Alan W. Steele, Ph.D., M.D.

Counsel - Boston

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Alan Steele is Counsel in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. He was recently selected for inclusion in the 2011 New England Rising Stars list. With over a dozen years of experience in intellectual property, Alan centers his practice on the preparation and prosecution of domestic and foreign patent applications in the fields of biotechnology, immunology, chemistry, nucleic acids, antibodies, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, therapeutics, molecular diagnostics and medical devices. Additionally, his practice includes advising clients in strategic patent portfolio development and management, as well as the preparation of patentability, non-infringement, patent invalidity and patent clearance opinions. Alan’s clients include leading hospitals and academic institutions, start-up companies, well-established small companies and large pharmaceutical companies.

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  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2002
  • Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Fellowship in Nephrology
  • University Hospital, Boston, Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine
  • Boston University School of Medicine, M.D., 1985
  • University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, 1983
  • Wesleyan University, B.A. in Chemistry, 1977



Representative Experience

  • Prosecution and management of worldwide patent portfolios in biotech, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices
  • Due diligence, freedom-to-operate, patentability, and inventorship studies
  • Offensive and defensive oppositions before the European Patent Office
  • Litigation support
  • Former contributing editor for UpToDate in Internal Medicine (pancreas and combined kidney/pancreas transplantation).
  • Zheng XX, Steele AW, Hancock WW, Kawamoto K, Li XC, Nickerson PW, Li Y, Tian Y, Strom TB. IL-2 receptor-targeted cytolytic IL-2/Fc fusion protein treatment blocks diabetogenic autoimmunity in nonobese diabetic mice. J Immunol. 1999 Oct 1;163(7):4041-8.  
  • Zheng XX, Steele AW, Hancock WW, Stevens AC, Nickerson PW, Roy-Chaudhury P, Tian Y, Strom TB. A noncytolytic IL-10/Fc fusion protein prevents diabetes, blocks autoimmunity, and promotes suppressor phenomena in NOD mice. J Immunol. 1997 May 1;158(9):4507-13.
  • Nickerson P, Steiger J, Zheng XX, Steele AW, Steurer W, Roy-Chaudhury P, Strom TB. Manipulation of cytokine networks in transplantation: false hope or realistic opportunity for tolerance? Transplantation. 1997 Feb 27;63(4):489-94. 
  • Nickerson P, Zheng XX, Steiger J, Steele AW, Steurer W, Roy-Chaudhury P, Müller W, Strom TB. Prolonged islet allograft acceptance in the absence of expression of interleukin-4. Adv Nephrol Necker Hosp. 1997;26:171-80. Page 3 of 3 
  • Nickerson P, Zheng XX, Steiger J, Steele AW, Steurer W, Roy-Chaudhury P, Müller W, Strom TB. Prolonged islet allograft acceptance in the absence of interleukin 4 expression. Transpl Immunol. 1996 Mar;4(1):81-5. 
  • Strom TB, Steele AW, Nichols J. Genetically engineered proteins for immunoregulation. Transplant Proc. 1995 Oct;27(5 Suppl 1):18-20. 
  • Steurer W, Nickerson PW, Steele AW, Steiger J, Zheng XX, Strom TB. Ex vivo coating of islet cell allografts with murine CTLA4/Fc promotes graft tolerance. J Immunol. 1995 Aug 1;155(3):1165-74. 
  • Zheng XX, Steele AW, Nickerson PW, Steurer W, Steiger J, Strom TB. Administration of noncytolytic IL-10/Fc in murine models of lipopolysaccharide-induced septic shock and allogeneic islet transplantation. J Immunol. 1995 May 15;154(10):5590-600. 
  • Nickerson P, Steurer W, Steiger J, Zheng X, Steele AW, Strom TB. Cytokines and the Th1/Th2 paradigm in transplantation. Curr Opin Immunol. 1994 Oct;6(5):757-64. 
  • Zheng XX, Strom TB, Steele AW. Quantitative comparison of rapamycin and cyclosporine effects on cytokine gene expression studied by reverse transcriptase-competitive polymerase chain reaction. Transplantation. 1994 Jul 15;58(1):87-92. 
  • Lakkis F, Steele A, Pacheco-Silva A, Rubin-Kelley V, Strom TB, Murphy JR. Interleukin 4 receptor targeted cytotoxicity: genetic construction and in vivo immunosuppressive activity of a diphtheria toxin-related murine interleukin 4 fusion protein. Eur J Immunol. 1991 Sep;21(9):2253-8. 
  • Cornelius PA, Hochstrasser RM, Steele AW. Ultrafast relaxation in picosecond photolysis of nitrosylhemoglobin. J Mol Biol. 1983 Jan 5;163(1):119-28. 
  • Cornelius PA, Steele AW, Chernoff DA, Hochstrasser RM. Different dissociation pathways and observation of an excited deoxy state in picosecond photolysis of oxy- and carboxymyoglobin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1981 Dec;78(12):7526-9. 
  • Chernoff DA, Hochstrasser RM, Steele AW. Geminate recombination of O2 and hemoglobin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1980 Oct;77(10):5606-10.


  • American Heart Association Clinician Scientist Award, 1989-1993


  • American Bar Association, Member 
  • Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), Member
  • Boston Patent Law Association, Member 
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
  • Speaker, “USPTO Updated Obviousness Guidelines and Post-KSR Law Review,” Boston Bar Association Brown Bag Lunch (October 2010)
  • Panelist, “Tech Talk Tuesday: Law School for the Tech Entrepreneur,” Emerging Enterprise Center (October 2010)
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Patent Trademark Office (Agency)