Gayani R. Weerasinghe, is an accomplished corporate and intellectual property attorney. She has ten years of experience in the practice of law with both law firm and in-house company experience and has a strong background in biomedical science and research. Her comprehensive understanding of legal intricacies, combined with a solid scientific foundation, has positioned her as a leading figure in the biotech sector.

Professional Legal Experience

Her expertise encompasses a wide range of legal areas, including intellectual property, regulatory compliance, licensing agreements, and mergers and acquisitions. She excels in navigating the intersection of law and science to drive business success. During her tenure at Sorrento Therapeutics in 2015 to 2017, a public biopharmaceutical company specializing in immune-oncology, she played a pivotal role in securing $225 million in funding, oversaw the management of a large intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and worked directly with the general counsel, contributing to the smooth day-to-day operations of the company. While at a large firm, Ms. Weerasinghe played a significant role in approximately fifteen intellectual property due diligence projects related to the merger acquisitions of biopharmaceutical companies. Acting as outside counsel for the financing banks involved in these transactions, she was instrumental in evaluating and overseeing the intellectual property components of these strategic deals accounting for collectively billions of dollars in merger acquisitions in biotech space.

Science Background

Ms. Weerasinghe did nine years of biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, focusing on diabetes, stem cells, and neuroinflammation. She was a post-baccalaureate fellow at National Institute on Aging (NIA) and a Ph.D. candidate with Johns Hopkins and NIH, resulting in a terminal Masters with six years of Ph.D. training, and twelve peer-reviewed articles covering: cell signaling processes related to diabetes, inflammatory responses in Alzheimer’s disease and Bipolar Disorder, and developmental cancer.


She holds a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cell Biology from California State University, Northridge, CA, and earned her Master’s Degree in Cellular Molecular Developmental Biology & Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University & NIH Partnership Program in Baltimore, MD. She holds Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law with honors in Intellectual Property Concentration. She also has a diploma from Hassen Internation Summer University at Giessen, Germany for European Intellectual Property and Biotechnology Program.

Recent Awards & Certifications

  • 2023 Athena on Boards Cohort 12
  • 2020-2023 Super Lawyers Rising Stars | Thomson Reuters
  • 2023 Best Lawyers San Diego
  • 2023 Leaders of Influence in Life Science Honorees | San Diego Business Journal (SDBJ)
  • 2022 Top 50 Leaders of Influence in Life Science Honorees | SDBJ
  • 2021Women of Influence Life Sciences in San Diego | SDBJ

Board Positions

  • 2019- 2020 Vice President | South Asian Bar Association of San Diego | 501(c)(6)
  • 2017-2019 Director | Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego Recent Community Involvements
  • 2021-2023 Co-Editor of San Diego Lawyer (SDL) Magazine
    • 2019 – 2021 SDL Committee Member
  • 2022 – 2023 Chair of Women In Bio Southern California Chapter (WIB SoCal)
    • 2021 – 2022 Vice Chair WIB SoCal
    • 2019 – 2021 Strategic Advisor for Female Founders Forum | WIB SoCal
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