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Empowering Science, Impacting Humanity


We propel science from lab to life, fueled by a community committed to human progress.

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There is a disproportionate amount of early-stage research that never sees the light of day. This is because traversing the gap between discovery and clinical trials requires a large amount of unique expertise and of course, money. Molecule is a technology platform with an incentive-aligned, community-driven approach that addresses these inefficiencies through real-time global sourcing of ideas, capital, and know-how.

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Our most recent and exciting research projects that have successfully secured funding.

Ecosystem Overview

Decentralised global communities of science or BioDAOs that are part of

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Total Projects
$ 8,825,000
$ 4,210,000
Women's Health
$ 432,000
Hair Loss
$ 3,320,000
$ 119,000
Synthetic Biology
$ 836,000
£ 249,000
$ 100,000
$ 6,000
$ 200,000
$ 35,000


Join our ecosystem, where scientific and technological innovation thrives. As a contributor, you will have the opportunity to connect with diverse minds from around the world and support projects with your knowledge and expertise.

News & Content

Molecule News

Stay informed and inspired. Explore Molecule’s news and fresh content.

Ella McCarthy-Page
Sep 21, 2023

Decentralized science & building a better future

A conference serves as a nexus for collaboration and impetus for growth. Sixteen months after the first DeSci.Berlin conference we reconvened to reflect on our ecosystem's growth, and to boldly forge new paths and as we continue our journey forward, at an exceptionally powerful pace.

The event took place over the 8th & 9th of September at Factory, deep in the center of Berlin. We had two jam-packed days of speakers, workshops, and panels (to put a number on it - 40 talks with over 70 individual speakers!). This year's event was centered around building a biotech Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (BioDAO), attracting a diverse group of attendees; scientists, investors, builders, developers, venture capitalists, and general decentralized science enthusiasts. The event was held in partnership with Protocol Lab’s Funding the Commons who celebrated the hands-on spirit of creation and innovation.

A quick DeSci pulse check

As always, to effectively plan a path forward, one needs to look back at how far we’ve come. Paul Kohlhaas, Molecule CEO and co-founder opened the proceedings on the 8th, sharing some promising growth metrics of the DeSci community as a whole: 

  • >$8m in research funded
  • More than 50,000 community members
  • A cumulative market cap of BioDAOs reaching $75m

Just in time for DeSci.Berlin, UltraRareBio released their updated ecosystem map, curated by Dr. Jocelynn Pearl! Community growth and diversification are evident. 

A few key themes materialized...

Decentralized Science as a movement, culture & history

The DeSci movement arose from a need to create more effective and efficient research translation pipelines by channeling open-source collaboration, and removing classic bottlenecks, such as the ‘Valley of Death’ (if you don’t know what this is, we recommend you read this article). Web3 and blockchain technology are the tools that have allowed us to do just that. We are currently witnessing a massive disruption of science as we know it. 

“No matter where you are across the world, you should have access to bootstrapping your science.”
Paul Kohlhaas, opening talk

Tyler Golato, Molecule CSO and co-founder rallied the audience, imploring them to dig into the ‘Pattern Languages’ of DeSci over the course of the two days. He honed in on DeSci’s potential to transform into an unstoppable movement; by igniting passion, empowering participants to be champions of their own cause, and uniting diverse people over shared values. Juan Benet was interviewed by Vincent Weisser, taking a deep dive into DeSci. The full podcast is available here

Puja Olhavar returning to speak at her second DeSci.Berlin

Meet the BioDAOs!

We heard from seasoned veterans VitaDAO, growing DAOs like HairDAO, ValleyDAO, MoonDAO, AthenaDAO who have already launched their own token, as well as burgeoning DAOs like PsyDAO, CerebrumDAO and SynapseDAO
We were particularly excited about two developments: 


HairDAO has tapped into its patient population, collecting and collating the same amount of data that is produced by a Phase 2 trial ($8M) for $50K, using their patient portal. Members of the HairDAO community contribute their hair loss data, and in exchange, receive HAIR tokens. Onboarding patients and connecting patients to researchers has never been done like this before. Co-initiators Andrew Verbinnen and Andrew Baskt also announced that they will begin testing a T4 topical cream, alongside other members of the HAIRy network state, based on results produced by their funded project with Dr Ralf Paus. You heard that right - a real product is on its way to patients! 


VitaDAO’s Korolchuk IP-NFT was given the spotlight this year, and for good reason! As an indication of budding web3 adoption, the University of Newcastle Technology Transfer office (TTO) and Dr. Korolchuk made wallets and received VITA-FAST IP tokens, during VitaDAO’s recent IP-NFT tokenization crowdsale. Incentivizing scientific contributions is crucial, and we’re excited to see it kicking off properly. Additionally, a computational science hackathon was announced, with the goal of exploring results produced by Dr. Korolchuk and his team!  The core thesis; it is possible to blind the data enough to protect the integrity and value of IP while simultaneously leveraging a hive-mind intelligence. We’re looking forward to sharing updates. 

