DNA and RNA is more than an information carrier in cells. Over the last 50 years, the ability to design and produce custom DNA strands has unlocked key methods for biology (PCR, RCA, transcriptomics, etc), and also technology (DNA nanotechnology and DNA data storage). These methods generally rely on software-assisted manual design of several candidates that are then individually tested for their function, limiting their potential.
We are interested in drawing inspiration from biology and combine DNA and RNA design with evolution to select the sequences that perform best from large initial pools of candidate structures. We are interested in performing selection both computationally by high throughput simulation, and experimentally through in vitro selection experiments. We want to use these methods to produce stronger binders for proteins and viruses, and to better understand how DNA and RNA interact with cells.