One of the many impressive tasks that Innovation Law Center (ILC) research associates perform when writing proprietary reports for clients of the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC) is getting up to speed very quickly with novel and often complex technologies. Becoming competent with groundbreaking biotechnology was certainly necessary for the report presented to Allied Microbiota, a New York City-based company that is developing a microbial product to remediate difficult-to-treat organic pollutants.
It helped to have a couple of College of Law students with biology backgrounds working on the report.
“My undergraduate degree is in biology,” explains Senior Research Associate Gabrielle Sherwood, a third-year law student. “This project was a nice refresher on what I learned in my biology classes, although describing this complex technology was a challenge.” However, adds Sherwood, another member of her team—2L Christina Brule—holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry. “Her knowledge came in very useful for the technology description and the intellectual property section.”
Sherwood and Brule, along with 3L Trevor McDaniel and 2L Kristian Stefanides, formally presented their report to Allied Microbiota in March 2019. Allied Microbiota CEO Frana James and CSO Dr. Ray Sambrotto describe the students’ work—which analyzes her company’s intellectual property claims, the potential market for its technology, and the regulatory landscape for bioremediation—as “really insightful”. “They offered us a new perspective about regulatory hurdles, prospects, and certifications we probably need to get,” adds James.
James says she discovered the Innovation Law Center through her connection to FuzeHub, a New York State manufacturing extension program supported by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR). Through FuzeHub, James met NYSSTLC Associate Director Molly Zimmermann and ILC Adjunct Professor Dom Danna ’71. Eventually, Allied Microbiota joined 14 other start-up technology companies that ILC students have been assisting, on behalf of NYSSTLC, during the spring 2019 semester.