Tips for nascent BioDAO builders

This year’s DeSci.Berlin catered especially to prospective builders in the ecosystem, with the aim of providing a solid foundation for attendees to go out into the world and start creating their own DAOs. Design, communication, fundraising, operations, token minting, legal - we had it all! 

Our favorite kernel of wisdom came from the talk “Traditional Ops vs. DAO Ops: Where's the intersection?”; decentralization happens on a spectrum. Founding stewards and core members need to be chosen carefully and be able to generate their own momentum, as they will still ultimately be steering the ship. 

"You don’t need a PhD to make a difference in a DAO - you just need to be a hard worker.”
James Brodie. 
DAO Operations Panel talk

Investing in biotechnology and healthcare

Mike Baran spearheaded Pfizer Ventures' early investment into VitaDAO last year. He joined us to talk about the pharma juggernaut’s involvement within DeSci; Pfizer analyzes the deal flow within the DAO and uses their strategy and skill to identify potential areas of collaboration. His advice to the DAOs? Without a deep focus on maturing their assets to validate the DeSci pipeline, the DAO puts itself at risk of losing momentum over the next few years.

Our investor's panel was a crowd favorite - we were joined by Zen Chu (UCLA), Chris Leiter (Atria Ventures), James Brodie (ID Theory), Elad Verbin (Lunar Ventures) and Dr. Friederike Ernst (Gnosis). They expressed the importance of involving patient groups, as no one knows a disease better than the people who live with it every day. If you're looking for funding, there were a couple of specific areas of interest that were raised; obesity, rare diseases, ADHD & autism and computational chemistry.

Our investor pane: Zen, Friederike, James, Elad, Chris

Scientist tooling

We heard from a host of innovative teams creating tools that will ease the labor that goes into doing academic scientific research. Less time spent on menial tasks and organization means more brainpower going into the bigger questions, accelerating the pace of discovery. 

  • Memex.Garden is a platform introducing workflows for collaborative reading and research of various materials, enabling a seamless and organized research experience. 
  • Foresight Institute's Technology Trees provide a comprehensive roadmap for the development and integration of advanced technologies. 
  • ScieNFT tackles publishing paradigms by leveraging blockchain technology for pre-print NFTs. 
  • Ceramic is a tool dedicated to notarizing scientific datasets.
  • JOGL v2 is an improved collaboration platform designed to meet the unique needs of DeSci communities.
  • bloxberg utilizes blockchain technology to provide a secure and transparent ecosystem for scientific data sharing, collaboration, and validation.
Workshop discussions

Noteworthy insights

A real-world use case of crypto

DeSci remains one of the most important use cases of crypto because it is solving real-world problems. The act of uniting a smart contract and a legal contract, and minting an IP-NFT demonstrates that blockchain transactions and crypto mechanisms are capable of actualizing real scientific results, ushering in a better world. 

Translating science to market

Efficiently translating scientific advancements to the market requires a blend of skills. This involves nurturing cross-disciplinary collaboration and streamlining operations to eliminate inefficiencies. Secondly, and somewhat more importantly, integrating the perspectives of patients and patient advocacy groups is DeSci’s golden ticket to success. No one knows better than the patients themselves, and onboarding them into the ecosystem will truly give us a competitive edge against traditional biotechnology ventures. 

Widespread adoption is essential 

The DeSci community needs to focus on accessibility: for widespread adoption, reduced barriers to entry are critical. Improved communication as well as increasingly user-friendly interfaces will aid in community growth and DAO voter turnout.

"Joining a DAO shouldn't be harder than joining a Facebook group."
Dr. Freiderike Ernst

Couldn’t make it? We’ve got you. 

We're currently uploading all the talks from the main stage on Day 1 and the DeSci.Berlin stage from Day 2 onto Molecule's Youtube: DeSci.Berlin 2023 YouTube playlist.

Over and out!

We’re grateful that we get to work in DeSci, and that we have your support in doing it! We can’t wait to see what the community is able to achieve over the next year. Till then!

A special thanks to our sponsors

None of this could’ve happened without our generous sponsors: CODE, VitaDAO, LabDAO,, Molecule, Gnosis, DeSci Labs, AthenaDAO, Beaker DAO, JOGL, ValleyDAO, Ocean Protocol, and PsyDAO.

