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.



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?