Joined: 14 Nov 08
Hi, this is Lucas, I'm a postdoc in the Baker Lab working on enzyme design, design of ligand binders, and some design algorithms, especially applying very simple learning approaches to protein design.
For the last few months I have been working with Yakov Kipnis in the Baker lab on the design of completely de novo fluorescent proteins. If you are familiar with Green Fluorescent Protein and its relatives (Yellow, red, etc.) you know that these proteins are workhorses of modern biology. They make very small sub-microscopic things visible inside a cell or tissue, and work on these was awarded a Nobel prize a couple of years ago to Roger Tsien and co-workers.
Now with the power of recent advances in Rosetta in the design of de novo proteins we are trying to create entirely new, and better, fluorescent proteins. These will be brighter and last longer. They will be more controllable by the researcher, for example having the ability to turn "on" upon command, something that would make lots of biologists happy.
If we are successful, we hope that these will be useful for lots of cell biologists and biotechnologists. We envision their use for very sensitive medical testing and diagnostics, both ex vivo (for example blood tests) or in vivo. We are especially excited about those medical applications -- our proteins could make a tumor glow under UV illumination, so a surgeon can carefully remove it without damaging nearby tissue, but also without leaving any tumor behind. And we hope that once these proteins become available, lots of other medical applications -- that are currently imposible with existing fluorescent proteins -- will become feasible. We also think it would be incredibly beautiful and powerful to create a new class of glowing proteins.
Joined: 6 Apr 11
Sounds very good!
DSKAG Austria Research Team: http://www.research.dskag.at
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