Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name DeGrado, William F.
Location University of California, San Francisco
Primary Field Biophysics and Computational Biology
 Election Citation
DeGrado was the first to successfully design and construct a protein "from scratch." He has pioneered the design of peptides that not only fold into protein-like structures but also incorporate desired functionalities including metal-binding, DNA-binding, haem-binding, and channel formation.
 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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