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About Us

The Institute for Protein Innovation (IPI) advances protein science to accelerate research and enable new therapeutics that improve human health.

About the Institute for Protein Innovation

IPI is pioneering a new approach to scientific discovery and collaboration. As a nonprofit, IPI provides academia and industry with synthetic antibodies and deep protein expertise, empowering researchers to unlock the most elusive mysteries of biology.

Our People

Two scientists in lab coats laughing.

We get excited about mission-driven, open science. We push the envelope. But we do it for a purpose: to accelerate discovery and improve human health.

Learn More About Our Teams

Our Milestones

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
“I wanted to give the money to something that I envisioned could have a tremendous impact scientifically and therapeutically. That was IPI.”

Timothy Springer, PhD

Co-Founder, Institute for Protein Innovation

Our History

The Institute for Protein Innovation is the brainchild of scientist and eight-time entrepreneur Timothy A. Springer, PhD, a professor at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital. In 1977, Tim was a postdoc in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate César Milstein, who developed a disruptive protein technology called monoclonal antibodies. Tim went on to deploy them in research, paving the way for antibodies as therapies to treat autoimmune diseases. Tim started multiple companies based on this research and used his earnings to help found companies, such as the biotech company Moderna. Tapping this entrepreneurial spirit, Tim later launched a nonprofit enterprise designed to fulfill an unmet and pressing need.

The Challenge

Antibodies make up nearly half of all drugs on the market. Despite their promise, however, antibodies still face major hurdles. Traditionally, investigators produce antibodies by injecting mice or other animals with a specific target protein. When that protein is nearly identical between species, the animals often fail to generate antibodies, rendering these targets intractable.

At the same time, companies make and sell antibodies for research. Often the products are not properly validated and do not work well in researchers specific assays. It has become difficult to reproduce the results of many pivotal antibody-based studies. The result is a reproducibility crisis that is long plaguing modern science.

Timothy A. Springer, PhD
Andrew Kruse, PhD

The Solution

Facing this striking dearth of high-quality, well-characterized antibodies, Tim teamed up with co-founder Andrew Kruse, PhD, a Harvard-based expert on G protein-coupled receptors and synthetic antibodies. In 2017, the two consulted with stakeholders from all sectors and launched a free-standing nonprofit institute in the heart of the Boston Longwood Medical Area.

At its heart, lay the IPI Antibody Initiative, a first-of-its-kind effort to generate synthetic, recombinant antibodies against human extracellular and secreted proteins, particularly those that are difficult to make or target. Tim also sought to train a next generation of protein scientists and entrepreneurs, equipping them to address a major knowledge gap between the burgeoning field of genomics and its promise to cure all human disease. To learn more about the IPI Antibody Platform, click here.

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