Who’s the sneaker-shod man on the TED stage? It’s David Baker, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the UW School of Medicine, explaining his audacious idea to the audience at TED2019 in Vancouver, B.C. Proteins, those folding strings of amino acids that serve as the body’s workhorses, enable everything from breathing to brain function. When they go awry, so do we. By designing new proteins from scratch, Baker and his colleagues hope to create brand-new sets of tools to fix human maladies — and, perhaps, the planet. It’s a convincing argument, and at the 2019 TED conference, it was announced that the IPD would receive approximately $45 million from private philanthropists through The Audacious Project, housed at TED.
Photo: Ryan Lash/TED
Video courtesy of The Audacious Project/TED

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