In our December 14th 2021 conversation with Patrick Holec we learned about some of the thinking and decisions he made on his path to pursuing his PhD in Biological Engineering at MIT.
Patrick is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. Like many students, Patrick didn’t automatically know what path he wanted his career to take. His natural abilities and interests were in math, but was also thinking about ways he could make an immediate difference in the world, which drew him towards the field of medicine. Patrick found the best way to move forward was to dedicate himself to asking questions and learning – and seeing that sometimes being wrong is all part of the process.
Today, Patrick is a sixth-year graduate student working in Michael Birnbaum’s lab. He started his graduate work the same year his advisor started the lab at MIT, which has been a learning process in itself.
Patrick sees himself as a tool builder, aiming to help immunologists and clinicians. His work is dedicated to creating something that will answer one question and unknowingly help to answer another question, and then another.