When clients need help with the intellectual property underpinning today’s lifesaving advances in medicine, Tianran (T.R.) Yan leverages his scientific background to advise on effectively managing their innovations.

As Chair for Health Tech and Genomics and Vice-Chair for the Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical practice, T.R. plays a critical role in helping shape Foley & Lardner LLP's strategy at the intersection of the Health Care & Life Sciences and Innovative Technology sectors. His education in biochemistry, molecular genetics, and biotechnology combined with legal acumen enables an invaluable understanding of new technologies and their impact on the marketplace.


Tianran assists clients with intellectual property (IP) strategies, including patent prosecution and counseling, due diligence investigation, patent portfolio management, patent enforcement and licensing, freedom-to-operate investigation, and patent validity and infringement analyses. One particular area of focus is post-grant proceedings, where he has successfully represented clients in patent reexamination, reissue, and inter partes review (IPR) proceedings.

Example clients working on groundbreaking technologies include those developing CRISPR genome editing, liquid biopsy, next-generation sequencing (NGS), bispecific and multispecific antibodies, proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs), single-cell sequencing and analysis, engineered cell therapy, and regenerative medicine.

Outside of patents, Tianran has also represented clients in IP due diligence investigations by performing reviews for IP licenses, IP portfolio sales, corporate financing, investments, mergers, and acquisitions.

Augmenting his practice, Tianran is a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and has extensive experience counseling Asian technology companies on strategic IP development and transactions in connection with their operation in the U.S. market.


  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2009
  • M.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois Chicago, 2006
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Sun Yat-sen University, 2004


Tianran has been recognized as a Next Generation Lawyer for patent prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) by The Legal 500.


Tianran is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Select Publications and Presentations

  • “Delivery of Cell, RNA and DNA Therapeutics - Surveying the Business and IP Landscape,” Foley Webinar (May 2021)

  • “Navigating the CRISPR Patent Landscape and Business Impact,” Foley Webinar (June 2016)

  • “Healthcare & Biotechnology,” US-China Innovation and Investment Summit (May 2016)

  • “Due Diligence for Intellectual Property: Valuing Assets in a Transaction,” Law Journal Press (2014)