren’t going to make the world a better place. That’s why the Institute for Protein Design is taking what we’re developing in our labs and bringing it into the real world. So far we’ve spun out five companies based on our research.

One of the great things about the UW is how collaborative it is. The institute brings together researchers from all over campus. Foster School of Business students have begun offering consultation to our scientists. The Center for Commercialization helped us license Rosetta, the software we’ve been developing to help design new proteins. And we worked with colleagues in Computer Science & Engineering to develop technology for the public to help our lab design proteins.

I think that protein development could be Seattle’s industry of the future because it involves technology and health, two things already strong here. There’s no place in the world I’d rather be doing this work than in my hometown. I love Seattle.

The support we’ve received reaffirms our belief that our work truly can make the world better. With Bruce and Jeannie Nordstrom’s recent gift, we’re immediately starting a new project to target and destroy tumors with designed proteins. Our goals are ambitious, and investments move them to reality.

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