Hector Garcia Martin

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

Research Focus

I am focused on developing predictive models of biological systems, in the intersection of machine learning, synthetic biology and automation.  My interests range from synthetic biology, machine learning, systems biology, metabolic flux analysis, data visualization, scientific software development, ecology, and automation and complexity.

In my current position at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, I develop predictive quantitative models of microbial metabolism to direct metabolic engineering efforts, and use them to (e.g.) improve biofuel yields or design microbiomes.

Our efforts are divided among machine learning, flux modeling approaches, retrobiosynthesis, automation and software development for visualization and acquisition of data. In the following links, you can find more detailed information on my research interests and the full story of how a physicist ended up working in biology.


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

Featured Media

Could Synthetic Biology Stop Global Warming? (NPR) 

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