Nicola Patron is a research group leader in plant molecular and synthetic biology at the Earlham Institute, an independent bioscience institute on the Norwich Research Park, UK. Her group investigates plant gene expression and metabolic diversification and applies this knowledge to engineering plants as photosynthetic platforms for biomanufacturing and to improving the yield and nutritional value of crops. Nicola also directs the Earlham Biofoundry, a facility developing automated, nanoscale workflows for biology and biotechnology. Nicola has a PhD in plant molecular biology and pursued postdoctoral research at The John Innes Centre and The University of British Columbia. As a 2015 SynBioLEAP fellow, Nicola was recognized as an emerging leader in synthetic biology with a vision and aspiration to shape biotechnology for the public good. She is particularly interested in the societal impacts of synthetic biology and the complex intellectual property issues that surround genetic sequences, DNA and natural products. Nicola is an advocate of responsible and ethical innovation and of open-source tools for biotechnology.