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Kathleen T. DiNapoli* Scientific Advisor

During her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology concentrating in Computational Biology from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Whiting School of Engineering, Kathleen (Kat) DiNapoli joins Rothwell Figg as a scientific advisor. In addition to her education, Dr. DiNapoli’s research and teaching background make her an invaluable asset to clients in the fields of biologics and biosimilars, biology and biotechnology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, and pharmacology. In her current role, she handles various aspects of patent prosecution, prior art searches, and patent landscape analysis.

Dr. DiNapoli has extensive research experience both from Johns Hopkins and Wake Forest University, where she earned her B.S. in biology, with a concentration in physics. Topics of research include computational and mathematical modelling of disease risk, computational cancer biology research, machine learning, applied genetics research, plant biology and genetics, and drone research. Her thesis research included mathematically modelling the mechanics of human pancreatic cancer including deciphering the role of small molecules as potential treatment options.

Dr. DiNapoli’s teaching experience includes training new researchers in laboratory techniques in the Muday laboratory at Wake Forest University and the Robinson and Iglesias Labs at Johns Hopkins. She was also the co-founder of a start-up during her Ph.D. which aimed to produce T-Cell therapeutics derived from umbilical cord blood. In this role she handled various aspects of IP licensing negations, novelty determination/competitive market analysis, stakeholder engagement, and business plan development.

In addition to being a published author, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including being a nominee for the PEO North American Scholars Award, a competitive North American graduate scholarship awarded to Ph.D./MD/JD students; a finalist for the National Defence Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, a competitive national graduate fellowship awarded to Ph.D. students in science and engineering; A Beckman Scholar, a 15-month mentored research experience for exceptional undergraduate students in chemistry, biological sciences, or interdisciplinary combinations thereof; and the recipient of The Carolina Biological Supply Company Research Award, given to the most distinguished undergraduate biology major at Wake Forest, among many others.

*Not admitted to the DC Bar

Publications & Presentations

DiNapoli K, Robinson D, Iglesias PA. A mesoscale mechanical model of cellular interactions. In Press, Biophys J. 2021.

Peng D*, Gleyzer R*,… DiNapoli K, Cahan P. Evaluating the transcriptional fidelity of cancer models. Genome Medicine. 2021;13(1):73. (*signifies equal contribution) 

DiNapoli K, Robinson DN, Iglesias PA. Tools for computational analysis of moving boundary problems in cellular mechanobiology. WIREs Mech. Dis. 2020; e1514 1-33.

Surcel A, Schiffhauer ES, Thomas DG, Zhu Q, DiNapoli K, Herbig M, Otto O, West-Foyle H, Jacobi A, Kräter M, Plak K, Guck J, Jaffee EM, Iglesias PA, Anders RA, Robinson DN*. Targeting mechanoresponsive proteins in pancreatic cancer: 4-hydroxyacetophenone blocks dissemination and invasion by activating MYH14. Cancer Res. 2019; 79(18):4665-4678.

Harkey A*, Watkins J*, Olex AL, DiNapoli K, Lewis D, Fetrow J, Binder B, Muday G. Identification and receptor networks that control root responses to ethylene. Plant Phys. 2018; 176(3): 2095–2118 (*signifies equal contribution)

Maloney, G, DiNapoli, K, Muday, G. The anthocyanin reduced tomato mutant demonstratess the role of flavonols in tomato lateral root and root hair development. Plant Phys. 2014; 166:614-631.

Publications/Non-peer reviewed:

DiNapoli K, Maloney G, Muday G. Introgression lines provide insight into genetic controls of root development in tomatoes (Honors thesis)

Professional Affiliations, Honors & Recognition

Nominee for PEO North American Scholars Award (2019)

  • Competitive North American graduate scholarship awarded to PhD/MD/JD students

Finalist for the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (2018)

  • Competitive national graduate fellowship awarded to PhD students in science and engineering

The Carolina Biological Supply Company Research Award (2016)

  • Award given to the most distinguished undergraduate biology major at Wake Forest

Award of Excellence in Biology (Harvard University) (2015)

  • Award given to the best project and poster presentation in the Life Sciences division of Harvard University’s National Colligate Research Conference.

The John Bowley Derievux Research Award (North Carolina Academy of Science) (2015)

  • Award for excellence in oral presentations

Travel grant Awardee for the American Society of Plant Biologists (2015)

  • Competitive scholarship granted to young professionals to attend the annual meeting in 2015

Beckman Undergraduate Research Scholar (Beckman Foundation) (2013-2015)

  • National scholarship awarded to students to engage in meaningful in depth scientific research for 15 consecutive months during their undergraduate career. (Awarded: $26,000)

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (American Society of Plant Biologists) (2014)

  • National scholarship awarded to 16 students to engage in a full summer of research pertaining to a field of Plant Biology. (Honorary/ value: ~$5,7000)

Wake Forest Research Fellowship (2014)

  • Scholarship awarded to Wake Forest University Students to engage in a summer of research at Wake Forest University. (Awarded, Declined due to multiple scholarships awarded in the same year/value: $4,500)

Deans List Wake Forest University (x7) (2012-2015)

Georgia Science and Engineering Fair (2011)

  • First place in category, second place overall senior division

The National Natural Resources Conservation Service Award of Excellence (NRCS) (2011)

  • Award given by the USDA to recognize research in the area of natural resource conservation