Did you know that some scientists can reconstruct a protein’s building blocks to make it more useful and valuable to us? Those scientists are called Protein Engineers. Many protein engineers focus their work on enzymes, a type of protein that is crucial to all living things. The engineered enzymes can be used for many things, but the ultimate goal is to improve the health of the planet and its inhabitants.
Calling all Future Protein Engineers
Showcase your protein engineering knowledge in our contest! Pick an enzyme which supports human or environmental health, and show us how you would make it better.
What are enzymes, exactly?
Enzymes are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions. Think of an enzyme as a special lock that works with a fitting key (we call that key a “substrate”), and the two fit exactly into one another. Enzymes do not get used up in the process, so they can be used over and over again. Watch the videos below to learn more about enzymes.
How do enzymes work?
If you already know the basics about enzymes, these videos delve into a deeper, more scientific level to explain how enzymes work.
Put Enzymes To Work
Enzymes are used in many different areas, from fermenting food to treating rare diseases. Select a focus area below to learn fascinating examples of enzymes at work. Explore the different applications to gather ideas for your video contest submission.
Enzymes & Food
Enzymes in our body help break down food. Enzymes are also used in many food production processes such as cheese making process. Engineered enzymes can be used to further improve the efficiency of certain manufacturing steps, or to enable new innovations.
Life sciences is the study of living organisms, and scientists in this space work closely with protein engineers to develop better research tools, more accurate diagnostic tests, and make other improvements that can benefit our health.
What do a pair of stonewash jeans and a bottle of contact lens cleaner have in common? Enzymes. Watch these videos to learn more about how enzymes are help us in our daily life.
Developing proteins and enzymes can help produce much-needed drugs faster and aid in working more effectively. Applications include small-molecule APIs, antibody-drug conjugates and biocatalysis cascades.
For patients living with enzyme deficiencies, like PKU or lysosomal storage disease, effective treatments, such as enzyme therapy, not only can increase patients’ life span but also can improve their quality of life. Many protein engineers focus their efforts in the discovery and development of those treatments.
Are you a Parent or Teacher?
For Parents & Guardians
The intent of this website is to educate students about the various aspects of protein engineering, and encourage them to explore more in the scientific field. Children under the age of 18 require a parent or guardian’s permission to enter the Future Protein Engineers Video Contest. Find more information on the Contest Rules & Guidelines page.
Interested in turning the Future Proteins Engineers Video Contest into a class project? Contact us (FPE@codexis.com) to learn more about incorporating the Future Protein Engineers Video Contest and other content on protein engineering into your curriculum.
A teacher who participated in the Fall 2020 contest shared:
“The contest really augmented my curriculum, especially during distance learning in the time of COVID, and gave students something meaningful to focus on. It helped them model what we have been studying in Biology, a very useful science practice, and see the real life applications of the theory.”