The long-term research goal of Chirag Patel's Group is to solve problems in human health and disease by developing bioinformatics approaches to reason over large-scale environmental exposure and genomic information spanning molecules to populations.

Your Life in Big Data: Genes and Environment

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 attain a comprehensive picture of who we are.

A viewpoint summarizing our work and the future of big data research in population health can be read in Journal of the American Medical Association, in GenomeWeb (4/2014) and Genetic Engineering News (12/2015), Biomedical Computation Review (2016), The Washington Post (2019), the Verge (2019), and Knowable Magazine (2019).

Check out our group-related news and updates!

Affiliations and Funding

Our group is located in the new Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. We are funded by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), the National Science Foundation Big Data Spokes, and the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation.

I am also a co-founder and consultant to, a company that seeks to bring exposome data analytics to the healthcare industry.