Scientists model over 1,000 complex proteins to help develop treatments for infectious diseases

A 2D representation of one of the 3D protein models created by the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease. (SSGCID Photo)

For researchers working on cures to disease, understanding exactly how those diseases work is crucial.

That’s the goal of the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID), a group that makes 3D models of the proteins that run pathogens like Zika, Ebola and even the flu virus.

SSGCID Director Dr. Peter Myler

The group announced today that it has reached a new milestone: creating models for more than 1,000 proteins in more than 70 diseases. That makes it one of the most productive groups working on structural genomics in the world.

Those models are like 3D puzzle pieces that can help scientists find new treatments for some of the deadliest diseases in the world.

The SSGCID is part of the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) and led by CIDR Professor and Director of Core Services Dr. Peter Myler.

“When the SSGCID solves protein structures, it lays the foundation for researchers at CID Research and around the world to find new drugs, therapies and vaccine candidates for diseases that kill thousands each year,” Myler said in a press release. “I’m very proud of the hard work carried out by our team and our dedicated partners.”

The SSGCID works with partners including the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories to build the models and publishes all of its work through its website and a public database called the Protein Data Bank.