Patricia Babbitt, PhD

What I do

My work in computational biology is aimed at learning how nature has evolved the enzyme reactions necessary for life. I use that knowledge to guide enzyme engineering in the lab, leading to the discovery of new reactions and the improvement of function prediction.

My research expertise

Enzyme evolution, Protein bioinformatics, Computational biology/bioinformatics, Protein function prediction, Enzyme design


PhD, Medicinal Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco, 1988
BA, Biology, Mills College, 1979


My laboratory uses computational approaches to improve understanding of how nature has evolved enzymes to catalyze many different chemical reactions by re-using ancestral structures and active site architectures. We created the Structure-Function Linkage Database (SFLD) ( to provide users with access to this information along with tools for analyzing and exploring it. Applications of this work include annotation and prediction of function for new sequences from genome projects and guidance for "rational protein design."