Jolene S. Fernandes

Senior Counsel


Jolene S. Fernandes, J.D., Ph.D., is a senior counsel and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Dr. Fernandes works with clients on various intellectual property matters, including patentability assessment, drafting patent applications, the prosecution of U.S. and foreign patents, client suite due diligence, IP strategy and portfolio management, drafting and analyzing interinstitutional agreements and licenses, product clearance searches, infringement analysis and preparation of invalidity and non-infringement opinions, inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, and litigation support. Her technical experience includes molecular diagnostic/theranostic methods encompassing various next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based platforms, biological therapeutics, including antibodies, vaccines, CAR T cells, exosomes, peptides, chimeric proteins, antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides and stem cells, nutraceuticals and various bioinformatics-based theranostic platforms.

Dr. Fernandes is particularly well-versed in the field of Precision Oncology. In addition to regularly participating in the Personalized Medicine Summits sponsored by Foley, Dr. Fernandes has experience developing patent strategies for oncotherapeutics based on single biomarker mutations or activity, multiple concurrent markers based on genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and epigenetics, methods and devices for detecting relevant ctDNA alterations with high sensitivity and accuracy, as well as methods and algorithms for identifying optimal donors for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation therapies and cancer vaccines based on patient-specific immunogenic epitopes. Dr. Fernandes enjoys assisting clients with these complex and often interdisciplinary technologies and helping them bring these important advances to market. She is a member of the Chemical, Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Practice.

Dr. Fernandes was a summer associate with Foley in 2012. She also served as a judicial extern to the Hon. James J. Di Cesare of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange. During her tenure at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Fernandes worked as a scientific database curator at WormBase Consortium. She also worked as a research assistant at Schepens Eye Research Institute.


Dr. Fernandes earned her law degree from the University of California, Irvine School of Law (J.D., 2013), where she was staff editor (2011-2012) and research editor (2012-2013) for the UC Irvine Law Review and received the faculty award in patent law, property law, advanced legal writing and reproductive technologies. She also received the Dean's award in evidence, trademark law, antitrust and IP and land use law and was the third place winner of the 2012 IDEA Student IP Writing Competition. She earned her Ph.D. in biology, with a specialty in molecular biology and developmental genetics, from the California Institute of Technology and her B.S., summa cum laude, in biology from Suffolk University.


  • Received, Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognition for Intellectual Property Law (2023)
  • Selected as Foley’s 2022 Fellow on the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)


  • Hindi (fluent)


  • Massachusetts
  • United States Patent & Trademark Office

Selected Publications

  • “LDT Proposals: Concerns about the FDA’s proposal LDT regulations on test providers and patients,” Advanced Healthcare Network for Laboratory (March 14, 2016)
  • “Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) – An emerging area of FDA regulation,” Advance Healthcare Network for Laboratory (December 28, 2015)
  • “Dueling Records: Are Statements in Your 510(k) Putting Your Patents at Risk?” BNA Bloomberg 210 (October 30, 2015)
  • “Defensive Publication: An Alternate Way of Maintaining Your Turf in a Competitive Marketplace,” Emerging Company Exchange (April 3, 2014)
  • “Perfecting Pregnancy via Preimplantation Genetic Screening: The Quest for an Elusive Standard of Care,” 4 UC Irvine L. Rev. 1295 (2014)
  • “Duty to Deal: The Antitrust Antidote to the Gene Patent Dilemma,” 3 UC Irvine L. Rev. 101 (2013)
  • “Worm Phenotype Ontology: Integrating Phenotype Data Within and Beyond the C. elegans Community,” 12 Bio-Medical Cent. Bioinformatics 32 (2011)
  • “The tailless Ortholog nhr-67 Regulates Patterning of Gene Expression and Morphogenesis in the C. elegans Vulva,” 3 PLOS Genetics e69 (2007)
  • “Automatic Categorization of Diverse Experimental Information in the Bioscience Literature,” 13 Bio-Medical Cent. Bioinformatics 16 (2012)
  • “WormBase: A Comprehensive Resource for Nematode Research,” 38 Nucleic Acids Res. D463 (2010)
  • “The Caenorhabditis elegans Vulva: A Post-embryonic Gene Regulatory Network Controlling Organogenesis,” 105 Proc. Nat’l Acad. Sci. 20095 (2008)
  • “WormBase 2007,” 36 Nucleic Acids Res. D612 (2008)
  • “Transcriptional Network Underlying Caenorhabditis elegans Vulval Development,” 102 Proc. Nat’l Acad. Sci. 4972 (2005)
  • “A Reporter for Amyloid Precursor Protein Gamma-secretase Activity in Drosophila,” 12 Hum. Molecular Genetics 2669 (2003)
  • “Gene Expression is not Regulated by Estrogen and/or Progesterone in the Ocular Surface Epithelia of Mice,” 77 Experimental Eye Res. 59 (2003)