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! Feel free to hang out at the molpigs Forum! We are also on twitter!
All the past podcasts and tutorial can be found here. You can also now find our podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more (as well as manually in your favorite podcast client with our RSS feed)! Enjoy!
If you haven’t yet signed up to the newsletter for our sister project, the Molecular Programming Society, which is currently writing the grassroots textbook the Art of Molecular Programming, you’re missing out! Sign up now!
- Meet the Molecular Programmer: #2 Dave Doty
- Seeking feedback!
- Job Advertisements!
- Interested in helping out, sharing something interesting, or have an idea for something we could do?
1. Meet the Molecular Programmer: #2 Dave Doty
The “Meet the Molecular Programmer” podcast series focuses on casually chatting with professors about their academic and life experiences. We believe that their research can be easily accessed, but the experience behind and wisdom obtained during the path is more valuable and worth sharing to younger students. For our previous “Meet the Molecular Programmer” podcast series, please check it here.
In this episode, we chatted with Prof. David Doty. We dove right in to the way he splits his research time, which has been between software development, theory, and sometimes experiments! He talked about how his experience doing his first experiment made him realize the need for good software, as good software possibly enables good experiments.
We then moved on to discuss what “nice” theory is in his perspective. Dave explained how typically people seek to publish the most elegant, and often complicated theory in conferences and journals, but this rarely translates to real lab experiments. When asked for an example of a time that he saw elegant theory married to beautiful experiment, he gave the most recent paper on crisscross assembly where our host (Anastasia) coauthored!
Finally we moved on to more personal aspects of Dave’s academic life, talking about how he moved into the field, his experience switching topics twice during his PhD, and his rather unique marriage proposal! You’ll have to give the podcast a listen to find out how exactly he did it…
David Doty is an associate professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis. He is broadly interested in problems at the intersection of physics, chemistry, biology, and computation. This does not mean the traditional “computation in service of natural science” (e.g., bioinformatics, computational chemistry, or molecular dynamics simulation). Rather, certain molecular systems—such as a test tube of reacting chemicals, a genetic regulatory network, or a growing crystal—can be interpreted as doing computation themselves… natural science in service of computation. He seeks to understand the fundamental logical and physical limits to computation by such means.
2. Seeking feedback
Hello molpigs subscribers, we are enthusiastic about improving, and making molpigs better! We’d really like to get your feedback on what you like and what we could be doing better. We’ve made a feedback survey, it’s a little long but feel free to only answer the questions you want to/can answer.
3. Job Advertisement!
Yuan-Jyue Chen is hiring two postdocs, a molecular biologist and a chemist, to collaborate across multiple STEM disciplines to develop molecular tagging technology. The postdocs will be hired in the Molecular Information System Lab (MISL) at University of Washington.
The ideal candidates should have PhD degrees in molecular biology or chemistry, biomedical engineering, material science or a related field.
For detailed descriptions, please see the files for the Chemist position and for the Molecular Biologist position. If you are interested, please contact Yuan.
4. 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 defense, 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 hear from you, and getting to know you better!