Jack Pronk holds an MSc (Biology) from Leiden University and a PhD (Microbiology) from the Delft University of Technology where, in 1999, he was appointed full professor in Industrial Microbiology. Yeasts are key experimental models in Jack’s research, which aims to understand and improve microbial performance in industrial processes by integrating quantitative physiology, genomics, metabolic engineering and evolutionary engineering. Highlights include successful metabolic and evolutionary engineering of baker’s yeast for anaerobic, high-yield alcoholic fermentation of pentose sugars, engineering of product export to boost product of C4-dicarboxylic acids and the expression of Calvin Cycle enzymes in yeasts to improve product yields on sugars. Jack (co)authored over 250 scientific publications and is (co-)inventor on 25 patent applications. Several inventions by his team are applied in large-scale industrial processes. From 2003-2014, Jack was director of the Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, a Netherlands-based Centre of Excellence involving research groups from 7 Dutch Universities. Jack loves teaching and, in 2014, received the “Best Professor” award from the Delft University Fund. In 2015 he was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, in 2016 he was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant and in 2018 he received the International Metabolic Engineering Award.