CALL FOR ENTRIES: Online Protein Folding Competition for Cash Prizes


2010 Foldit Protein Folding Challenge Looking for Global College Teams

WHAT: Students have the opportunity to compete with some of today’s best minds at top-ranking universities across the globe, hoping to be the first team to fold a real protein over-expressed in pancreatic cancer to its optimal structure.

Student teams will compete using Foldit – a gaming software developed by the University of Washington and recently featured in the New York Times and Nature magazine – to harness human 3D perception and puzzle-solving skills to help find cures for diseases through better protein structure prediction and design.

The winning students will receive a monetary prize with the intention of advancing education.

WHY: Protein folding – the act of identifying genetic codes – is an important next step in research.  Knowing the structure of a protein is key to understanding how it works and to targeting it with drugs, potentially unlocking cures for diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Foldit is a revolutionary online game that enables participants to contribute to important scientific research.  It challenges people to apply puzzle-solving intuition, which can actually help teach computers how to solve proteins faster.

WHO: Hosted by the University of Washington and sponsored by MedImmune.

DEADLINE: Deadline for entries is Thursday, November 4th

HOW: For student registration, or for more information including official contest rules, email by November 4 with your team name and names/email addresses of all team members (up to four people).

The competition runs from November 5, 9:00 AM Pacific Time, through 11:59 PM Pacific Time on November 18.

The contest is open to all currently enrolled university students, regardless of prior protein folding experience.  Because the 2010 University Protein Folding Challenge contest includes cash prizes, official rules must be developed in accordance with laws in each country from where contestants are participating. As a result, we are only able to open the contest to students in the US and UK.

WHERE: For more information, visit, and for our official rules, check out

CONTACT: For media inquiries, please contact Laura Mills at or (212) 880-5305.
# # #