Patrick M. Shih, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at UC Davis and the Director of Plant Biosystems Design at the Joint BioEnergy Institute. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in Plant Biology engineering synthetic carbon fixation pathways and studying the evolution of photosynthesis with Kris Niyogi and Cheryl Kerfeld. Patrick then did a postdoc at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developing plant synthetic biology tools for complex metabolic engineering efforts. His research is focused on utilizing synthetic biology to expand our understanding of plant metabolism. A basic understanding of the evolution of metabolism will guide novel approaches to engineering metabolic pathways for applications in agriculture, sustainability, human health, and bioenergy.