Sommer S. Zimmerman, Ph.D.


Sommer S. Zimmerman is a member of the Chemical and Pharmaceutical practice teams in Ballard Spahr's Patents Group. Sommer has multidisciplinary experience collaborating with synthetic organic chemists, biologists, and pharmacologists. She is proficient in drafting and prosecuting both U.S. and foreign patent applications encompassing chemical and pharmaceutical technologies.

As part of her doctoral research within the Department of Chemistry at Emory University, Sommer developed and implemented multi-step synthetic routes to access a novel class of subunit selective potentiators of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors for the treatment of nervous system disorders. She has co-authored multiple scientific publications and has presented her work at national conferences. In addition, Sommer served as an intern in the Emory University Office of Technology Transfer, where she authored technology briefs for potential out-licensing opportunities of Emory technologies and performed market analysis, including market size, potential licensees, and alternative markets for patented technologies.

Professional Highlights

Professional Activities

Georgia State University IP Law Society

Patents and Patent Publications

Co-inventor, "NMDA Receptor Modulators and Uses Related Thereto," US Patent No. 9,737,522 B2

Co-inventor, "Subunit Selective NMDA Receptor Antagonists for the Treatment of Neurological Conditions," US Publication No. 2011/0319416 A1

Speaking Engagements

"Potentiation of the GluN2C Containing NMDA Receptors by Pyrrolidinones, a Novel Class of Compounds," Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, October 13-17, 2012

"Design, Synthesis and Structure-Activity-Relationship of a Novel Series of GluN2C Selective Potentiators," Abstract of Papers, 244th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Philadelphia, August 19-23, 2012

"Potentiation of the GluN2C Containing NMDA Receptors by Pyrrolidinones, a Novel Class of Compounds," Postdoctoral Fellow Research Symposium, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, May 31, 2012


Co-author, "A Novel Negative Allosteric Modulator Selective for GluN2C/2D-Containing NMDA Receptors Inhibits Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampal Interneurons," ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2017

Co-author, "Design, Synthesis, and Structure-Activity Relationship of a Novel Series of GluN2C-Selective Potentiators," J. Med. Chem., 2014

Co-author, "Novel NMDA Receptor Modulators: An Update," Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents, 2012

Co-author, "Consecutive Sigmatropic Rearrangements in the Enantioselective Total Synthesis of (-)-Joubertinamine and (-)-Mesembrine," Tetrahedron, 2009



Georgia State University College of Law (J.D. 2019)
Recipient, Certificate in Intellectual Property, 2019
Recipient, Intellectual Property Scholarship, 2016

Emory University (Ph.D., organic chemistry, 2013)

Florida State University (B.S., psychology and criminology, 2006; B.S., chemistry, 2008)



U.S. Patent and Trademark Office