KH: As a missileer, everything is done by the books. There are checklists for every procedure. When I got out of the Air Force, I was really interested in doing something on my own, not proscribed by books, answering new questions instead of just reciting things that I had learned. Engineering biology really appealed to me. I came across a paper by June Medford, a professor at Colorado State University. She's one of the few people doing plant synthetic biology. I started working for her as an administrator and worked my way back into the lab. When you think about it—food, fiber, fuel, feed—they all come from plants. They are a little bit like magic.