Paul J. Focke, Ph.D.‎


Paul J. Focke is a Ph.D. Patent Agent with over five years of law firm experience drafting and prosecuting patents in a wide range of scientific and engineering fields. Throughout his career, Paul has prepared more than 150 applications and 60 Office action responses—developing a keen understanding of how to protect valuable business assets.

Previously, Paul worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), where he developed strategies for the engineering and study of clinically important drug targets, including integral membrane protein transporters and ion channels. This followed his OHSU neuroscience graduate work, where he developed methodology for studying conformational dynamics of integral membrane protein transporters, and his University of Wisconsin–Madison undergraduate work focusing on molecular biological research pursuits.

During his years as a postdoctoral researcher and neuroscience graduate student, he received four different grants, including a National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral National Research Service Award (NRSA) and an American Heart Association post-doctoral award. He has 10 peer-reviewed published articles and numerous published research abstracts. Paul’s Ph.D. education and postdoc research experience make him a premier consultant on the patentability of new scientific inventions, providing valuable insight to our healthcare and life sciences clients innovating with new techniques and products.

Paul received his Patent Agent certification in September 2020.



  • Provide consultation on patentability of new inventions, drafting of provisional and non-provisional patent applications, and prosecution of pending patent applications in a wide range of scientific and engineering fields.

Memberships & Awards


  • Post-doctoral fellowship, American Heart Association (July 2012-July 2014)
  • Tartar Trust Fellowship, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine (July 2009-June 2010)
  • National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral NRSA, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (December 2007-November 2009)
  • Tartar Trust Fellowship, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine (July 2007-June 2008)

Resources & Ideas

Riederer EA, Focke PJ, Georgieva ER, Akyuz N, Matulef K, Borbat PP, Freed JH, Blanchard SC, Boudker O, Valiyaveetil FI. 2018. A facile approach for the in vitro assembly of multimeric membrane transport proteins. Elife 7, pii. e36478.

Focke PJ, Hein C, Hoffmann B, Matulef K, Bernhard F, Dotsch, V, Valiyaveetil FI. 2016. Combining in vitro folding with cell free protein synthesis for membrane protein expression. Biochemistry 55(30): 4212-4219.

Liu S, Focke PJ, Matulef K, Bian X, Moenne-Loccoz P, Valiyaveetil FI, Lockless SW. 2015. Ion-binding properties of a K+ channel selectivity filter in different conformations. Proc Natl Acad Sci 112(49): 15096-15100.

Focke PJ, Annen AW, Valiyaveetil FI. 2015. Engineering the glutamate transporter GltPh using protein semisynthesis. Biochemistry 54(8): 1694-1702.

Focke PJ, Wang X, Larsson HP. 2013. Neurotransmitter transporters: Structure meets function. Cell Structure 21(5):694-705.

Focke PJ, Moenne-Loccoz P, Larsson HP. 2011. Opposite movement of the external gate of a glutamate transporter homolog upon binding cotransported sodium compared with substrate. Journal of Neuroscience 31(16):6255-62.

Focke PJ, Valiyaveetil F. 2010. Studies of ion channels using expressed protein ligation. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 14(6): 797-802.

Focke PJ, Swetlik A, Schilz J, Epstein ML. 2003. GDNF and insulin cooperate to enhance the proliferation and differentiation of enteric neural crest-derived cells. Journal of Neurobiology 55(2), 151-154.

Conner PJ, Focke PJ, Noden DM, Epstein ML. 2003. Appearance of neurons and glia with respect to the wavefront during colonization of the avian gut by neural crest cells. Developmental Dynamics 226(1), 91-98.

Focke PJ, Schiltz CA, Jones SE, Watters JJ, Epstein ML. 2001. Enteric neuroblasts require the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway for GDNF-stimulated proliferation. Journal of Neurobiology 47, 306-317.

Focke PJ, Annen, AI, and Valiyaveetil, FI. 2014. Applying semisynthetic methodology to incorporate unnatural amino acids into membrane proteins. Membrane Protein Structural Dynamics Consortium.

Focke PJ and Valiyaveetil, FI. 2013. Engineering secondary active transporters to incorporate unnatural amino acids. Gordon Research Conference, Mechanisms of Membrane Transport.

Focke PJ and Valiyaveetil, FI. 2012. Building a Transporter: Toward the Chemical Semisynthesis of Integral Membrane Protein Transporters. Biophysical Journal 102(3) pp. 520a.

Focke, PJ, Moenne-Loccoz, P, Larsson, HP. 2010. Opposite Movements of the External Gate in Glutamate Transporters upon Binding Different Cotransported Ligands Measured by EPR. Biophysical Journal 98(3) Supplement 1, 628a.

Focke, PJ, Moenne-Loccoz, P, Larsson, HP. 2009. Detecting Conformational Changes in the Bacterial Glutamate Transporter Homolog GltPh Using EPR Spectroscopy. Biophysical Journal 96(3) Supplement 1, 149a.

Focke, PJ, Moenne-Loccoz, P, Larsson, HP. 2008. EPR Spectroscopy of the Glutamate Transporter Homologue GltPh. Biophysical Journal 94(2) Supplement, 135-146.

Community Activities

Community Activities

  • Rose City All-Girls Hockey Club, Assistant Coach (2019-present)



Outside The Office