Hector Garcia Martin

Scientific Lead of Quantitative Metabolic Modeling and Deputy VP of Biofuels and Bioproducts

Research Focus

My research interests focus on mathematical modeling of biological systems: from synthetic biology, machine learning, systems biology, metabolic flux analysis, data visualization, scientific software development, ecology, to automation and complexity.

In my current position at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, I am developing predictive quantitative models of microbial metabolism to direct metabolic engineering efforts and (e.g.) improve biofuel yields.

Our efforts are divided among machine learning, flux modeling approaches, retrobiosynthesis, automation and software development for visualization and acquisition of data. I am also using mathematical approaches to try and develop quantitative predictive models for microbial communities. You can find more detailed information on my research interests here and the full story of how a physicist ended up working in biology here.


  • Machine learning and data mining for pathway engineering
  • Metabolic flux analysis for host engineering
  • Retrobiosynthesis
  • Multiomics data visualization, capture and storage

Featured Media

What Termites Can Teach Us (New Yorker)

Underbug (chapter 12)

New Machine Learning Approach Could Accelerate Bioengineering

Hector Garcia interviewed by California-Spain Chamber of Commerce

Navigating an Ocean of Biological Data in the Modern Era

Arrowland developers team. From left: Entrepreneurial Lead, Ling Liang; Principal Investigator, Hector Garcia Martin; and Technical Lead, Garrett Birkel.

JBEI Expert Hector Garcia on how metabolic engineering is applied to biofuel production

Unlocking Clean Cheap Energy

SFChronicle/Paul Chinn. From left, Brian Rabkin, project leader Phil Hugenholtz, Hector Garcia Martin, Falk Warnecke and Natalia Ivanova study the progress of an experiment in a cell sorter at the US Energy Department's Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, Calif. on Friday, March 2, 2007. Scientists at the lab are attempting to extract enzymes from termites to break down wood and other plants into a cheaper form of ethanol. PAUL CHINN/The Chronicle **Brian Rabkin, Phil Hugenholtz, Hector Garcia Martin, Falk Warnecke, Natalia Ivanova

¿Para cuándo los biocarburantes de 2ª generación?


Multicultural Metabolic Map

Leaving Out the Details

 Featured Publications