Patrick Phillips is a professor in the Department of Biology, member of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, a member of the NIH Center for excellence in systems biology, META, and the acting executive director of the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon. He has formerly held positions as the director of the Institute for Ecology and Evolution, the head of the Department of Biology, and associate vice president for research. A nationally recognized expert in ecology and evolution, Phillips’ research focuses on the biology of aging, genomics, and the genetics of complex traits. He has helped to pioneer our understanding of how complex genetic interactions shape the way that organisms develop, behave, and evolve. He is now applying these approaches toward discovering how to increase people's health spans and decrease the impacts of environmental stress over the lifetime of an individual.
As the acting executive director of the Knight Campus, Phillips is responsible for leading the design and construction process for new scientific research buildings on the new Knight Campus, establishing governance and educational policies for the new campus, and initiating and supporting innovative graduate internship and entrepreneurship programs. In this capacity he reports directly to the president. Phillips received a BA from Reed College in biology, an MS and PhD from University of Chicago in evolutionary biology, and did his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of James F. Crow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.