Jim Metz received his BSc from the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. His Ph.D. work centered on identification of proteins associated with the photosystem II reaction center. He continued the study of photosynthetic electron transport systems during three post-doctoral positions, culminating with molecular biology work at DuPont. In 1989 Jim made the move to industrial biotechnology and his work since then has focused on projects related to lipid biosynthesis in plants and microbes. Jim officially retired at the end of 2013 but remains active in the field as a consultant.