The College of Law is pleased to announce that Jacob S. Sherkow will join the tenure-stream faculty as a Professor of Law beginning in the summer of 2020, pending Board of Trustees approval. He will teach Patent Law and other related courses.
Professor Sherkow comes to Illinois from Harvard University where he is currently the Edmond J. Safra/Petrie-Flom Centers Joint Fellow-in-Residence. He is a leading expert on IP protection for genome-editing technologies, including CRISPR. He is also Professor of Law at the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at New York Law School and a Permanent Visiting Professor at the Center for Advanced Studies in Biomedical Innovation Law (“CeBIL”) at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law. He is the author of over 40 articles published in both scientific journals and traditional law reviews, including Science, Nature, the Yale Law Journal, and the Stanford Law Review.
Sherkow’s work has been recognized by both the scientific and legal communities. In 2018, he was appointed to the National Academy of Medicine as an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine, and current serves as an Academic Advisor to the Academies’ Committee on Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation. His scholarship has won multiple prizes, including the 2018 Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award. Sherkow also currently serves on the New York Genome Center’s Institutional Biosafety Committee; on the editorial board of a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the CRISPR Journal; and as an advisor to a committee of France’s National Assembly on issues concerning the patenting of biotechnological research tools.
Beyond his scholarship, Sherkow teaches a variety of courses related to intellectual property and the life sciences; he was the winner of NYLS’s Class of 2017 Teaching Award. He has served as an expert in patent disputes in both the United States and Germany. He has also been a frequent commentator on patent matters in popular media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and NPR. Sherkow also regularly advises investment firms on matters pertaining to patent litigation in the biosciences.
Prior to joining Harvard, Sherkow held visiting academic positions at Stanford Law School and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He has also been a patent litigator at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Sherkow graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an editor of the Michigan Law Review and the recipient of the Fred L. Leckie and James N. Adler Scholarships. He holds an M.A. in biotechnology from Columbia University and a B.Sc. from McGill University, where he majored in molecular biology and English literature. In addition to his legal training, Sherkow has several years of experience as a research scientist in molecular biology, is a certified Editor in the Life Sciences (BELS), and is an avid squash player. He is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.