Who is behind the Lens

Osmat Jefferson PhD MInt Law

Osmat Jefferson PhD MInt Law

Director, PatSeq, PatCite, In4M, The Lens; Professor of Science, Technology & Law, QUT; Principal Scientist, Cambia

Originally from the mountains of Lebanon, Osmat holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Plant sciences and a master’s degree in International Law from the Australian National University.  She also has more than a decade of experience in the fields of plant disease management and crop improvement, mainly in Latin America and Asia. Osmat joined Cambia in 2005 as a scientist, and since 2009 she has also held dual appointments with QUT’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and Faculty of Law.

Her research interests cover dynamic changes in complex adaptive systems, mainly the biological innovation systems.  She has developed open public resources that foster cooperation, equal access to IP information, and transparency metrics in biological innovation systems and collaborated with other open and public institutes to render such information accessible and usable.  At Cambia, she currently leads the patent citations and biologicals projects that oversee the development of various public tools.  The patent citations work has resulted in the release of 1) a mapping facility, PatCite, that enables influence mapping of scholarly works on patents and vice versa as well as 2) a metric (QUT In4M) that measures and ranks institutional scholarship influence on industry (https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.4049) .

The patent sequence (PatSeq) facility links diverse patent-derived attributes with genetic sequences and their scientific information.  Moreover, the toolkit provides navigation capabilities at various levels to collect signals on what is subject for patenting and what is not, explore patenting patterns across genomes, and zoom in to compare patent claims (see her article in Nature Biotech at https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.2755).  In May 2014, a summary of this work was also featured by WIPO magazine (http://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2014/02/article_0008.html) and in 2015, new and novel tools were featured in the following publications:

Jefferson, O.A., Deniz Köllhofer, Prabha Ajjikuttira & Richard A Jefferson (2015) Public disclosure of biological sequences in global patent practice.  World Patent Information 43 : 12-24 at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0172219015000848

Jefferson, O.A., Köllhofer, D., Ehrich, T.H. & Jefferson, R. A. Gene patent practice across plant and human genomes, Nature Biotechnology  33 (10)  1033-1038 (2015)  http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v33/n10/full/nbt.3364.html

Jefferson, O.A., Köllhofer, D., Ehrich, T.H. & Jefferson, R. A. The ownership question of plant gene and genome Intellectual properties, Nature Biotechnology 33 (11) 1138-1143 (2015)  http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v33/n11/pdf/nbt.3393.pdf

In addition, Osmat is interested in gender and governance issues at international organisations and has published on the standard of justice system at International Labor Organisation Administrative Tribunal in March 2016 (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=496301 )

Lately, she picked up new hobbies: pencil drawing and watercoloring.


  • Professor of Information Systems in Biosciences, QUT


  • Arabic
  • French
  • Spanish