Dr. Patricia Babbitt is a Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She is at the forefront of genomic enzymology, which integrates computational and experimental methods to predict new enzyme activities. Her early pioneering studies determined structural and mechanistic relationships between remotely related enzymes. Capitalizing on fundamental concepts from these studies, Dr. Babbitt develops and use the tools of bioinformatics and computational structural biology to predict protein functions from genome sequencing projects and address serious problems with misannotation in public sequence databases. She is one of the principle investigators in the Enzyme Function Initiative, a large consortium that aims to develop robust sequence/structure‑based strategies for facilitating discovery of in vitro enzymatic and in vivo physiological functions of unknown enzymes discovered in genome projects, a crucial limitation in genomic biology.
Dr. David Eisenberg is currently Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry, as well as HHMI Investigator and Director of the UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics. Currently he studies protein interactions by X-ray crystallography, bioinformatics, and biochemistry, with an emphasis on amyloid-forming proteins. His research group focus on protein interactions. In their experiments they study the structural basis for conversion of normal proteins to the amyloid state and conversion of prions to the infectious state. In bioinformatic work, they derive information on protein interactions from genomic and proteomic data, and design inhibitors of amyloid toxicity.