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Google Scholar COVID-19 Pandemic Response Biocomplexity Institute


Christopher L. Barrett is the inaugural Distinguished Professor in Biocomplexity, Executive Director of the Biocomplexity Institute, and Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia. He is an interdisciplinary computational scientist who has published more than 100 research articles exploring all aspects of large multi-scale interaction systems. During the past 35 years, Barrett has conceived, founded, and led large interdisciplinary complex systems research projects and organizations, established national and international technology programs, and co-founded organizations for federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security. 

Barrett is the recipient of the 2012–2013 Jubilee Professorship in Computer Science and Engineering at Chalmers University in Göteborg, Sweden and is a member of the 2010 Royal Colloquium for the King of Sweden. He was a Distinguished International Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (1997–1998). He has received distinguished research, service, advisory and security awards from the U.S. Navy, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Alliance for Transportation Research. He has served as advisor to many organizations, including U.S. government agencies, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the European Commission. He holds seven patents and has ten pending.

Full Biography  



U.S. Navy Aerospace Experimental Psychology, Medical Service Corps Post Ph.D. Certification, 1986

California Institute of Technology, Ph.D. in Bioinformation Systems and Engineering Science, 1985

California Institute of Technology, M.S., Engineering Science, 1983

University of New Mexico, B.S., 1976

"The Biocomplexity Institute encourages formal, analytical and computational methods that unify approaches to disparate problems ranging from biomolecular science to public policy. Our transdisciplinary teams of research scientists create analytical innovations that extend human capability to understand and manage massive interdependencies in the real world. Such problems do not normally conform to disciplinary boundaries or convenient scales; they do not conform to distinctions between engineering and basic science. However, scientific pursuit of ever-improving approaches to these complex problems - as they occur - is critical to human survival. "

Christopher L. Barrett Executive Director, Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative

Research Interests

Large multi-scale, high-performance modeling and simulation systems grounded in computational and information sciences spanning mathematical, biological, psychological and social sciences.
Dynamical Networks called Sequential/Graphical systems grounded in topics ranging from RNA to social dynamics and policy.
Theoretical and applied research in intelligent systems.
Translational research-to-application analytics and machine intelligence.
Dynamical Networks
Theoretical and Applied Research Intelligent Systems
Translational Research-to-Application Analytics
Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning

Selected Publications

Sequence-structure relations of biopolymers. Barrett C, Huang F, Reidys C. Bioinformatics, 33 (3):382–389. (2018)
Multiplicity of phenotypes and RNA evolution. Rezazadegan R, Barrett C, Reidys C. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 447:139–46. (2018)
A Simulation Environment for the Dynamic Evaluation of Disaster Preparedness Policies and Interventions. Lewis B, Swarup S, Bisset K, Eubank S, Marathe M, Barrett C. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 19: S42-S48. (2013)
Human Initiated Cascading Failures in Societal Infrastructures. Barrett C, Channakeshava K, Huang F, Kim J, Marathe A, Marathe M, Pei G, Saha S, Subbiah R, Vullikanti a Plos One, 7(10): E45406. (2012)
Economic and social impact of influenza mitigation strategies by demographic class. Barrett C, Bisset K, Leidig J, Marathe A, Marathe M Epidemics Ournal, 3(1):19-31. (2011)
Predecessor existence problems for finite discrete dynamical systems. Barrett C, Hunt III H, Marathe M, Ravi S, Rosenkrantz D, Stearns R, Thakur M. Theoretical Computer Science, 386(1–2):3–37. (2007)
Complexity of reachability problems for finite discrete dynamical systems. Barrett C, Hunt III H, Marathe, M, Ravi, S, Rosenkrantz, D, Stearns, R Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 72(8):1317–1345. (2006)
The distance-2 matching problem and its relationship to the MAC-layer capacity of ad hoc wireless networks. Balakrishnan H, Barrett C, Vullikanti A, Marathe M, Thite S Ieee Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 22(6):1069-1079. (2004)
Reachability problems for sequential dynamical systems with threshold functions. Barrett C, Hunt III Hb, Marathe M, Ravi S, Rosenkrantz D, Stearns R Theoretical Computer Science, 295(1–3): 41–64. (2003)
TRANSIMS: Transportation analysis simulation system. Los Alamos National Laboratory Unclassified. Report (Unclassified). Barrett C, Beckman R, Berkbigler K, Bisset K, Bush B, Campbell K, Marathe M (2001).
Elements of a theory of simulation II: sequential dynamical systems. Barrett C, Mortveit H, Reidys C Applied Mathematics and Computation, 107(2-3):121-136.(2000)
Formal language constrained path problems. Siam Journal of Computing Barrett C, Jacob R, Marathe M , 30(3):809–837.(2000)
Using Microsimulation Feedback For Trip Adaptation For Realistic Traffic In Dallas. Nagel K, Barrett C International Journal of Modern Physics C, 08(03):505-525.(1997)


Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine 2021
Endowed Distinguished Professor of Biocomplexity, University of Virginia 2019
Jubilee Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Chalmers University, Göteborg, Sweden 2012–2013
Distinguished Achievement Award, Los Alamos National Laboratory 1995
Meritorious Service Medal (U.S. Navy) for research and development in automated assisted reasoning systems for naval aircraft 1988