I am a biophysics Phd student at Purdue University working in Prof. Andrew Mugler’s research group.

I study phenomena in the field of biophysics using computational and mathematical models. My thesis research relates to problems pertaining to how noise and fluctuations in a cell’s microenvironment limit its ability to chemotax, and how collective cell behavior can improve chemotactic performance.

I am currently teaching myself some machine learning algorithms, you may check up on my progress here.

Here is a link to my cv, and my Linkedin. You may also check out my github page to view the simulation code I developed for my research.

Research Papers


  • J. Varennes, S. Fancher, B. Han, and A. Mugler. Emergent versus individual-based multicellular chemotaxis. Physical Review Letters, 2017. [paper][preprint]
  • J. Varennes, B. Han, and A. Mugler. Collective chemotaxis through noisy multicellular gradient sensing. Biophysical Journal, 2016. [paper][preprint]
  • J. Varennes and A. Mugler. Sense and sensitivity: physical limits to multicellular sensing, migration and drug response. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2016. [paper][preprint]
  • A.W. Cummings, J. Varennes, F. Léonard. Electrical Contacts to Three-Dimensional Arrays of Carbon Nanotubes. Nanotechnology, IEEE Transactions, 2013. [paper][preprint]

Presentations & Invited Talks

  • “Emergent versus Individual-based Chemotaxis in Cell Clusters”, American Physical Society March Meeting, New Orleans. 3/17
  • “Emergent versus Individual-based Chemotaxis in Cell Clusters”, Gordon Research Conference on Stochastic Physics in Biology, Ventura CA. 1/17
  • “Collective Migration due to Multicellular Chemical Sensing”, Midwest Quantitative Biology Symposium, Purdue University. 10/17
  • “Collective Cell Sensing & Multicellular Migration”, Invited talk, University of Edinburgh. 9/16
  • “Collective Sensing & Migration during Tumor Cell Invasion”, Purdue Cancer Research Day, Purdue University. 9/16
  • “Limits to the Precision and Speed of Multicellular Chemotaxis”, 10th Annual q-bio Conference, Vanderbilt University. 7/16
  • “Collective Cell Migration”, Physics Graduate Student Seminar, Purdue University. 7/16
  • “Limits to Collective Chemotaxis”, Information, Probability and Inference in Systems Biology Conference, Institute of Science and Technology Austria. 5/16
  • “Limits to Collective Chemotaxis”, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy, Purdue University. 5/16
  • “Limits to Chemically Guided Multicellular Migration”, American Physical Society March Meeting, Baltimore. 3/16
  • “Tumor Cell Invasion: A Process of Collective Cell Migration and Sensing”, Purdue Cancer Research Day. 10/15
  • “Collective Cell Migration and Sensing”, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Protein Galaxy, Purdue University. 5/15

Contact me

Please feel free to send me an email using the mail icon at the bottom of the page or connect with me on