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The rational design of proteins to perform particular functions is a grand challenge in modern science with the potential to revolutionize medicine, materials, and engineering. The primary obstacle is the vast size of protein sequence space making trial-and-error search intractable. This project will establish a platform encompassing a model for functional proteins that can be used to rationally design new candidates, a “gene machine” to prototype designs, and high-throughput quantitative assays to experimentally test the designed proteins. A computational-experimental feedback loop will supercharge the search through sequence space equivalent to many millions of years of natural evolution to discover novel synthetic proteins with unprecedented control over functional properties.


Andrew Ferguson

Associate Professor of Molecular Engineering

Rama Ranganathan

Joseph Regenstein Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the College