The SecureDNA project
The SecureDNA project seeks to enable fast, reliable, cheap, automated screening of DNA synthesis orders, to prevent both careless and malicious users from synthesizing potentially-hazardous DNA sequences anywhere in the world. It is an international, academic/commercial partnership project, consisting of researchers from MIT, Tsinghua University, Aarhus University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and other world-leading academic institutions, in partnership with major international DNA synthesis providers. Our implementation languages are Rust and Python.
Our goal is to develop an automatic and accurate screening system which can screen DNA synthesis orders much more quickly and cheaply than the current human-reliant review system; have negligible impact on legitimate research by researchers authorized to work with particular organisms; effectively block hazardous DNA sequences from being produced without suitable oversight, whether via accident or malice; protect intellectual property by not disclosing the submitted DNA orders to third parties; protect worldwide security by not disclosing potential hazards which may not be public; and enable global commercial adoption, with community verification, via scientific diplomacy and open-source software. To learn more, visit our website (<https://www.securedna.org>) or read our technical whitepaper (<https://www.securedna.org/manuscript/Cryptographic_Aspects_o...>).
We are seeking developers and a software development manager to help build a team and implement the specification we have developed. This includes the initial beta release, scheduled for the next several months, with possible extension to the entire (multi-year) project.
These are 100% virtual positions. SecureDNA has the flexibility to hire either as a full-time salaried position or as a contractor at industry-competitive rates. Funding is administered through MIT (US) and Tsinghua University (China).
Basic requirements for all positions (developers and development manager): Significant experience working with secure software system development and deployment; strong knowledge and experience with one or preferably both of the project languages (Rust and Python); knowledge and experience with software testing and with git; familiarity with common cryptographic software libraries and implementations; and fluent in English, including good writing skills.
Nice to have: Familiarity with modern cryptography-based secure computing algorithms; and some familiarity with basic biological knowledge and DNA synthesis.
Benefits: Flexible work hours and arrangement (remote and/or part-time are both acceptable); a critical role in implementing an important biosecurity system which will be deployed worldwide; future opportunities in long-term collaboration with other research projects; and competitive salary and other benefits.
● Developers: We seek developers with skills to help with: Writing a variety of components, mostly backend (storage, crypto, network) and a small amount of frontend (customer-facing web); establishing a testing framework, including both unit testing and continuous integration; and deploying the system into the production environments of our DNA customers and vendor partners.
● Manager: Your responsibilities include: Assisting in locating, evaluating, and hiring developers to write robust, well-documented code; assisting in development (coding, documentation, testing, etc) as appropriate and required; and planning and monitoring development schedules.