Patrick Shih


Patrick Shih

Assistant Professor

College/School/Department: College of Biological Sciences, Department of Plant Biology


What made you choose Davis?

Davis has one of the best plant and agricultural programs in the world. So as a plant biologist, it was a no-brainer to come to Davis! Also, it’s great to be near the Sierra!

What inspires you?

The diversity and complexity that can arise from evolution.

What research are you currently working on? What makes it unique?

I am working on developing synthetic biology approaches to engineer plants. Engineering crops may offer solutions to some big challenges that we’ll face in the future, such as sustainability, human health and bioenergy. This is a young research area and we’re excited to help advance the field to a state where it can be used for diverse applications.

If you could impart one piece of advice to our undergraduates seeking a course of study/career path, what would it be?

Take whatever classes strike your fancy, even if they seem random. College is the only time you’ll be exposed to so many different ideas and topics, so make the most of it. If you’re interested in science, get involved in undergraduate research and get as much hands-on training in the lab as possible.

When not in the classroom or conducting research, what do you like to do?

Ideally, I’m backpacking in the mountains when I’m not in the lab. I also love cooking and eating!

Have you found your favorite spot on campus yet?

The UC Davis Meat Lab is pretty awesome.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I wish I had the power of time travel. I would go back in time to study evolution throughout the history of life on Earth. Also win a couple of lotteries.


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