Ella McCarthy-Page, Albert Anis
Aug 7, 2023

The field of synthetic biology brings what may have once been considered a science fiction plotline into the realms of reality. The coalescence of engineering and biology sees scientists utilize gene editing technologies to redesign and reprogram living cells to exhibit novel functions, offering up a host of solutions that would otherwise not be possible. With over 100 scientific articles and 5 patents, Dr Rodrigo Ledsma Amaro is an established leader in the field of synthetic biology, with a particular focus on metabolic engineering and microbial biotechnology. 

‘I saw the potential of microorganisms and their versatility to be engineered to produce, in a sustainable manner, everything we need and we currently make from petrochemicals (e.g. food ingredients) or damaging agricultural practices (e.g. palm oil). 
-Dr Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro

It is this work that led Rodrigo to ValleyDAO, a recent graduate of the program. They share a common mission; to utilize synthetic biology to create innovative approaches to environmental and societal challenges. ValleyDAO has committed £228 000 to Rodrigo’s lab at Imperial College London in exchange for a portion of the intellectual property produced, by minting their first IP-NFT. The funds will go towards Rodrigo’s work in optimizing oil extraction from oleaginous yeast. The project embodies ValleyDAO’s vision of supporting transformative scientific advancements that promise a sustainable and resilient future.

 "This model is more than just about funding. It allows us to publicly present our ideas, and if they resonate with the community, secure potential funding. In essence, ValleyDAO is democratizing the way scientific research is perceived, valued, and supported."
- Dr Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro
Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro

Improved Lipid Production in Yeasts

Lipids, colloquially known as fats or oils, are used in food production, as well as the cosmetics and fuel industry. At present, we use animal- and vegetable-originated lipids in these industries - unfortunately the sourcing of these lipids is done through unsustainable practices such as palm oil harvesting. Microbes provide a favorable alternative but come at a much higher price tag. 

Yarrowia lipolytica is a species of oleaginous yeast which is known for its naturally high lipid accumulation, and is the subject of Rodrigo’s work. By bioengineering these oleaginous yeasts, scientists can further increase their oil yield, providing a sustainable source of fatty acids which are essential to the food industry. As it stands, Rodrigo and his team of 30 scientists at Imperial College London have pioneered a synbio approach that causes these oils to be secreted out of the yeast cells and into the culture broth, bypassing the extraction step, which is the cause behind the high costs of microbial oil production. While this Proof-of-Concept research has established a viable pathway to improving lipid harvesting, the process itself needs improvement. This is where the funds from ValleyDAO will be essential! The team will continue their research surrounding the process, as well as investigate the possibility of a continuous fermentation process. Continual fermentation and oil collection will mean that the large vats of yeast will not need to be processed additionally in order to extract oils, creating a more energy and carbon-efficient technique. If successful, lipid harvesting costs in Yarrowia lipolytica will be reduced by up-to 70%.

A conceptual representation, generated by MidJourney, of lipid particles being secreted through a cell membrane

Commercial Use of Microbial Oils

Edible oil practices are responsible for environmental degradation through destructive farming processes as well as energy-intensive methodology. With a growing population, the need for edible oils is only increasing, signifying that Rodrigo’s research is not only ethical but also well-placed in a growing industry. In creating methods to increase oil production and extraction in yeast, foundations are being laid for further research, with the potential to create sustainable biofuels which would help mitigate the ravaging effects of global warming and climate change.

Collaboration Opportunities

Currently, numerous companies are working on producing food oils and fats through microbial means in a cost-efficient manner, but face issues of scalability in their manufacturing processes. As industrial biotechnology companies scale up their production, they often encounter challenges in maintaining the efficiency and viability of microorganisms used, as well as recovering the products they produce. “Throughout this project's lifetime, we want to invite these companies to the table to collaborate with us on this project,” says Albert Anis, core lead at ValleyDAO. 


IP-NFT-based financing ensures that any resulting Intellectual Property (IP) from a research project is governed by the ValleyDAO community, using the DAO’s native governance token, GROW.

By doing so, ValleyDAO is not only directly involved in sourcing, reviewing, and voting on which projects should be funded but also in the licensing and governance of the resulting IP. This provides a more democratic IP-management strategy, fostering the direct participation of synthetic biology enthusiasts in the funding and translation of a research project. The impact of this novel approach extends beyond the financial realm. As Rodrigo notes, "ValleyDAO's ability to bridge the gap between science and the broader community fosters a genuine interest in, and support for, future discoveries."

IP-NFTs provide several downstream benefits for the resulting IP. First, given the record of IP ownership is on a public ledger, IP record of ownership is open, increasing the discoverability of IP. Second, given the rights of IP are held within smart contracts, researchers globally can collaborate without the need to trust one another, with rights enforcement via code. In addition, IP-NFTs enable greater transactability, with programmable sublicenses and without the need for traditional legal agreements, with terms such as royalty and milestone payments being automatable. 

