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Join us in this experimental episode as our conversation turns inwards! Instead of finding out about the life and interests of someone from the field, we share some of our own views and anecdotes. We discuss a little about who we are, graduate school, the definition of the field, and more.
Will, the founder of molpigs, gives a bit of an insight into what the motivation for starting molpigs was and what they hope this project will achieve. Boya, our newsletter editor, explains how learning more about psychology is helping her to be a more effective researcher. Anastasia, who shares podcast editing duties with Will, gives some perspectives on how fundamental DNA is to the field of molecular programming. Georgeos, who manages our social media and money, tells us why he'd much rather be a scientist today than the 19th century.
We also give an update on the status of our sister project, the Molecular Programming Society, which is currently writing the ‘Art of Molecular Programming’ textbook. The project is rapidly growing to include dozens and dozens of members of our field. If you want to keep up-to-date with their progress, follow them on Twitter @MolProgSoc and subscribe to their newsletter.
Boya Wang is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, working with David Soloveichik. She explores and engineers molecular systems that are able to robustly execute molecular algorithms. She is also trying to integrate DNA computing with DNA storage. She received her Ph.D. in BioECE from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. She obtained her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China.
Anastasia Ershova is a PhD student in William Shih’s lab at Harvard, working on novel strategies for the ultracooperative self-assembly of DNA to reliably build micron-scale structures with nano-scale features for algorithmic assembly, nanofabrication, and diagnostics. She obtained her BA in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge with a background in pharmacology, materials science, and data science.
Georgeos Hardo is a systems and synthetic biology PhD student at the University of Cambridge Engineering Department, supervised by Somenath Bakshi. His work is mainly focussed on antibiotic tolerance, ageing and persistence in bacteria (specifically E. coli and B. subtilis), which he studies using a combination of experiments, mathematical modelling and simulation. Additionally he’s interested in image analysis for high throughput microscopy. He earned a BEng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sheffield, and an MPhil in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge.
Will Earley recently earned their PhD in the physics of unconventional computing at the University of Cambridge, supervised by Gos Micklem. Their work focussed on finding the theoretical limits of computational performance in our universe, and how to go about realising these in molecular computers. Additionally they developed a programming language for reversible molecular computing. They hope to implement these ideas in real molecular computers in the future.