Candace Summerford, PhD
Chief Patent Officer
Candace Summerford combines her scientific expertise with over 19 years of experience in patent law. Prior to joining AskBio in 2018, she spent 15 years at Nixon Peabody LLP, practicing intellectual property counseling and transactions, and prior to that she was at Palmer and Dodge, LLP. She has prosecuted and managed extensive worldwide portfolios in the fields of tissue engineering, stem cells, biomaterial scaffolds, and gene therapy. Her experience also includes performing due diligence reviews and freedom-to-operate analyses in the areas of RNA interference, gene therapy, orphan disease therapeutics, stem cell therapies, and gene delivery, including lentivirus, AAV, and HSV vectors.
Dr. Summerford completed her dissertation work in the laboratory of R. Jude Samulski, PhD, where she made seminal contributions in the field of AAV biology and AAV gene therapy vectors, including the identification of heparan sulfate as a cellular receptor for AAV. She continued as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Samulski’s laboratory focusing on AAV biology and was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Richard Mulligan, PhD, at Harvard Medical School. She earned her doctorate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Pharmacology, where she graduated with honors. Dr. Summerford is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.