Catherine Winbanks is a Principal in our Melbourne biotechnology team.
Catherine specialises in patent matters for the biotechnology, agricultural and life sciences sectors. She practices in prosecuting and overseeing patent portfolios for local and international biotechnology companies and also works with local clients including research institutes and universities. Having a strong broad scientific background, she assists clients in aspects of patent practice including drafting, prosecution, oppositions, patentability, freedom to operate matters, and IP portfolio strategy. She has worked with clients locally and internationally with extensive patent portfolios in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China and South-East Asia. Catherine has also acted in several high-profile patent opposition proceedings relating to CRISPR technology and vaccines.
Catherine has a passion for working with start-up companies and developing tailored IP strategies that allows them to maximise their commercial potential. She has provided IP related seminars at a number of research institutes including The University of Melbourne, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, and The University of Sydney.
Prior to becoming a Patent Attorney, Catherine completed a PhD in the biochemistry of interstitial fibrosis and subsequent post-doctoral research at the University of Melbourne and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. Her post-doctoral research utilised gene therapy platforms such as adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors to develop novel therapeutic interventions based on functional roles of key signalling pathways in skeletal muscle disease and cancer. During this time, she worked at the University of Washington under a world leader in the AAV field on cutting edge viral vector technology. Through the utilisation of druggable targets and gene therapy, this work led to the development of novel potential therapeutic interventions to treat skeletal muscle wasting. Her work was also published in a number of high impact scientific journals including Nature Communications, Science Translational Medicine and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). During Catherine’s academic career, Catherine also received the Dean’s Award for academic excellence.