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Patent Information Users Group, Inc.

The International Society for Patent Information Professionals

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PIUG Board of Directors

Chair, 2020-2022: Shelley Pavlek (Bristol-Myers Squibb)


Shelley is a Senior Patent Analyst at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She began her career as a medicinal chemist in the laboratory before moving into the information field. She has spent the last 23 years first as a chemical information scientist, followed by a patent information scientist/analyst. She performs patentability, freedom to operate, validity and due diligence searches to support both the patent department and the R&D Organization within Bristol-Myers Squibb. Shelley has a B.S. in Chemistry from Gannon University and a M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Ohio University.

Telephone: +1 609-252-3264 (US)
Email: shelley dot pavlek at bms dot com

Vice-Chair, 2020-2022: Kim Miller (Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research)


Kim Miller is a Sr. Patent Analyst at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA. She has a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Western New England University. Prior to entering the world of Pharma, Kim spent 10 years in the environmental industry testing water and soil sample. During that time she was called to testified in an illegal hazardous waste dumping case in Worcester, MA. She began her chemistry searching career in 1997 and has been with Novartis since 2007. She has performed numerous chemistry patentability, FTO and (in)validity and due diligence searches for patent attorneys and research scientists as well as lead project teams. In addition to these duties, Kim is involved in mentoring of colleagues within the search and analytics group and the presentation of patent information classes for chemical scientist.

Telephone: +1 617-871-5218 (US)
Email: kimberly dot miller at novartis dot com

Secretary, 2020-2022: Leah Sandvoss (Pfizer)


Leah Sandross has worked as a biotechnology patent analyst within the Intellectual Property Department at Pfizer since 2008. In this role she partners with patent attorneys to understand the strategic direction of R&D and provides summarized reports to assess patentability, freedom to operate and validity of internal assets and 3rd party products. Leah also acts as global point of contact for attorneys aligned with the oncology and immunotherapy unit to manage and coordinate search requests. Prior to her current position, Leah joined Pfizer in 2004 as an information scientist delivering chemical and formulation patent searches, biomedical and competitive intelligence reviews to research scientists and business leaders in early stage and clinical development. During this time, she also worked as a business analyst on several software initiatives interfacing with scientists to understand data requirements. Prior to joining Pfizer, Leah completed a Master's in Medicinal Chemistry from University of Michigan, a Master's in Chemical Informatics from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Kent State University.

Telephone: +1 858-526-4028 (US)
Email: secretary at piug dot org

Treasurer, 2020-2022: Malcolm Hallam (ExxonMobil)


Malcolm Hallam is a Senior Research Associate and Team Leader for the Downstream Technical Information Center at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company in Annandale, NJ, with responsibility for all the internal and external content services and technical information management processes. He spent the first 15 years of his professional career as a polymer chemist, first in the UK and then with National Starch and Chemical Company in New Jersey. In 2000 he left the laboratory to begin a career in information science, taking on the technical and patent searching role, as well as supervision of the Information Center with the same company. In 2009 he joined ExxonMobil as a patent searcher, becoming Team Leader for the patent searching group there in 2011 until taking on his current role. Malcolm earned a D.Phil. in Chemistry from Oxford University in the UK and a M.S. degree in Management of Technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Malcolm has been a member of PIUG since 2001 and has served in various forms of the membership and member relations committees since 2009, taking on the new role of International Member Liaison in 2012.

Telephone: +1 908-335-2865 (US)
Email: treasurer at piug dot org


Immediate Past Chair: 2020-2022 Martha Yates (Bayer)


Martha Yates is the Senior IP Information Specialist for Bayer in St. Louis. She began her career with Monsanto in the library as a Scientific Searcher. Then she was a Patent Scientist in the Biotechnology organization. She has been in the Law organization since 2004. Her duties include patent searching, internal patent data management, and being the laboratory notebook goddess. Martha has a B.A. degree in Biology (magna cum laude) from Colorado College, and a M.S. degree in Biochemistry and a M.S.L.S. in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. She is a registered patent agent with the USPTO.

Telephone: +1 302-660-3275 (US)
Email: martha at piug dot org


Director-at-large, 2020-2024: Victoria Smith (Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research)


Victoria received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2016. While at the university, she worked in the areas of immunology, cancer biology, and infectious disease. During her time in the lab, Victoria began to transition her career interests to intellectual property and, in 2015, enrolled in a Master of Science in Patent Law program at the University of Notre Dame. Through participation in this program and subsequent internship at an office of technology transfer, she was taught the foundations of patent law, application drafting, and patent searching and analysis. Victoria Smith joined the Research & Development IP department at Novartis Institute of BioMedical Research in 2017.

Telephone: +1 617-871-3091 (US)
Email: victoria dot smith at novartis dot com

Director-at-large, 2018-2022: Ron Kaminecki


Ron Kaminecki performs patent searches and instructs individuals on how to search patents. He is a Patent Attorney and an Adjunct Professor at the MS in Patent Law program at Notre Dame University School where he teaches patent searching. Next semester he will also teach a patent and trademark searching course at DePaul Law School. He has conducted technical and patent searches and has advised others on patent information since the mid-1970's. He worked as Manager of Patent Information at Abbott and also in various positions at Dialog, but has always worked with technical and patent information. He has a BS in Chemistry, an MS in Computer Science and a JD with a Certificate in Patent Law and is a co-inventor of a published patent application and a co-author of a NISO standard on a common command search language.

Telephone: +1 302-660-3275 (US)
Email: ron at kaminecki dot com

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Mailing Address:  40 E. Main St., #1438

Newark, DE  19711

Phone: +1 (302) 660-3275   Fax: +1 (302) 660-3276



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