In addition to Dr. Cullis’ research experience, she was co-founder and director of the NYU School of Medicine Women in Science group and serves as a science advisor on the research committee of the nonprofit organization for pancreatic cancer, Project Purple.
Jane Cullis is a science advisor in the firm’s Litigation Department and a member of its Intellectual Property group. She contributes to the firm’s work in patent litigation, patent opinions and due diligence. Dr. Cullis joined the firm in 2019.
Dr. Cullis obtained her Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Robert Rottapel. Dr. Cullis’ thesis focused on deciphering the function of a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor, GEF-H1, in the development of tumors driven by the RAS oncogene, which include over 90% of pancreatic cancers. Dr. Cullis’ research identified GEF-H1 as a transcriptional target of RAS and a critical amplifier of oncogenic signaling in RAS-mutant tumors. Critically, RNAi silencing of GEF-H1 selectively inhibited tumor growth in animal models of pancreatic cancer that carried RAS mutations. Dr. Cullis’ work was published in the journal Cancer Cell in 2014 and was awarded the Ontario Cancer Institute and Princess Margaret Hospital paper of the year.
Dr. Cullis continued her research in pancreatic cancer as a postdoctoral fellow at the New York University School of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Dafna Bar-Sagi. There, Dr. Cullis identified a novel mechanism of action of the FDA-approved drug nanoparticle albumin-bound-paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel, trade name Abraxane) on macrophages, the predominant immune cell type in pancreatic tumors. Dr. Cullis found that macrophages internalize nab-paclitaxel via a macropinocytosis endocytosis mechanism, resulting in their shift toward a tumor cell cytotoxic phenotype. Dr. Cullis’ work was featured on the cover of the journal Cancer Immunology Research in 2017, and NYU School of Medicine named Dr. Cullis Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar of the Year.
Dr. Cullis was supported by the Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology, Edward Dunlop Foundation Award (2007-2011), the McCuaig-Throop Bursary (2008), and the Ontario Student Opportunities Trust Fund Award (2007) from the University of Toronto throughout her graduate studies. Dr. Cullis’ postdoctoral research was funded by the Molecular Oncology and Immunology Training Grant (2013-2015) and the Immunology and Inflammation Training Grant (2016-2017) from the NYU School of Medicine.
University of Toronto