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Rhiju Das

Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Das is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine. After training in particle physics and cosmology at Harvard, Cambridge, University College London, and Stanford, Dr. Das did postdoctoral research in computational protein folding at the University of Washington with David Baker. On returning to Stanford, Dr. Das set up his lab to focus on computer modeling and design of RNA molecules, which underlie important molecular machines in biology and medicine. As a core part of this research, Dr. Das leads Eterna, an open science platform that crowdsources intractable RNA design problems to 250,000 players of an online videogame and provides scoring feedback based on actual wet-lab experiments. Dr. Das’s research has been recognized by the Burroughs-Wellcome Career Award at the Interface of Science, the OpenEye/American Chemical Society Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and the Stanford Medicine Endowed Faculty Scholar award. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Das and Eterna have launched the OpenVaccine challenge to develop refrigerator-stable mRNA vaccines needed for world-wide immunization.