The Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity


PI: Dr. David Baker

Immediate Mentor/Supervisor: Lance Stewart, Ph.D. MBA, Sr. Director of Strategy at the Institute for Protein Design

Start-Up Company Name: Tricera (tentative)

Lab/Project Website:

Work Location: Nano Engineering and Sciences and Molecular Engineering and Sciences Buildings

Work Hours: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday

Overall Program Goal: The goal of Tricera is to evaluate commercial opportunities for computationally designed peptide macrocycles. The Institute for Protein Design (IPD) was established in 2012 to develop and apply methods for designing a whole new world of synthetic proteins to address challenges in medicine, energy, and technology. Over the past 16 years, UW researchers have made significant progress in protein design and protein structure prediction, developing the world leading Rosetta software.  During this period, UW scientists have developed methods for designing proteins with a wide range of new functions, including catalysts for chemical reactions, HIV and RSV vaccine candidates, and flu virus inhibitors.  The IPD integrates these strengths in protein design with Seattle-area expertise in biochemistry, engineering, computer science and medicine, and leverages the exceptional Seattle strength in the software industry.

Intern Project Description and Responsibilities: 

  • Designed macrocyclic peptides represent a totally new class of drug candidates that have safety and specificity of antibodies, with the stability and manufacturing properties of classical small molecules. The successful candidate will work closely with IPD postdoctoral fellows and Translational Investigators to conduct research to identify commercial relevant application areas for designed peptide macrocycles and may also design, synthesize and test some new macrocycles in the lab.
  • An intern is needed to support business case assessment for a novel macrocycle drug use. In addition, we need additional laboratory support from an intern in the area of peptide macrocycle. Support in planning and execution of key animal experiments with external collaborators is also needed.   As such, an intern could contribute to both a business case analysis and wet lab work if desired.

Pre-requisites: Students should have completed basic biochemistry, organic chemistry, and ideally statistics. Prior lab experience preparing buffers and protein purification is needed for the intern to be qualified for lab work.

Level of Independence: This position will require a reasonably high level of independence.

Learning Opportunities: The intern will learn how to develop a valuation model and target product profile for a vaccine candidate. If the intern decides to work in the lab, then there will be an opportunity to become familiar with GLP compliance.