Dr. Valerie Daggett, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, specializes in researching protein-protein interactions, stability and deterioration.
“Protein misfolding,” states Dr. Daggett, “is one of the fundamental unsolved problems in molecular biology.”
It can lead to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and spongiform encephalopathies such as CJD and BSE (mad cow disease). Protein misfolding has also been linked to some forms of cancer.
With help from a WRF grant of $35,000, Dr. Daggett and her colleagues are developing a macromolecular modeling and simulation program that will run on almost any computer using Windows or LINUX/UNIX operating systems. The software will help to enable researchers to identify the factors that influence protein stability, leading to the development of more effective treatments and preventives. The program has proven highly effective in trials, but the funding provided by WRF has enabled Dr. Daggett and her team to begin making improvements aimed at increasing the software’s overall usability and market potential.