Patrick came to the fellowship with lengthy, intertwined experience in policy-making, health care and biotechnology legal practice, bioethics, and academics. He is a concurrent faculty member at Harvard Medical School and is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Director of Ethics Analysis and Applications in the Informatics Program Staff Scientist, Children's Hospital Boston; and Formerly Chief Counsel for Research Affairs at Children's Hospital. His longstanding, multidisciplinary research interest is the mutual translation and evolution of law and policy imperatives in health care, science policy, biomedical research and biotechnology, in particular subjects in which law poorly translates ethics, or, conversely, ethics’ claim to legal influence is open to question. He has been actively involved, as a lawyer, on policy-making bodies embodying his ideas for new norms.
His writings, on subjects as diverse as stem cell research, public engagement in science policy-making, the role of IRBs in research conflicts of interest, justice and respect for persons in translational genomic research, clinical network development, patient-controlled electronic medical records, and the ethics of intellectual property, have appeared in Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Science Translational Medicine, Cell Stem Cell, Academic Medicine, Science and Engineering Ethics, Drug Development, the Journal of the American Informatics Association, the American Bar Association’s Health Lawyer, the Journal of the New York State Bar Association, and the New York Health Law Journal. His conceptual piece, "Retroactive Ethics in Rapidly Developing Fields of Science," was advance published online and open source by Cell press, and became the centerpiece of Cell's successful efforts to mobilize scientific and public advocacy to revise the NIH's initial proposed funding guidelines. An empirical study, critiquing the geographic, scientific, and ethical adequacy of state payer mandates to cover patients' care costs associated with cancer clinical research, was advance published online with press notification in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and its recommendations were included in the 2010 national health care reform legislation. The leading scientific journal, Nature, requested and published his comments on the district court decision stopping all federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. He is a co-investigator on two NIH grants on returning individualized genetic research results to anonymized participants, accounts of which have been published in Science and Science Translational Medicine, and a consultant on a third, examining academic consulting arrangements.
At the Petrie-Flom Center, his work focused primarily on two issues: industry-academic conflicts of interest related to biomedical research, and evaluating judicial and administrative methods for determining "facts" relevant to science/ethics policy-making. The latter includes the methods courts use to determine congressional meaning, as well as administrative agencies' increasing use of bioethics to influence policy-making within legal systems committed to democratic values. He also pursued various projects related to resolving clashes among ethical commitments, such as the conflicts among autonomy, public benefit, and justice in biobanking and future research.