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Bonnie W. Nannenga-Combs, Ph.D.


Bonnie Nannenga-Combs, Ph.D. is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology/Chemical Practice Group. She counsels a diverse group of clients on the preparation, prosecution, and management of complex worldwide patent portfolios. She helps clients develop product exclusivity strategies in areas of biotechnology such as pharmaceuticals, therapeutic antibodies, vaccines, diagnostics, nucleic acid therapies, formulations, and biologics.

Bonnie is experienced in IP due diligence investigations and freedom to operate studies, and she prepares patentability, validity, and noninfringement opinions. She is particularly skilled at identifying patent portfolio strengths and weaknesses.

Bonnie represents clients in various stages of development and commercialization of therapeutics and diagnostics in the life sciences.  Her expertise includes developing exclusivity strategies for companies with orphan and rare disease therapies.

Bonnie is active in the firm’s Pro Bono Practice. She works with pro bono clients to prepare and prosecute patents that can be used to help advance economic, social, and cultural rights.

Her doctorate research focused on breast cancer, specifically the characterization of PPM1D, a wild-type p53-induced phosphatase, and PPM1D's role in cell cycle and DNA damage response pathways.  She earned her Ph.D. in molecular & cellular biology at Baylor College of Medicine. She received her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law and a B.S. in biology from Hope College.

Technical Publications

  • "Augmented Cancer Resistance and DNA Damage Response Phenotypes in PPM1D Mice."  Bonnie Nannenga, Xiongbin Lu, Melissa Dumble, Marc Van Maanen, Thuy-Ai Nguyen, Frances Kittrell, Daniel Medina,T. Rajendra Kumar, and Lawrence A. Donehower.  Molecular Carcinogenesis 2006.
  • "Dual roles for the phosphatase PPM1D in regulating progesterone receptor function. " Proia DA, Nannenga BW, Donehower LA, Weigel NL.  J Biol Chem. March 2006.
  • "PPM1D dephosphorylates Chk1 and p53 and abrogates cell cycle checkpoints.  " Xiongbin Lu, Bonnie Nannenga, Lawrence A. Donehower.  Genes & Development 2005.
  • "The p53-Induced Oncogenic Phosphatase Ppm1d Interacts with Uracil DNA Glycosylase and Suppresses Base Excision Repair."  X. Lu, D. Bocangel, B. Nannenga, H. Yamaguchi, E. Appella and L. Donehower.  Molecular Cell 2004.
  • "Inactivation of the Wip1 Phosphatase Inhibits Mammary Tumorigenesis through p38 MAPK-Mediated Activation on the p16Ink4a-p19Arf Tumor Suppressor Pathway."  D. Bulavin, C. Phillips, B. Nannenga, O. Timofeev, L. Donehower, C. Anderson, E. Appella, A. Fornace Jr. Nature Genetics 2004.
  • "Mice Deficient for Wild-Type p53-Induced Phosphatase Gene (Wip1) Exhibit Defects in Reproductive Organs, Immune Function, and Cell Cycle Control."  J. Choi, B. Nannenga, O. Demidov, D. Bulavin, A. Cooney, C. Brayton, Y. Zhang, I. Mbawuike, A. Bradley, E. Appella, and L. Donehower.  Molecular and Cellular Biology 2002.
  • "Enhanced Liver Cell Mutations in Trematode-Infected Big Blue Transgenic Mice. " J. Gentile, G. Gentile, B. Nannenga, M. Johnson, H. Blankespoor, R. Montero. Mutation Research 1998.

Contact Information

Phone Number


Seattle University School of Law
cum laude
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Baylor College of Medicine
Hope College
cum laude


District of Columbia
United States Patent & Trademark Office