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Xiaochu Ma, Ph.D.

Technology Specialist, Patent Agent

Boston, MA
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About Xiaochu

Xiaochu Ma, Ph.D., is a technology specialist and patent agent in the Boston office of Fish & Richardson P.C. Her practice focuses on U.S. and foreign patent drafting and prosecution in the areas of life sciences, including microbiology, virology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics. Specifically, Xiaochu has experience in technical areas such as antibody development and therapeutics, vaccine development, gene editing technologies, RNA interference, biomaterials, stem cell technologies, anti-cancer therapeutics, and drug development.

Xiaochu conducted her Ph.D. research at Yale University. Her research focused on the mechanism of HIV-1 infection. Using a single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) technique, her work revealed a critical intermediate step during the virus’ entry into host cells and identified several conformational epitopes for AIDS vaccine design. While at graduate school, Xiaochu was also a technology transfer intern at the office of cooperative research of Yale University, where she gained experience in pre-drafting patentability analysis and marketing and commercialization of innovations.


  • Ma X, Lu M, Gorman J, Terry DS, Hong X, Zhou Z, Zhao H, Altman RB, Arthos J,Blanchard SC, Kwong PD, Munro JB, Mothes W. (2018). HIV-1 Env trimer opensthrough an asymmetric intermediate in which individual protomers adopt distinct conformations. eLife. 10.7554/eLife.34271.
  • Lu, M., Ma X, L. R. Castillo-Menendez, J. Gorman, U. Ermel, D. S. Terry, M. Chambers, N. Reichard, K. Wang, J. Grover, B. P. Carman, I. Nikić-Spiegel, A. Finzi, E. A. Lemke, C. Abrams, J. B. Munro, P. D. Kwong, A. B. McDermott, S. C. Blanchard, J. G. Sodroski and Mothes W. (2019). Associating HIV-1 Env trimer structures with functional Env conformational states defined by smFRET analysis.” Nature.
  • Munro JB, Gorman J, Ma X, Zhou Z, Arthos J, Burton DR, Koff WC, Courter JR, Smith III AB, Kwong PD, Blanchard SC & Mothes W. (2014). Conformational dynamics of single HIV-1 envelope trimers on the surface of native virions. Science, 10.1126/science.1254426
  • Herschhorn A, Ma X, Gu C, Ventura JD, Castillo-Menendez L, Melillo B, Terry DS, Smith AB 3rd, Blanchard SC, Munro JB, Mothes W, Finzi A, Sodroski J. (2016). Release of gp120 Restraints Leads to an Entry-Competent Intermediate State of the HIV-1 Envelope Glycoproteins. MBio,10.1128/mBio.01598-16.
  • Herschhorn, A., C. Gu, F. Moraca, Ma X, M. Farrell, A. B. Smith, 3rd, M. Pancera, P. D. Kwong, A. Schon, E. Freire, C. Abrams, S. C. Blanchard, W. Mothes and J. G. Sodroski (2017). The beta20-beta21 of gp120 is a regulatory switch for HIV-1 Env conformational transitions. Nat Communication 8(1): 1049.
  • Kong R, Xu K, Zhou T, Acharya P, Lemmin T, Liu K, Ozorowski G, Soto C, Taft JD, Bailer RT, Cale EM, Chen L, Choi CW, Chuang GY, Doria-Rose NA, Druz A, Georgiev IS, Gorman J, Huang J, Joyce MG, Louder MK, Ma X, McKee K, O’Dell S, Pancera M, Yang Y, Blanchard SC, Mothes W, Burton DR, Koff WC, Connors M, Ward AB, Kwong PD, Mascola JR. (2016). Fusion peptide of HIV-1 as a site of vulnerability to neutralizing antibody. Science 352:828-833.
  • Kwon YD, Pancera M, Acharya P, Georgiev IS, Crooks ET, Gorman J, Joyce MG, Guttman M, Ma X, Narpala S, Soto C, Terry DS, Yang Y, Zhou T, Ahlsen G, Bailer RT, Chambers M, Chuang GY, Doria-Rose NA, Druz A, Hallen MA, HarnedA, Kirys T, Louder MK, O’Dell S, Ofek G, Osawa K, Prabhakaran M, Sastry M, Stewart-Jones GB, Stuckey J, Thomas PV, Tittley T, Williams C, Zhang B, Zhao H, Zhou Z, Donald BR, Lee LK, Zolla-Pazner S, Baxa U, Schon A, Freire E, Shapiro L, Lee KK, Arthos J, Munro JB, Blanchard SC, Mothes W, Binley JM, McDermott AB, Mascola JR, Kwong PD. (2015). Crystal structure, conformational fixation and entry-related interactions of mature ligand-free HIV- 1 Env. Nature structural & molecular biology 22:522-531.
  • Ma X, Zhou S, Wei M, Chen Y, Li J, Xiong W, Jiang S, Pan C. (2012). Phylogenetic and biological analysis of a laboratory-generated gammaretrovirus xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV). Virus Genes Oct; 45(2):218-24.
  • Wang X*, Xiong W*, Ma X*, Wei M, Chen Y, Lu L, Debnath AK, Jiang S, Pan C. The conserved residue Arg46 in the N-terminal heptad repeat domain of HIV-1gp41 is critical for viral fusion and entry. PLoS One. (2012);7(9):e44874. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044874.
  • Pan C, Ma X, Jiang S. What can academia learn from XMRV studies? Nat Rev Urol. (2012). Feb 14;9(3):174; author reply 174. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2011.225-c1.
Focus Areas




J.D., Suffolk University Law School (2022)

Ph.D., Microbiology, Yale School of Medicine (2017)

B.S., Biotechnology, Sun Yat-Sen University (2012)

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Limited) 2020
  • English
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Cantonese Chinese