Amma Addai

Aug. 19, 2015; Amma Addai - Patent Law. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Aug. 19, 2015; Amma Addai – Patent Law. (Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)


MS in Patent Law, University of Notre Dame du Lac, May 2016 (expected). Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, Meharry Medical College, May 2015.

Amma obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from Meharry Medical College in May 2015 and her undergraduate degree in Psychology (Pre-Med) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Biographical Information

Amma has extensive experience in various areas of clinical research.  Throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies at University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College she worked on infectious diseases and cancer related research projects. Amma, like most researchers, had been trying to come up with alternative therapeutic strategies to contain the drug resistant strains of HIV. Although antiretroviral drugs are being used to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate of HIV infection, these drugs cannot eradicate the disease since HIV quickly mutates to become drug resistant. Therefore, during her doctoral studies, Amma focused on the mechanism by which cocaine, a commonly abused psychostimulant, influences HIV-1 integration by its modulation of epigenetic signatures of CD4+ T cells. This was an innovative concept as understanding the molecular details of HIV-1 integration will aid in the development of better antiviral drugs. Amma’s research resulted in seminal findings as her research demonstrated drug abuse impacts HIV-1 integration and replication. She is authoring several manuscripts from her research, which are in various stages of completion.  She is also skilled in real time PCR, DNA-RNA isolation and manipulation, immunoassays, virus propagation and production, flow cytometry, molecular cloning and mutagenesis, recombinant protein expression and purification.

Additionally, Amma mentored and supervised undergraduate and graduate level students interested in the STEM fields.  She aided in developing research plans, provided technical training, monitored progress, directed experimental design, helped design and reviewed their presentations and provided feedback.  She is a member of several professional societies including the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society of Hematology (ASH), Society on Neuroimmune Pharmacology (SNIP), and American Association for Cancer Research.

Amma’s extensive scientific background in combination with law will contribute in many ways as a patent agent.  Her career as a patent agent is not a break with the past; rather, it is an exciting, alternative continuation of her career as a scientist. The patent applications that she drafts and prosecutes will make her a critical part of the inventive process.   Moreover, she will also have the opportunity to interact with inventors who will keep her informed about new technology in the biomedical field.

While earning her MS in Patent Law, Amma is currently working in Notre Dame’s Office of Technology Transfer.


Addai, A.B., et al. (2015). “Cocaine modulates HIV-1 integration in primary CD4+ T cells: implications in HIV-1 pathogenesis in drug-abusing patients.” J Leukoc Biol 97(4): 779-790.

Walker SA, Addai AB, Mathis M, and Ramesh A (2007). Effect of dietary fat on metabolism and DNA adduct formation after acute oral exposure of F-344 rats to fluoranthene. J Nutr Biochem 18:236-249

Pandhare, J., Addai, A.B., Mantri, C.K., Hager, C., Smith, R.M., Barnett, L., Villalta, F., Kalams, S.A., and Dash, C. (2014). Cocaine enhances HIV-1-induced CD4 (+) T-cell apoptosis: implications in disease progression in cocaine-abusing HIV-1 patients. Am J Pathol 184, 927-936.

4/2015  Poster presentation at 21st Scientific Conference – The Society on Neuroimmune Pharmacology (SNIP), Miami, FL 2015

12/2014  Oral presentation at 2014 Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees’ Conference, National Harbor, MD, 2014

4/2014  Poster presentation at Experimental Biology Conference, San Diego, CA, 2014

3/2014  Oral speaker at Emory University STEM Research and Career Symposium, Atlanta, GA, 2014

Amma can be reached at

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