Nicola Patron is a research group leader in synthetic biology at The Earlham Institute (UK) developing molecular tools and genome engineering technologies for photosynthetic organisms. Her current projects aim at tailoring photosynthetic organisms for efficient molecular pharming and improving the yield and nutritional value of crops. Nicola’s broader interests lie in the regulation of gene expression and the mechanisms and impact of horizontal gene transfers. As a SynBioLEAP fellow Nicola was recognized as an emerging leader in synthetic biology with a desire to help innovations in the laboratory have positive social impact. In that context she is also concerned with the complex questions of access and ownership that surround genetic sequences, enabling technologies and biomolecules. Nicola has a PhD in plant molecular biology and pursued postdoctoral research at The John Innes Centre and The University of British Columbia.