Raised in rural McMinnville, Oregon, Patrick pursued a liberal arts degree in Human Biology as part of the Joint Science Department of the Claremont Colleges at Pitzer College (Claremont, CA). It was at Pitzer that Patrick became serious about understanding life’s molecular underpinnings, thanks in large part to the passionate and rigorous training of Dr. Mary Hatcher-Skeers and Dr. Emily Wiley. Patrick’s enthusiasm for science was building, and after a truly inspiring summer at Stanford University under the tutelage of Drs. Leonore and Leonard Herzenberg, he decided to look for a position in science to further hone his bench skills before taking the leap into graduate school.
Shortly after leaving Pitzer, Patrick began a three-year tenure as a research technician in the laboratory of Muneesh Tewari at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA). Patrick’s research most heavily focused on advancing the concept of extracellular microRNAs as blood-based biomarkers for cancer detection at the stage of organ-confined disease, although his interests in basic biology led him to also pursue putative functional roles of extracellular miRNAs (e.g., miRNA-mediated cell:cell communication) as well as fundamental biology regarding the mechanism(s) that confer them protection (e.g., exosomes, extracellular miRNP complex).
Attracted to the elegance and pervasive nature of the evolutionary approach taken by the Malik laboratory to study genetic conflict --- in particular, ancient and extant arms races between viruses and their infected hosts --- Patrick joined the Malik laboratory as a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow for his graduate training the summer of 2010. Molecular insight into the processes that underlie host:virus interactions can be gained by evaluating the genetic history of genes evolving under conflict. In this way, evolutionary signatures rationalize novel perspectives into host:virus interactions. Patrick is using this approach to characterize the molecular evolution of host restriction factors, which he predicts will lead to unique perspectives into the molecular mechanisms that afford intrinsic and innate immunity against viral pathogens.
When outside the laboratory, Patrick enjoys nothing more than the company of his friends and family. Often he can be found at one of Seattle’s vivacious (and yummy) Farmer’s Markets or testing a new cooking ‘experiment’ with his girlfriend Alana and canine companion Kadie.