Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle

Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox
R. Wilson Powers III, Ph.D.

Mind + Muscle

R. Wilson Powers III, Ph.D.



Dr. Powers is a director in the Litigation Group, but also has deep roots in the firm's Biotech Practice Group. He has served as counsel on over 40 inter partes review and post grant review proceedings and has extensive experience litigating before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Dr. Powers also works with clients on a variety of other matters including district court litigation, intellectual property strategic advice, licensing, International Trade Commission investigations under §337, evaluating patent portfolios, drafting patent applications, and prosecuting interferences. He also manages the preparation of invalidity, non-infringement, and freedom-to-operate opinions. Dr. Powers has significant technical experience in the fields of aging, surgery, stem cell biology, microbiology, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and other areas of biotechnology.

Dr. Powers earned his B.A. in biology from the University of Virginia. Then he received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. There, he developed high-throughput assays for measuring the life span of eukaryotic cells. Screens carried out using these methods led Dr. Powers and his colleagues to discover that reduction in TOR pathway signaling is one mechanism by which caloric restriction extends life span. These findings were published in the journals Science and Genes and Development. Ongoing work in several labs has confirmed that the methods identified by Dr. Powers extend life span in mammals.

Dr. Powers is also actively engaged in the firm’s pro bono access to medicines program. Dr. Powers works with pro bono clients to bring patent challenges in developing countries to eliminate patents that are blocking access to essential medicines.  

Technical Publications

DeVit, M and Powers, R.W. New genetic strategies for protein discovery  based on whole genome sequences. Drug Discovery Today (2003)

Kaeberlein, M., Powers, R. W., Steffen, K. K., Westman, E. A., Hu, D., Dang, N., Kerr, E. O., Kirkland, K. T., Fields, S., and Kennedy, B. K. Regulation of yeast replicative life span by Tor and Sch9 in response to  nutrients. Science(2005) 310, 1193-1196.

Powers, R. W., Kaeberlein, M., Caldwell, S. D., Kennedy, B. K., Fields, S. Extension of yeast chronological life span by reduced Tor activity. Genes Dev. (2006) 20, 174-84.

Powers, R.W., Harrison, D.E., Flurkey, K. Pituitary removal in adult mice increases life span. Mech Ageing and Dev. (2006) 127, 658-659

Preston W. Estep III, Matt Kaeberlein, Pankaj Kapahi, Brian K. Kennedy, Gordon J. Lithgow, George M. Martin, Simon Melov, R. Wilson Powers III and Heidi A. Tissenbaum, Life-Extension Pseudoscience and the SENS Plan. MIT Technology Review,(2006) 109, 80-84

Kaeberlein M. and Powers R.W. Sir2 and calorie restriction in yeast: a skeptical perspective. Ageing Res Rev. (2007) 6, 128-140

  • Admissions
      • United States Patent and Trademark Office

      • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

      • California

      • District of Columbia

  • Education
    • J.D., American University

    • Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Washington

    • B.A., Biology, University of Virginia Dean's Honors


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