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About Tammy

Looking around corners for patent pitfalls and opportunities 

Tammy VanHeyningen, Ph.D., has a practice that includes all areas of intellectual property (IP) counseling, with a focus on domestic and international patent prosecution. With more than 10 years of experience as a research scientist in the fields of microbiology, immunology and mechanisms of disease, her technology concentrations are in biotechnology, biologics and pharmaceuticals, including:

  • Vaccines, antibodies, protein therapeutics, gene therapy compositions, gene editing, cell and tissue cultures, including tissue replacement or regeneration, small molecule or biologic pharmaceuticals.
  • Plant patents, plant utility applications and plant variety protection
  • Medical diagnostics, including genomic or proteomic markers predictive of therapeutic response, prognosis or metastases and biologic assays
  • Drug delivery methods

Tammy brings an inventor’s mindset to the patent counsel she provides to clients, thinking forward to imagine how development of technologies will define the trajectory of patent protection as well as the commercialization that protection makes possible.

Tammy’s doctoral thesis research was directed to understanding the T cell and macrophage mediated immune response to mycobacteria. She also completed post-doctoral research developing a transgenic mouse model and recombinant herpes simplex viruses to investigate viral latency and reactivation. She taught college-level courses in virology, genetics and molecular biology.

Tammy is recognized in the IAM Patent 1000 as a top patent practitioner in Wisconsin.

Experience in Action

  • Advising university technology transfer offices, small startups and large research companies on strategic patent portfolio development.
  • Drafting and prosecuting patents with an emphasis in life sciences.
  • Crafting non-infringement and invalidity opinions and due diligence for transactions.
  • Providing patent landscape analysis, including freedom-to-operate advice.


  • Managed a worldwide patent portfolio for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, with nine parent patent applications filed since 2008 that have resulted in nearly 200 issued patents in 40 countries for inventions in vaccine biology, notably animal vaccines for economically important pathogens such as salmonella, Eimeria and avian influenza. An application for USDA approval for an animal vaccine is pending.

Professional Recognitions

  • IAM Patent 1000 Wisconsin (2014-present)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • U.S.A. Swimming, Registered Swimming Official

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