Maria C. Smith Ph.D.

Maria C. Smith Ph.D.
+1 617 570 1197

Maria Smith is an associate focused on helping life sciences companies and investors build strategic patent protection around their commercialized and developing products. Dr. Smith has extensive experience with prior art searches, competitive landscape reviews, freedom to operate analyses, IP diligence, US and ex-US patent prosecution, and overall patent strategies.


Dr. Smith’s representative experience includes:

  • Strategically developing patent portfolios for life sciences companies and investors of all sizes.
  • Representing clients before the PTAB in both ex parte appeals and inter partes reviews.
  • Assisting in due diligence and freedom to operate analysis.
  • Conducting expert prior art and patent landscape searches.
  • Providing technical expertise for litigation matters including IP litigation, government enforcement & compliance, and healthcare/FDA-related matters.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin, Dr. Smith was most recently a patent agent at Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston.

Before joining Choate, Dr. Smith worked as a full-time intern at the MassGeneral Brigham Innovation Office. She was also a contract Science Education writer for the Journal of Visualized Experiments, and a postdoctoral fellow and scientific writer at Brandeis University, where she interned in the Brandeis Technology Licensing Office. While finishing graduate school, she also interned at PureTech Ventures (now PureTech Health) and Akili Interactive.

Dr. Smith received her PhD in Neurosciences from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She conducted her doctoral research at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, exploring pathogenesis of neurological diseases in postmortem human tissue development of the central nervous system using rodent model systems that she developed. The majority of her studies focused on the origin of central nervous system cells in the developing mammalian brain, particularly resident stem cell populations and astrocytes. She employed a wide variety of techniques including developing and characterizing novel transgenic animals, cell culture and transplant studies, and advanced imaging.

Dr. Smith also participated in key industrial collaborations, participated in developing standard operating procedures for a company spun out of laboratory technology, supervised and trained various medical and graduate students and research technicians, and co-authored several protocols, multi-year NIH and MS Society grants, and peer-reviewed manuscripts. While at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Smith regularly participated in conferences and received several presentation awards, meeting travel awards, and was an invited conference speaker.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in Neuroscience and Behavior, and received fellowships from both the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and National Science Foundation.




Boston College Law School

(Sheila McGovern Award)


Case Western Reserve University

ABNeuroscience and Behavior2004

Mount Holyoke College

(cum laude, highest honors)



  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Massachusetts


Dr. Smith’s recent publications include:

Dr. Smith’s recent speaking engagements include:

  • Panelist for “Women in Big Law” at Boston College Law School (2021).
  • Annual Panelist for Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center CURE Program: Beyond Academia: Conversations on Health and Life Sciences (2016-present). 
  • Panelist for conference for high school girls interested in STEM careers (2013-14).
  • Speaker, “Specification of an astrocyte-restricted lineage at the beginning of nervous system development,” American Society for Neurochemistry, Baltimore MD (2012).
  • Speaker, “BT4 cells generate a dynamic cell population in the developing mouse brain,” Gordon Research Conference in Myelin, Ventura Beach CA (2010).