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David Savage studies how microbes efficiently assimilate carbon dioxide and is building on this knowledge with the goal of improving photosynthesis in plants. Specifically, Savage and his team want to adapt microbial biochemical machinery, such as the capsid-like, CO2-concentrating carboxysome of cyanobacteria, and install it within the chloroplast of plant cells. They are currently working to define a molecular understanding of carboxysome assembly and function using mechanistic biochemistry and structural biology. The team has so far identified the genes involved in manufacturing carboxysomes and successfully used genome editing tools and techniques to transform E. coli to fix ambient CO2.