The Family Business

Computational Biologist David Baker:

Modeling Protein Structures


David Baker Shapes Proteins

Computational biologist Baker is fighting disease with a better picture of proteins.

Proteins

Question:

How do scientists predict protein shapes?


Answer: Using approaches from physics and computer sciences


Rosetta Software Models Protein Structure


Making a Protein from Scratch


Many Rosetta Flavors

Different versions of Rosetta


Develop new drugs and vaccines based on interactions

Create custom proteins to interrupt or enhance reactions inside a cell

Goals of Computational Biology

Track interactions

of single proteins with other molecules

Develop accurate models of protein structures

Identify atoms, bonds, and places where chemical reactions occur

Computational biologists have more than one goal


Challenges & Solutions


Community-wide Experiment

Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP)


Team Baker's CASP Rainbow

Protein's actual X-ray crystallographic structure

Team's computer model

Rosetta highlighted even more detail than X-ray method


Research Applications

How might custom proteins keep people healthy?