Information Storage

Yuan-Jyue Chen

Random Access and Similarity Search in DNA Data Storage

Please note that the views expressed by Yuan in this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of Microsoft

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Show Notes

In this episode we talked with Yuan-Jyue Chen, of Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, on some of his research into DNA Data Storage. Yuan focussed on two topics: random access of data, and the accompanying issues with stochasticity and errors, and an application of DNA storage for efficiently searching a large database of images by similarity.

Please note: The views expressed by Yuan in this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of Microsoft.


In order to efficiently retrieve information from DNA data storage, we developed two different molecular methods: random access and similarity search. Random access can retrieve individual files by their unique identifiers. Similarity search can retrieve data by their contents.


Yuan is both a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, as well as an affiliate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on DNA storage and DNA computing, and he collaborates closely with the Molecular Information Systems Lab at UW to make DNA storage a reality. Prior to Microsoft, he got his PhD in Electrical Engineering from UW in 2015, advised by Georg Seelig and in collaboration with 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.