Rana Sawaya, PhD

Dr. Rana Sawaya’s practice focuses on US and foreign patent prosecution, patent portfolio management, patentability assessment, freedom-to-operate analysis, non-infringement and invalidity opinions, litigation support and other areas of client counseling in the life sciences and biotechnology fields.

Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Sawaya worked as a technology specialist at another New York law firm, where she focused on patent prosecution and also conducted patent due diligence, validity and freedom-to-operate investigations for biotechnology clients. Dr. Sawaya also worked as a management consultant for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the areas of strategy and operations. Her projects included studying the commercial potential of early-stage therapeutic products, as well as optimizing basic research process flows for the promotion of higher efficiency.

While studying for her PhD, Dr. Sawaya investigated the enzymatic mechanism of mRNA capping enzyme and tRNA ligase, two essential RNA processing enzymes, at the Sloan-Kettering Institute. In addition, she studied the potential of using Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane proteins as vaccine agents against meningitis while studying for her Master of Science degree at McGill University.

Selected Publications

  • Sawaya R., Schwer B. and Shuman S., 2005, Structure-function analysis of the yeast NAD+-dependent tRNA 2'­ phosphotransferase Tptl, RNA, 11(1): 107-13
  • Schwer B., Sawaya R., Ho C.K. and Shuman S., 2004, Portability and fidelity of RNA-repair systems, Proc Nat/ Acad. Sci. U.S.A.,1 01(9):2788-93
  • Sawaya R., Schwer B. and Shuman S., 2003, Genetic and biochemical analysis of the functional domains of yeast tRNA ligase, J. Bioi. Chern., 278(45):43928-38
  • Sawaya R. and Shuman S., 2003, Mutational analysis of the guanylyltransferase component of mammalian mRNA capping enzyme, Biochemistry, 42(27):8240-9
  • Sawaya R., Arhin F.F., Moreau F., Coulton J.W. and Mills E.L., 1999, Mutational analysis of the promoter region of the porA gene of Neisseria meningitidis, Gene, 233(1-2):49-57

Professional Activities

Dr. Sawaya is a member of the Patents Committee at the New York City Bar Association, and a member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the New York Intellectual Property Association.


Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Fordham University School of Law, 2012

    • PhD, Molecular Biology, Cornell University Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 2004

    • MS, Microbiology, McGill University, 1998

    • BS, Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, 1996

      with Great Distinction
  • Admissions

    • New York

    • New Jersey

    • United States Patent and Trademark Office

  • Languages

    • French

    • Arabic