Dr Ben Tolley

Trainee Patent Attorney

Ben joined HGF in 2012 after completing a Gatsby funded PhD in plant molecular biology at the University of Cambridge.  He recently passed the Post Graduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law (Queen Mary University of London), graduating with a distinction.  

Ben's professional interests include drafting and prosecuting UK, European and International patent applications for a wide range of life sciences technologies, with a particular focus on plant and algal biotechnologies.  He has worked with a range of clients from multinational corporations and SMEs to universities, combining a detailed technical knowledge with an in depth understanding of the AgBio sector.

Graduating with a first class honours degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Manchester, specialising in plant molecular biology and receiving the Richard Ashman prize as the highest-placed student in the year, Ben was awarded a Sainsbury Undergraduate Scholarship at the University of Cambridge to investigate changes in plant water use in response to climate change, and completed a research placement at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Continuing his interest in molecular biology, Ben won a Sainsbury PhD studentship at Cambridge to study the molecular basis of C4 photosynthesis.  Publishing two papers from his PhD thesis, his work focused on dissecting the molecular mechanisms underpinning leaf development and gene expression in C4 plants, with an emphasis on developing strategies for engineering C4 photosynthesis into C3 crop systems such as rice.

In his professional work, he has recently worked on technologies involving gene editing tools, genetic testing, biomarkers, oncology diagnostics, algal biotechnologies, plant breeding tools and technologies relating to the genetic manipulation of plant development, micropropagation, protein optimisation and biofuel production.