BioNano Research

Biology is the next design revolution


MoleculeViewer goes VR

We just finished our latest release of the MoleculeViewer. You are now able to view your models in virtual reality using your smartphone and Cardboard. Click here to learn more.


We are proud to announce the initial release of NanoDesign - an application to view and analyzie DNA Origami structures. Click here to learn more.


We are on the cusp of a revolution where the same design principles applied to the built environment can be applied to biology and nanotechnology. The BioNano Research group at Autodesk aims to create the best design software for scientists to design and build at the nanoscale.

Creating the best design software for biology is a long journey and a team effort.  We are committed to creating an open-source platform and we encourage you to fork, modify, redefine, and extend our work. Make it yours! 

About Autodesk BioNano

We are part of Autodesk Research which is dedicated to innovation and discovery to help solve some of the world's most complex design problems.


Molecular Visualization

Designers and engineers across many industries rely on Autodesk’s digital tools to help realize their creations in the built world around us. In life sciences, biological researchers, designers, and engineers work with molecular and nano structures at a scale completely unviewable to the human eye. 

The Molecule Viewer project leverages Autodesk’s strength in 3D visualization to provide a window into this unseen world to support research, therapeutics, education, and beyond. The Viewer is web-based, cloud-enabled, and optimized for viewing, exploring, and sharing of large-scale protein and nanoscale datasets.

Open Viewer Learn More

Genetic Design

Living systems are robust biological machines that can be reprogrammed to produce valuable products such as fuels, chemicals, and therapeutics. Genetic Constructor is an extensible, open source, cloud CAD tool to drive biological design and complex DNA construction.  Our application works at high levels of abstraction and will integrate with DNA Foundries seamlessly to produce DNA based designs to power engineered biological systems.

Learn More Open Genetic Constructor

DNA Nanotechnology

DNA nanotechnology is an exciting new field that focuses on the use of DNA to create structures and computational components. This technology is interesting because it allows the bottom-up development of novel computational and mechanical devices which can operate in a biological environment. Project Nanodesign is aimed towards making the visualization and design of DNA devices easier and accessible. The project also is looking to provide an extensible software package for creating, manipulating, and analyzing DNA structure designs.

Open NanoDesign Learn More

Molecular Design

Autodesk’s Molecular Design Toolkit is a free and open environment to create, simulate, and visualize molecular-level systems. From designing new drugs for new health challenges, to creating better catalysts for green manufacturing, to synthesizing more powerful dyes for organic solar cells, our world is increasingly affected by our ability to design at the atomic level. The Molecular Design Toolkit enables molecular design with an integrated, open source computational environment, offering a hassle-free access to a growing set of molecular modeling tools, visualizations, and cloud computing. 

Learn More


The team encompasses dedicated world-class scientists, software developers, and designers working on some of the most interesting an challenging research topics of our time. Our team members actively engage with the global scientific and development community. We are true experts in our domains and love to discuss the work we are doing.  Whether you are an academic or industrial partner, feel free to reach out. We would love to hear from you!


Larry Peck. Head of Group

Larry is thrilled to contribute in an area of research that is at the intersection of bionano and the design spaces currently supported by Autodesk software. His depth of experience leading teams will enable the BioNano team to continue to grow and deliver on its remarkable vision.

Eli Groban. Head of Research

Eli is an industrial synthetic biologist whose past work includes engineering a microbial strain to produce fuels and chemicals from sugar and engineering a microbe to upgrade natural gas to liquid fuels and chemicals. 

Florencio Mazzoldi. Head of Engineering

Florencio has been leading software engineering efforts for more than 15 years in several industries. These days he focuses on building software to advance science and design in biology and nanotechnology.

Andrew Hessel. Distinguished Researcher

Andrew Hessel is a catalyst in biological technologies, helping industry, academics, and authorities better understand the changes happening in life science. His work focuses on improving genome engineering technologies. 


Aaron Virshup. Principal Research Scientist

Aaron Virshup holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With his background in computational physics, molecular simulation, and chemical design, Aaron works to enable a future of designing materials, chemicals, and processes at the atomic level. 

Joseph Schaeffer. Principal Research Scientist

Joseph joined in 2013, bringing in expertise in the area of DNA nanotechnology. Their focus has been on design, modeling and simulation problems in DNA nanotechnology, and recently has been looking to start a collaborative software development community within the field.

Conny Scheitz. Princical Research Scientist

Conny is a cancer and population geneticist as well as a lab automation specialist. In the past, she has worked on bringing cloud labs to life. At Autodesk she is now working towards democratizing biology and giving scientists the next generation tools they need to succeed.

Merry Wang. Senior Research Scientist

Merry is a Toronto-based scientist with a background in 3D biomedical visualization. Her focus within the Bio/Nano group is on cloud-based tools for 3D visualization, exploration, and design of molecular and nanoscale biological structures.

Software Development

Michael Zyracki. Sr. Pr. Software Architect

Michael is a computer scientist specializing in 3D graphics. His past work includes writing software for animating humans, generating flocks of birds, and blowing up spaceships.

Peter Jones. Sr. Pr. Software Engineer

Peter’s passion is high quality software craftsmanship expressed at any level in the stack. He is currently focused on infrastructure-as-code, security and test automation frameworks BioNano Research. He has 15 years of experience in software development across multiple industries and 10 years of experience in technical leadership.

Andrew Kimoto. Pr. Software Engineer

Andrew is a software engineer with over 15 years of full stack web application development experience.  He is currently working on the Molecule Viewer and NanoDesign projects.  Andrew specializes in front-end and back-end JavaScript development.

Dion Amage. Sr. Software Engineer

Dion finished a post-doc in Münster, Germany before heading off to the shiny worlds of mobile games in San Francisco. After learning how to build scalable systems and nice user experiences, he is applying that knowledge to create powerful, easy to use scientific tools.

Duncan Meech. Sr. Software Engineer

Duncan is Principal Engineer currently working on our Genetic Constructor application. Previous work has included 2D and 3D graphics systems, flight simulators, medical imaging and video games. Particular areas of interest is visualization in the browser domain.

Dave Parker. Sr. Software Engineer

Dave is developing software for the modeling and visualization of nanoscale biological structures. His background in computational science, biophysics, biomechanics, and visualization has enabled him to develop applications for cadiovascular medicine, biophyisical simulation and 3D printing. He holds a PhD from Stanford University.

Drew Hylbert. Sr. Software Engineer

Drew engineers infrastructure components supporting Autodesk's BioNano research initiatives. He brings over 15 years of experience building scalable, distributed-systems architecture in the consumer internet, finance, and energy spaces to the challenges posed by scientific datasets and workflow heterogeneity within the scientific community.

Maxwell Bates. Sr. Software Engineer

Maxwell studied genetic engineering at UC Berkeley, and has since worked to facilitate experiment automation and the design of biological systems, with an eye toward synthetic biology and biomedicine.

Justin McCandless. Sr. Software Engineer

Justin studied electrical engineering at the University of Michigan before joining several startups in the US (and one in China).  Now he works on the Molecular Design Toolkit project with an interest in graphics and open source.


Joe Lachoff. Sr. Pr. Designer

Joe designs: He does research, writes, sketches, diagrams, prototypes, tests, photographs, and presents. He iterates. He empathizes; synthesizes; dreams and invents. In collaboration with the BioNano team he is working to create software tools for genetic design.

Malte Tinnus. Sr. Pr. Designer

Malte is a versatile designer specialized in 3D design and interactions. He is collaborating with leading scientists to envision the paradigms and tools needed to exploit the intersection of design and life.