The IP-NFT is named SavedApe: Microbial Lipid Production with Synthetic Biology and the image represents a playful allegory of humans and orangutans - affected by deforestation due to palm oil production - collaborating to develop sustainable solutions in a lab environment, signifying the commitment to replace harmful practices with sustainable bioengineered alternatives.

A Call to Fellow SynBio Scientists

ValleyDAO has started its journey in funding world-changing science with a bang and has no intention of slowing down. They are looking to support academic research projects with up to $250k that have the potential to create a widespread climate, food, or environmental impact. If this is of interest to you, apply now by filling out this form.

If you are interested in the research outcomes of this project, reach out to ValleyDAO at to learn more about how you can collaborate. Alternatively, join the conversation on their Twitter and Discord

Ella McCarthy-Page
Aug 1, 2023

As the world changes, many people are choosing to have children later in life. While the term ‘biological clock’ gets thrown around loosely, the reality is that very few people are educated about or prepared for the fertility issues that can ensue.  

Ovarian aging is a multi-step process, culminating in menopause, and a complete inability to bear children. The trait is governed by several factors including age, genetics, lifestyle, health conditions, medical treatments, and weight - simply put, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. Countless women are sent home from fertility doctors with deep emotional, physical and financial wounds, but no answers as to why they are struggling to fall pregnant. AthenaDAO exists to advocate for all those impacted by reproductive decline (among other things) and is vivaciously pursuing solutions.

Estimates suggest that one in six people experience fertility issues during their lifetime. Dr Mario Cordero and his wife formed part of this number; after suffering problems in conceiving due to ovarian aging the two had to turn to fertility treatments. Their story ended happily with a beautiful daughter named Martina, but the experience roused something in Mario, leading him to dedicate his life to the field of ovarian aging. Having been at the final stages of the fertility treatment pipeline, Mario understands that the work done in a laboratory needs to be able to be transported out of a petri dish and to patients, in order for it to make a recognisable impact in peoples’ lives. It is this sentiment that rang true to AthenaDAO, which primarily focuses on funding translational research to improve the female experience. AthenaDAO has dedicated $120 000 to Mario and his work with Pablo de Olavide University to combat ovarian aging. 

Dr Mario Cordero in his lab in Seville, Spain

The Role of Inflammation in Ovarian Aging

Chronic inflammation is hugely detrimental to our health. In fact, it is one of the infamous and well-recognized ‘Hallmarks of Aging’ which detail the primary risk factors that result in a bodily decline. Unsurprisingly, inflammation in the ovaries is dangerous yet frequently overlooked. It is a cause of a Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), which renders women infertile. 

As a recognized expert in the field of inflammation in reproductive longevity, the funding from AthenaDAO will allow Mario to tackle the root of inflammation responsible for a diminishing ovarian reserve, via the inhibition of the cGAS-STING pathway. Using state-of-the-art animal models and having access to patient tissue samples, Mario's research group is exceptionally positioned to develop novel inhibitors as a tailor-made treatment opportunity for women in need. As Laura Minquini, Core Lead of AthenaDAO says; “If you understand the pathways of ovarian aging, you have the potential to treat them.” 

Mario brings with him a history of excellence; he has published 90 articles, 8 book chapters, 2 books, 5 patents, and has been cited more than 8993 times. 

Utilizing Blockchain for Progress

AthenaDAO has a keen focus on funding translational research that will generate novel intellectual property, which is why this particular project was appealing. Mario has clear, well-structured endpoints with a thorough consideration of how his research will be translated in the future. By utilizing Molecule’s technology, AthenaDAO has been able to bind the intellectual property, underlying data, and economics into one programmable, transactable, digital unit - an IP-NFT. This creates an immutable history of the project as time goes by, and a mechanism that allows participants to directly govern the IP produced by Mario’s project, and future projects. 

It’s totally new for me but [I’m] really happy because I see it as an enriched experience. The project is going step-by-step because I have comments from the reviewers which help improve the proposal. We all want the same; to get future treatments to help people.
Dr Mario Cordero

The IP-NFT Artwork

AthenaDAO commissioned Hanna Salmonowicz to create the sculpture for their landmark  Reproductive Health Report. They decided that given the strength of the piece and because of narrative it made sense to the artwork for their first  IP-NFT. Hanna is both an artist and an aging scientist - a perfect fit for the project. Inspired by oocytes, Hanna used small handmade plasticine shapes and beads to form the sculpture.

Ready, set, whitelist! 

AthenaDAO’s scope extends far beyond fertility. By investing in commonly overlooked research areas, they are creating forward momentum in women’s health issues. If you want to be a part of their mission, get whitelisted for their upcoming ATH token sale. 

Join their Discord and follow their Twitter to stay updated! 

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