Laura helps companies capitalize on their new ideas to build their assets. Her legal practice focuses on the chemical arts, which stems from a combination of her masters and doctorate degrees in Organic Chemistry, and a decade of work as a research scientist at the bench.
Laura has a passion for nucleic acid chemistry, initiated by her training with Dr. Robert Letsinger, who pioneered the de novo chemical synthesis of DNA. Her doctoral thesis at Northwestern University encompassed the synthesis of chemically-modified DNA sequences of the most abundant transposable elements in the human genome. She studied the structure and function of these chemically-modified DNA sequences as a tool to understand how nucleic acids could be used as diagnostic agents and as medical drugs for treatment of diseases.
Laura also completed a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Michael Weiss at the University of Chicago where she investigated the electrostatic and chemical basis of sequence-dependent protein-nucleic acid recognition pertaining to gene regulation. Additionally, she studied RNA recognition motifs that interact with arginine-rich peptide sequences, which are found in immunodeficiency viruses. Upon completion of her post-doc, Laura continued as a research faculty member at the University of Chicago.
Laura has significant industrial experience, such as working as a research chemist at Kraft General Foods, where she designed the large scale chemical synthesis of the edible fat substitute Olestra®, resulting in six patents. She also worked at Abbott Laboratories in the Diagnostic Division, where she developed nucleic acid-based diagnostic products to detect disease. In addition, Laura worked as an analytical chemist at Exelon (Commonwealth Edison).
Laura’s legal practice includes patent procurement (drafting and prosecution); litigation; patentability, invalidity and infringement analyses; freedom-to-operate opinions; licensing agreements; appeals; and inter partes proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Laura has extensive experience working with polymer technologies. She has in-depth knowledge of polymer chemistry, especially in polyolefin films and fabrics, thermoforming, extrusion coatings, adhesives, sealants, geotextiles, industrial and food packaging, concrete reinforcement, flooring materials, carpets and carpet backings, paints, polymer composites, and chemical safety materials.
Laura also helps generic pharmaceutical companies develop effective patent invalidation strategies for Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA)/Hatch-Waxman cases, using her deep chemistry background to elucidate the complex structure and function of pharmaceutical agents. Her wealth of patent prosecution experience provides unique insight into patent invalidity principles.
Some of the pharmaceutical agents that Laura has worked on include the following: metastasis inhibitors, antifungal antibiotics, anticoagulants, macrolides, rifamycin antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, reverse transcriptase inhibitors, anticonvulsants, estrogen receptor antagonists, antipsychotics, topical analgesics, appetite stimulants, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder modulators, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, atypical antibiotics, dopamine agonists and psychostimulants.
She has worked with companies in sectors such as diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, nanotechnology, polymer chemistry, biotech, genetics, nutrition, agriculture, medicine and medical devices, instrumentation and life science research to help them reach their business objectives. Additionally, she advises companies on issues relating to subject matter eligibility for nucleic acid patents, gene patents and personalized medicine patents.
Laura’s patent list includes: U.S. Patent No. 5,424,420; European Patent No. 064765; Norway Patent No. 0943707; Finland Patent No. 944625; and Canadian Patent No. 2,131,786.