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Maria A. DeCicco RePass, Ph.D.

Maria A. DeCicco RePass is an associate in the firm’s Boston office. She is a member of the IP Procurement and Portfolio Management practice group and works with a wide range of early-stage and established biotechnology companies. Maria applies her extensive experience in molecular biochemistry, parasitology, and immunology to help clients develop strategic patent portfolios.

Maria earned her J.D. at The George Washington University Law School and her Ph.D. in immunology at Tufts University. Her doctoral research focused on understanding Cryptosporidium-host cell interactions, specifically the role of O-glycosylation during infection. To this end, she developed a novel bioengineered 3D human intestinal model to support long-term infection with Cryptosporidium to better characterize the host parasite interactions. She also cloned and enzymatically characterized recombinant polypeptide GalNAc Transferase-4 from C. parvum to evaluate its potential as a novel therapeutic agent.

Maria has authored several peer-reviewed articles which are published in Infection and Immunity, Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, and Radiation Research

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Maria served as a patent agent at a Boston law firm where her practice consisted of patent prosecution and counseling in the areas of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, which included the preparing and prosecution of patent applications in the United States and abroad. Maria assisted in helping several major pharmaceutical companies develop global prosecution strategies and expand and protect their IP portfolios in the areas of immunotherapeutics, gene therapy, peptide therapeutics, drug manufacturing, and personalized medicine.

  • Order of the Coif, The George Washington University Law School
  • First Place, USPTO’s National Patent Application Drafting Competition, 2023 (George Washington University Law School)
  • First Place Eastern Regional Round of the USPTO’s National Patent Application Drafting Competition, March 2023
  • Third Place, Marcus B. Finnegan Prize Competition (for paper entitled, “Is Current Obviousness-Type Double-Patenting Jurisprudence Stifling Innovation?”), 2022
  • George Washington Scholar, The George Washington University Law School, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023
  • Thurgood Marshall Scholar The George Washington University Law School, Fall 2021
  • New England Scholar, Academic Year, New England Law, Boston, 2019-2020
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Civil Procedure II and Contracts II 
  • Sandra Day O’Connor Honors Program Scholarship, New England Law, Boston, 2019
  • Keystone Symposia Scholarship: Future Science Award, 2016
  • Lalor Travel Award, Tufts University Immunology Program, 2012
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA)
  • DeCicco RePass, M., Bhat N., Heimburg-Molinaro J., Bunnell S., Cummings RD., Ward HD., Molecular cloning, expression, and characterization of UDP N-acetyl-α-d-galactosamine: Polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 4 from Cryptosporidium parvum. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 2018.
  • DeCicco RePass, M., Chen, Y., Lin, Y., Zhou, W., Kaplan, DL., Ward, HD., Novel Bioengineered Three-Dimensional Human Intestinal Model for Long-Term Infection of Cryptosporidium parvum. Infection and Immunity, 2017.
  • Bhat, N., Wojczyk, BS., DeCicco, M., Castrodad, C., Spitalnik, S., Ward, HD., Identification of a family of four UDP-polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyl transferases in Cryptosporidium species. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 2013.
  • Janko M., Ontiveros F., Fitzgerald TJ., Deng A, DeCicco M., Rock KL., IL-1 Generated Subsequent to Radiation-Induced Tissue Injury Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Radiodermatitis. Radiation Research. 2012.
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