Meet Our Advisor Dr. Chirag Patel, Harvard Medical School

We continue our series of interviews with our advisors. This week meet Dr. Chirag Patel from Harvard Medical School. His research interests concern how the genome — and environment — is connected with our health.

What are your research interests?

Who we are — our phenotype — is determined by the interplay between our genomes and exposomes (defined as the totality of non-genetic factors, including drugs, diet, infectious agents, and pollutants). To understand what makes us healthy and sick, we must understand the relationship between our collective environments and genes. We attempt to dissect the relationship between the genome and environment in human health using tools of translational bioinformatics in large data streams such as electronic health records and epidemiological cohorts, integrating personal exposure monitoring, the microbiome, and genome sequence information to obtain a comprehensive picture of who we are.

What is an multi-omics approach?

Our ability to know is only as good as our capacity to measure. A multi-omics approach attempts to harness the more accessible costs of measuring more molecular information in a high throughput way to begin to understand how and why disease occurs, or even better, how to define resilience and health.

What type of research would most benefit the convergence between AI and omics?

Executing research to understand why we get diseases — and why we don’t — should be the promise of any new technology. I think the convergence between AI and genomics is no different.

Why did you join as an advisor?

I joined as their vision for adoption of emerging computer technologies and genomics techniques to ultimately translate findings to individuals to be in line with my own.

You can learn more about Dr. Patel research interests here.

Check also one of his latest publications “In the Era of Precision Medicine and Big Data, Who Is Normal?