Tag: autodesk

Publication about Genetic Constructor

While I was working as a research associate in EGF and DI, I have been working with Autodesk Life Sciences on a new software: Genetic Constructor, developed to support synthetic biologists to design DNA, creating a “new visual language that focuses on functional parts abstracted from sequence”. A paper about it was published at the end of last year in ACS synthetic Biology and I am one of the author, making it my second academic publication after Designing with Living Organisms for RTD.


Genetic Constructor: An Online DNA Design Platform

Maxwell Bates†, Joe Lachoff†, Duncan Meech†, Valentin Zulkower‡, Anaïs Moisy‡, Yisha Luo‡, Hille Tekotte‡, Cornelia Johanna Franziska Scheitz†, Rupal Khilari†, Florencio Mazzoldi†, Deepak Chandran§, and Eli Groban*†

† Autodesk Life Sciences, San Francisco, California 94111, United States
‡ Edinburgh Genome Foundry, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3BF, U.K.
§ Radiant Genomics, Emeryville, California 94608, United States

ACS Synth. Biol., 2017, 6 (12), pp 2362–2365
DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00236
Publication Date (Web): October 11, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society


Genetic Constructor is a cloud Computer Aided Design (CAD) application developed to support synthetic biologists from design intent through DNA fabrication and experiment iteration. The platform allows users to design, manage, and navigate complex DNA constructs and libraries, using a new visual language that focuses on functional parts abstracted from sequence. Features like combinatorial libraries and automated primer design allow the user to separate design from construction by focusing on functional intent, and design constraints aid iterative refinement of designs. A plugin architecture enables contributions from scientists and coders to leverage existing powerful software and connect to DNA foundries. The software is easily accessible and platform agnostic, free for academics, and available in an open-source community edition. Genetic Constructor seeks to democratize DNA design, manufacture, and access to tools and services from the synthetic biology community.

Talk @ Autodesk Shanghai Designer November Meetup

I had the honour to be invited by George Cao on Nov 8 (2016) to give a talk at the Autodesk Shanghai Designer November Meetup. 20+ designers attended, I presented my work as a researcher and a designer @ Edinburgh University and @ EGF, and particularly about my contribution during the collaboration with Autodesk Bio/Nano Research Group working on Genetic Constructor. Most of the content of the talk can be found in this other blog post : biodesign talk.


“In her inspirational talk around the topic of “Designing with Living Things”,
Anais guided designers to get a glimpse of Synthetic Biology and how to design user-friendly tools for this domain. Designers were fascinated both by the complexity of Synthetic Genomes technology and how Anais translates it into a modernized and easy-to-understand application UI with the design thinking behind the scene. She also showcased some of her works of conceptual design & art which are futuristic and pretty inspiring.”

George Cao

It was such a pleasure to meet with the all team of designers, being able to discuss with the people who are conceiving and developping some of my favourite app (sketchbook on iPad, AutoCAD…). I hope I will be able to see everyone again soon. Thank you again.