Jane Cullis is a science advisor in the firm’s Litigation Department and a member of its Intellectual Property practice. She contributes to the firm’s work in patent litigation, patent opinions and due diligence. Dr. Cullis is an editor and contributor to the firm’s award-winning biosimilars blog, Big Molecule Watch.
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 signaling pathways regulated by the RAS oncogene, which is mutated in over 90% of pancreatic cancers. Dr. Cullis’ research identified the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1 as a critical amplifier of oncogenic signaling in animal models of pancreatic cancer. 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 and are activated by nab-paclitaxel, resulting in 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.