designing the future
We are leveraging cutting-edge protein engineering methods to create genetically-encodable macromolecules with novel function. The combination of computational design and directed evolution is unlocking new proteins with capabilities never before seen in nature. This is leading to breakthrough therapeutics, and a deeper understanding of the molecular machines that participate in nearly all of life's chemical reactions.
flipping the paradigm
Protein biochemistry is a scientific field rooted in reductionist "bottom up" hypothesis testing. By this philosophical approach, molecular components are combined in an attempt to reconstitute a specific function, and through this, complex systems can be interrogated and understood. Historically, investigating the relationship between a protein's structure and its function has necessarily relied upon "top down" methods (e.g. mutagenesis). By this approach, components of a pre-existing macromolecular system are perturbed individually, and function is inferred from the induced pathology. Until recently, it was not possible to reconstitute protein structure de novo, and in doing so, incorporate specific feature sets to test functional hypotheses. Today, this is possible thanks to recent breakthroughs in the field of computational protein design, and we are leveraging these methods to understand the molecular determinants of protein function. In doing so, we move beyond the traditional structure-first investigative paradigm and instead adopt a goal-oriented, function-first modus operandi.