William F. DeGrado

University of California, San Francisco


Election Year: 1999
Primary Section: 29, Biophysics and Computational Biology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

Our group's research focuses on protein design as an approach to understanding macromolecule structure and function. Our primary research interest is in the de novo design, in which one designs proteins beginning from first principles. This approach critically tests our understanding of protein folding and function, while also laying the groundwork for the design of proteins and biomimetic polymers with properties not precedented in nature. The de novo design of proteins has proven to be a useful approach for understanding the features in a protein sequence that cause them to fold into their unique three-dimensional structures. In addition, it has been possible to design functionally interesting proteins, which bind redox-active cofactors, DNA, and transition metals. Finally, this approach has been extended to the design of membrane-active proteins, including ion channels, antibiotics, and fusogenic agents.

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