The Breakthrough Prize Foundation awarded $3 million the scientist David Baker for protein design technology


Scientist David Baker, the head of the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, won a $3 million award from The Breakthrough Prize Foundation after his work over the last 20 years validated the idea that computers can help us understand and create complex molecules like proteins and the latest such molecule may lead to new treatments for COVID-19. His lab developed the Rosetta software for modeling the immensely complicated folding and other interactions of proteins, and also the FoldIT distributed computing network for spreading the task around to eager citizen scientists. The prize is “for developing technology that allowed the design of proteins never seen before in nature, including novel proteins that have the potential for therapeutic intervention in human diseases.”


The latest findings in the laboratory „it’s no miracle cure, but it could be the start for a therapeutic approach that disables the virus’s method of spreading once it’s been properly tested.” The Breakthrough Prize Foundation was originally born from the efforts of Yuri and Julia Milner, and the prize for Life Sciences is co-sponsored by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Pony Ma and Anne Wojcicki.