Suffolk University Law School
JD, 2012, magna cum laude

Boston University
PhD, 1993

Connecticut College
BA, 1986, cum laude


US Patent & Trademark Office


Practice Areas

Elizabeth M. Rohlfs, PhD


t 617-248-5178   f 617-248-4000

Elizabeth Rohlfs employs her years of experience in the biotechnology industry by advising and assisting clients in the strategic development of patent portfolios. Dr. Rohlfs‘ business experience provides her with a keen understanding of product life cycle management and the importance of strong patent protection. Dr. Rohlfs focuses her practice on life sciences and, in particular, molecular biology and therapeutic and diagnostic products.

Practice Focus

Intellectual Property: drafts and prosecutes complex patent applications in US and foreign jurisdictions, freedom to operate landscape and due diligence analysis. Dr. Rohlfs provides counseling for technologies including antibodies, small molecules, peptides, pharmaceutical formulations, methods of treatment using pharmaceutical compositions and medical devices, biomarkers, gene therapy vectors, antibody production and purification, RNA interference and in vitro expression systems.

Due Diligence: analysis in conjunction with business transactions and licensing.

Previous Experience

Most recently, Dr. Rohlfs was a patent associate at a Boston law firm where she prosecuted US and foreign patent applications. Dr. Rohlfs has more than ten years of experience in the biotechnology field focusing on development of molecular diagnostics for personalized medicine, 510(k) submissions to the US Food and Drug Administration and strategic negotiations with corporate partners related to business development matters. Dr. Rohlfs also has significant experience in management of technical operations and strategic planning, and is a board certified molecular geneticist and fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Dr. Rohlfs was the Associate Director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the University of North Carolina, where she researched and identified novel gene rearrangements in the BRCA1 gene and developed test methods for diagnosing genetic disease.

Representative Engagements

  • Advises corporate clients of all sizes on intellectual property portfolio strategy, including patent strategy.
  • Drafts and prosecutes patent applications in US and foreign jurisdictions.
  • Designs and analyzes patentability and freedom to operate searches.
  • Assists in due diligence analyses for start-up biotechnology companies and venture capital firms.

Publications and Presentations

  • “AACR-FDA-NCI Cancer Biomarkers Collaborative Consensus Report: Advancing the Use of Biomarkers in Cancer Drug Development,” co-author, Clin Cancer Res, 2010.
  • “KRAS Mutation Analyses of >16,500 Colorectal Carcinomas,” co-author, ASCO-NCI Cancer Molecular Markers Annual Meeting, 2010.
  • “Prevalence and Instability of Fragile X Alleles: Implications for Offering Prenatal Diagnosis,” co-author, Obstet Gynecol, 2008.
  • “Analysis of 142 Lung Carcinomas for Mutations in the Tyrosine Kinase Domain of EGFR,” co-author, J Mol Diag, 2006.
  • “Balancing Specificity and Sensitivity in the Detection of T-cell Receptor y Gene Rearrangements by Multiplex PCR,” co-author,J Mol Diag, 2005.
  • “The I148T CFTR Allele Occurs on Multiple Haplotypes: A Complex Allele is Associated with Cystic Fibrosis,” co-author, Genet Med,
  • “In-Frame Deletions of BRCA1 May Define Critical Functional Domains,” co-author, Hum Genet, 2000.
  • “The Exon 13 Duplication in the BRCA1 Gene is a Founder Mutation Found in Geographically Diverse Populations,” co-author, Amer J Hum Genet, 2000.
  • “An Alu-Mediated 7.1kb Deletion in BRCA1 in Breast and Ovarian Cancer Families with Evidence for a Founder Effect,” co-author, Genes Chrom Cancer, 2000.
  • “Direct Detection of Mutations in the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Gene BRCA1 by PCR-Mediated Site-Directed Mutagenesis,” co-author, Clin Chem, 1997.
  • “Regulation of the Uncoupling Protein Gene (Ucp) by b1, b2, and b3-Adrenergic Receptor Subtypes in Immortalized Brown Adipose Cell Lines,” co-author, J Biol Chem, 1995.
  • “Regulation of the Uncoupling Protein Gene (Ucp) by b1, b2, and b3-Adrenergic Receptor Subtypes in Immortalized Brown Adipose Cell Lines,” co-author, Endocrin, 1995.
  • “Role of the Molecular Diagnostic Lab in Personalized Medicine,” speaker, University of Alberta’s Medical Genetics Seminar Series, Department of Medical Genetics, March, 2007.
  • “Utility of the Intron 8 Polythymidine Tract in Predicting Phenotypes for R117H and R117C CFTR alleles,” speaker, American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting, October 2002.
  • “An Alu-Mediated 7.1kb Deletion of BRCA1 that Results in Alternative Splicing of Exon 10,” speaker, Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium Meeting, November 1999.

Professional and Community Involvement

Dr. Rohlfs is a member of the Boston Bar Association, the Boston Patent Law Association and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.


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