UW Research

Institute for Protein Design



The exquisite functions of naturally occurring proteins solve the challenges faced during evolution. However, we face challenges today that were not faced during natural evolution. The goal of the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) is to develop and apply methods for designing a whole new world of synthetic proteins to address these challenges.

To achieve this goal, the Institute for Protein Design was established in 2012, and is building on strengths within the University of Washington and Seattle more generally. Protein design requires high-level expertise and talent in computing and software, biochemistry, genome sciences, biological structure, pharmacology, immunology and other basic science disciplines, as well as clinical medicine. We are marshaling deep institutional strengths in our faculty, scientific staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, our partners from collaborating institutions, innovator networks, and from the computer and biotechnology industries — bringing extraordinary expertise to bear on a singular focus to advance the potential of protein design.

Over the past 16 years, UW researchers have made significant progress in protein design and protein structure prediction, developing the world leading Rosetta software. Over this period, UW scientists have developed methods for designing proteins with a wide range of new functions, including catalysts for chemical reactions, HIV and RSV vaccine candidates, and flu virus inhibitors. The IPD integrates these strengths in protein design with Seattle-area expertise in biochemistry, engineering, computer science and medicine, and leverages the exceptional Seattle strength in the software industry.

Core Services Offered

Structured Science Protein Core (internal use only)

Funding Information

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Department of Energy (DOE)
Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF)
National Institutes for Health (NIH)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Washington Research Foundation (WRF)
Philanthropic gifts

Reporting Structure

Trisha Davis, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Biochemistry
David Baker, Ph.D., Director
Lance Stewart, Ph.D., MBA, Senior Director of Strategy
Independent Advisory Board

Related UW Entities

College of Arts & Sciences: Department of Chemistry,
College of Engineering: Department of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering
Center for Game Science
School of Medicine: Department of Genome Sciences, Department of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Bioengineering
Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

External Partners

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease
Seattle Children’s Research Institute
Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute
Seattle BioMed
Benaroya Research Institute
Numerous academic collaborations (30+)