molpigs, The Molecular Programming Interest Group, is an international group of researchers interested in topics such as molecular programming, DNA computing, and other aspects of biomolecular nanotechnology. We host regular seminars, poster sessions, journal clubs, send out newsletters, and host a forum for discussion and fostering collaboration.
Hello and welcome back to the molpigs newsletter!
- molpigs Forum Launch!
- Podcasts and events incoming!
- Meet the Molecular Programmer: #1 Rebecca Schulman
- Job Advertisement: Ph.D. position with Dave Doty at UC-Davis
- Interested in helping out, sharing something interesting, or have an idea for something we could do?
1. molpigs Forum Launch!
It’s been a long time coming, but we’re now ready to launch the molpigs forum! We have exciting plans for this space, and as a taste of what we hope to foster on there here are some of the initial categories:
- The Water Trough: Come down to the Water Trough and shoot the muck with your fellow molpiggies! Or, if you’re feeling inspired, feel free to talk shop/start a topical discussion.
- Int. J. of Porky Pies: The world-renowned International Journal of Porky Pies is the perfect place to ‘publish’ your negative results, or anything that might be too trivial to publish elsewhere, helping to save the time of your fellow molpiggies!
- Stuck In The Mud: This is the place to get stuck in with your fellow molpiggies on something, whether it’s a journal club discussing a paper you found interesting/curious, or perhaps a writing group, it all starts here!
- (Charlotte’s) Weekly Web: Every week we have a new thread; from Show & Tell where you can show other molpiggies what you’ve been up to, to The Rat Race for job opportunities and matchmaking, to I’m a PhD Student… Get Me Out of Here! for stories and anecdotes about mental health and surviving in academia, there’s something for everyone!
- Oink Me Anything: In the spirit of Reddit’s AMAs (Ask Me Anything), Oink Me Anything is a place to share your experiences or find out about someone else’s!
We will be sending invites to the email with which you registered for the mailing list, so please do check your spam filter. If you haven’t received an invite then you can register manually by heading to https://talk.molpi.gs.
2. Podcasts and events announcement!
We would like to announce our podcast series: “Lab Pigs” and “Meet the Molecular Programmer”!
The “Lab Pig” series highlights PhD students’ and postdoctoral scholars’ research and academic experience. We will hear from Dr. Dominic Scalise, Namita Sarraf, Dr. Jocelyn Kishi, and Dr. Yuan-Jyue Chen!
Josie Kishi’s interest in molecular programming was sparked when she took an elective course in biomolecular computing during college. She went on to work with Peng Yin and others at the Wyss Institute, where her primary focus was to develop the Primer Exchange Reaction (PER) synthesis method. She showed how PER cascades can be used to perform logical operations and record temporal molecular events (Nature Chemistry 2017) and for generating long single-stranded concatemers for amplifying multiplexed fluorescence imaging signal (Nature Methods 2019). Josie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Systems Biology from Harvard.
Yuan-Jyue Chen is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research. He is also an affiliate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on DNA Storage and DNA computing. He collaborate closely with Molecular Information System Lab (MISL) from University of Washington to make DNA storage a reality. Prior to Microsoft, he received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Washington in 2015, advised by Georg Seelig. His PhD project was a collaboration between the biological computation research group at MSR Cambridge and Caltech. He came to Microsoft Research as a postdoc in 2015 and became a researcher in the DNA storage group in 2017.
The “Meet the Molecular Programmer” series focuses on casually chatting with professors about their life experiences. The first molecular programmer we will get to know is Prof. Rebecca Schulman!
We will also have our tutorial session about Chemical Storage and Computation Using Small Molecules presented by Prof. Brenda Rubenstein.
We want to hear your questions and thoughts so we can ask our speakers! Please fill out our form (anonymously if you wish), and we’ll select the best to ask on your behalf. We also hope our speakers will stick around to answer questions on molpigs forum.
3. Meet the Molecular Programmer: #1 Rebecca Schulman
Rebecca Schulman, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is an expert in developing programmable, active devices that self-assemble from DNA. Her group focuses on molecular electronic devices and tools for biological and biophysical research.
Schulman has received an NSF CAREER Award, DOE Early Career Award, Turing Scholar Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, and a DARPA Director’s fellowship. Her work received best at conference awards at the 2017 Foundations of Nanoscience Conference (FNANO17) and the 2014 DNA Computing and Molecular Programming Conference (DNA20).
Schulman earned BS degrees in mathematics and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 and her PhD in computation and neural systems from the California Institute of Technology in 2007. She was a post-doctoral scholar in computer science at the California Institute of Technology and a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow in physics at the University of California, Berkeley.
We will chat with Rebecca on Nov. 18th. Please submit your questions!
4. Job Advertisement: Ph.D. position with Dave Doty at UC-Davis
Dave Doty has funding for a new Ph.D. student in Fall 2021. Please read advice for Ph.D. applicants. Contact Dave directly if you are interested.
5. Interested in helping out, sharing something interesting, or have an idea for something we could do?
If so, please get in touch with us! Shoot us an email at
contributions AT <this domain>, there are loads of ways you can get involved, and many we haven’t even thought of, but here’s a few ideas of what you could do:
- Be a guest on our podcast series: you can talk about anything vaguely related to the field, whether it’s comments on life as a student/researcher, some thoughts you’ve had about the field, some interesting work you want to share, or if you want to speak out about something like mental health, this is the perfect place to do it!
- Present a poster-podcast! This is something we’re very excited to try out, and we hope you feel the same: the idea is to try to explain something (it doesn’t have to be your own work) within a 20-30 minute podcast, with the challenge that all reference material needs to fit into a poster format.
- Want to advertise something on our newsletter? Perhaps you’ve just passed your thesis defence, or are looking for a team for a hackathon, or have a job posting to share, or have just written a blog post you think might be of interest; whatever the case we’d love to help you share the good news!
- We’re also open to more conventional seminar-esque things like talks or journal clubs.
We’re looking forward to getting to hearing from you, and getting to know you better!