Kirsten A.K. Weigel-Van Aken

Kirsten A.K. Weigel-Van Aken, MD

Associate | Biotechnology
202.350.2799 LinkedIn Profile


  • MD, Heidelberg University School of Medicine
  • JD, University of Florida Levin College of Law, cum laude

Key Technologies

  • Gene therapy
  • Biologics
  • Therapeutic antibodies
  • Cell therapies
  • Vaccines
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Diagnostics
  • Small & large molecule formulations

Practice Groups


  • German

Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • US Patent and Trademark Office


  • Washington, DC


Kirsten Weigel-Van Aken counsels clients in a wide variety of intellectual property matters including patent portfolio development, IP strategy, due diligence, freedom-to-operate, and patent landscape analysis. She works with clients spanning the biotechnology, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries.

Kirsten’s experience includes patent prosecution in the areas of molecular biology, cell biology, virology, protein biology, small molecule pharmaceuticals, large molecule pharmaceuticals including antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, T cell engagers, cell therapeutics, viral and non-viral gene therapeutics, RNA therapeutics, gene editing therapeutics, vaccines, targeted delivery systems, heterodimerization focused production and purification systems, isotope barcoding diagnostics, environmental biosensor systems, and nanotechnologies.

Prior to joining Wolf Greenfield, Kirsten was an associate at an intellectual property law firm, where she assisted with patent prosecution and portfolio management.

Before beginning her legal career, Kirsten received her MD from the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine, where her research focused on the role of T cell subpopulations in the immune response to gynecological cancers. She then completed her residency and a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular cardiology at the University of Münster School of Medicine. She performed another postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Immunology & Microbiology and Walter Oncology Center at Indiana University School of Medicine. From there, she joined the faculty at the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Cellular & Molecular Therapy, where she developed parvovirus based gene therapy vectors to target hematopoietic stem cells and various cancers.


  • Research Fellowship, German National Research Foundation
  • Governor’s Merit Scholarship
  • University of Florida Junior Investigator Award
  • Florida Department of Health New Investigator Research Grant
  • Florida Law Review, Managing Editor


Scientific Publications

  • Weigel-Van Aken KA. Pharmacological activation of guanine nucleotide exchange factors for the small GTPase Rap1 recruits high affinity β1 integrins as co-receptors for parvovirus B19: improved ex vivo gene transfer to human erythroid progenitor cells. Hum Gene Ther. 20: 1-14, 2009.
  • Weigel-Kelley KA., Yoder MC, Chen L, Srivastava A. Role of integrin cross-regulation in parvovirus B19 targeting. Hum Gene Ther., 17: 909-20, 2006.
  • Weigel-Kelley KA, Yoder MC, Srivastava A. β1 integrin as a cellular co-receptor for human parvovirus B19: Requirement of functional activation of β1 integrin for viral entry. Blood 102: 3729-33, 2003.
  • Weigel-Kelley KA, Srivastava A. Recombinant human parvovirus B19 vectors. Pathol. Biol., 50: 295-306, 2002.
  • Weigel-Kelley KA, Yoder MC, Srivastava A. Recombinant human parvovirus B19 vectors: Erythrocyte P antigen is necessary but not sufficient for successful transduction of human hematopoietic cells. J. Virol., 75 (9): 4110-4116, 2001.