Patrick Varilly, PhD (He/Him) is a computational research scientist in the Sabeti lab, where he is developing improved methods for phylogenetic inference and outbreak reconstruction. More broadly, he is interested in harnessing the ongoing explosion in sequencing and epidemiological data to better understand viral evolution and spread, and thus help mitigate or stop future outbreaks.
Patrick obtained his bachelor’s and Ph.D. in physics at MIT and UC Berkeley, respectively. At MIT, he did undergraduate research with Pardis on detecting signals of recent natural selection in humans. His PhD in David Chandler’s group at Berkeley centered on computational simulation and modeling of hydrophobic forces. He spent two years as a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow in Daan Frenkel’s lab in Cambridge, developing Monte Carlo simulations and coarse-grained models of the interaction and self-assembly of DNA-coated colloids. From 2011 to 2021, Patrick worked variously as a data scientist, data engineer, and software engineer in a variety of commercial sectors.
Outside of the lab, Patrick is an avid nonfiction reader and continues to feed his lifelong fascination with how machines and societies work. He has been a freelance software engineer since 2016 and lives in Brussels, Belgium with his wife and two children.