Sandra A. Sciascia-Zirger, PhD

Patent Agent
Tel 678.420.9346
Fax 678.420.9301

Sandra A. Sciascia-Zirger is an experienced patent agent and a member of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical teams in Ballard Spahr's Patents Group. Sandra has sound knowledge in the areas of molecular biology, genetics, autoimmunity, gene therapy, and immunology. She is experienced in drafting and prosecuting both U.S. and foreign patent applications in the biological sciences. She regularly assists in preparing patentability opinions and in maintaining client patent portfolios.

As part of her doctoral research in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas, Sandra developed a toxin therapy to alleviate disease symptoms in an SLE mouse model, and a new animal model for Lupus by inducing SLE-like symptoms in wild type Balb/c mice. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Gene Therapy Research Institute in Los Angeles, she used viral vectors to transport transgenes of interest into murine brains and studied transgene expression levels and stability in the presence and absence of a peripheral immune response.

Sandra is the former Director of Research at GeneCure Biotechnologies in Atlanta, where she developed infectious disease vaccines using lentiviral vectors and directed a Phase I clinical trial for a therapeutic HIV vaccine.


Co-author, "Novel Gene Therapeutic Approaches to Brain Cancer," Gene Therapy For Neurological Disorders, Chapter 13, Published By Taylor & Francis Group, 2006

Co-author, "Immunization of Nonautoimmune Mice with DNA Binding Domains Of The Largest Subunit Of RNA Polymerase I Results In Production of Anti-Dsdna and Anti-Sm/RNP Antibodies," Autoimmunity, February 2007

Co-author, "Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Thymidine Kinase Sequence Fused to the Lacz Gene Increases Levels of {Beta}-Galactosidase Activity per Genome of High-Capacity but Not First-Generation Adenoviral Vectors In Vitro and In Vivo," Journal Of Virology, February 2009

Co-author, "Quantification of High-Capacity Helper-Dependent Adenoviral Vector Genomes In Vitro And In Vivo, Using Quantitative Taqman Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction," Human Gene Therapy, May 2006

Co-author, "Regulatable Gutless Adenovirus Vectors Sustain Inducible Transgene Expression in the Brain in the Presence of an Immune Response Against Adenoviruses," Journal Of Virology, January 2006

Co-author, "Gene Therapy for Pituitary Tumors," Review, Current Gene Therapy, December 2005

Co-author, "Stability of Lentiviral Vector-Mediated Transgene Expression in the Brain in the Presence of Systemic Antivector Immune Responses," Human Gene Therapy, June 2005

Co-author, "Regulatable Gene Expression Systems for Gene Therapy Applications: Progress and Future Challenges," Review, Molecular Therapy, August 2005

Co-author, "Autoantibodies and Autoantigens in the Urine of SLE Patients," Autoimmunity, September-November 2004.

University of Kansas (Ph.D. 2003, molecular genetics)
Course Instructor, "Genetics Laboratory"

University of Montevallo (B.Sc. 1997, biology, cum laude)

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office