Ambassador to China Agricultural University in Beijing, Joseph Jez is a Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor at Washington University. Joe earned a B.S. in biochemistry with an English minor from Penn State University (1992), a Ph.D. in biochemistry & molecular biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania (1998), and was an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1998-2001). After working as a research scientist at Kosan Biosciences (2001-2002), he started his research group at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in 2002, and then moved to Washington University in 2008. He has authored more than 125 papers and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2005), a Phytochemical Society of North America Arthur Neish Young Investigator Award (2007), a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award (2012), and an HHMI Professor award (2014). He currently serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Biological Chemistry and The Biochemical Journal. Research in the Jez lab uses a combination of structural biology, protein chemistry, and plant biology to understand how environmental changes re-model biochemical pathways in plants and microbes at the molecular, cellular, and organism levels with the aim of engineering these systems to address agricultural and environmental problems.