Petra D. Cravens, PhD

Petra D. Cravens, PhD
Technical Specialist
O: 409-632-7814
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McNeill Baur PLLC
500 W. Silver Spring Drive
Suite K200
Glendale, WI 53217

Delivering extensive life sciences knowledge and experience

As a technical specialist, Petra assists McNeill Baur attorneys and clients with complex scientific issues in patent drafting, prosecution, and counseling. Petra's extensive professional and scientific experience in the academic, industry, and clinical sectors provides background for her patent work in all life sciences disciplines.

Petra received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), where she studied the human antigen presenting cell development and function. Her post-doctoral studies at UTSW focused on the development and function of the immune system within a xenograft model of hematopoiesis and on inflammation of the central nervous system leading to autoimmunity. Petra’s areas of expertise include both human and murine immunology, autoimmunity, multiple sclerosis, cell-based assays for immune cell function, and multi-parameter flow cytometry.

As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UTSW, Petra studied the role of alpha-4 integrin in the trafficking of immune cells into the central nervous system and developed mouse models for this purpose. Her work utilized multi-parameter flow cytometry (Aria, LSRII), CBA, ELISA, MLR, real time PCR, processing of human blood components, assays for DC and T cell function, confocal microscopy, primary cell culture and cell lines.

Petra then joined Thermogenesis/CESCA Therapeutics as a Field Application Scientist, where she provided technical and scientific support to cord blood stem cell banks by analyzing data, providing technical and scientific information on stem cell isolation and specific applications, and working directly with customers in their facilities. Petra developed training plans and conducted technical training courses. Her work included root cause and cellular therapy process analysis in cGMP facilities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and China.

Prior to working with McNeill Baur PLLC, Petra worked as the Laboratory Director at Texas Stem Cell, a cord blood stem cell processing facility, where she provided oversight in the design and construction of the facility and was responsible for its operations in accordance with the relevant standards and regulations for human stem cell products. These responsibilities also included teaching and training of staff, process development, process validation, preparation of standard operating procedures, and regulatory compliance documents. 

Select Publications

"IL-12/IL-23p40 Is Highly Expressed in Secondary Lymphoid Organs and the CNS during All Stages of EAE, but Its Deletion Does Not Affect Disease Perpetuation," PLoS One 11(10):e0165248 (2016) (coauthor).

"Behavioural and neurological symptoms accompanied by cellular neuroinflammation in IL-10-deficient mice infected with Plasmodium chabaudi," Malaria Journal 15(1):428 (2016) (coauthor).

"The neonatal CNS is not conducive for encephalitogenic Th1 T cells and B cells during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis," Journal of Neuroinflammation 2013 May 24;10:67 (coauthor).

"Developmental maturation of innate immune cell function correlates with susceptibility to central nervous system autoimmunity," European Journal of Immunology 2013 Aug;43(8):2078-88 (coauthor).

"CCL2 upregulation triggers hypoxic preconditioning-induced protection from stroke,"Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012 Feb 16;9:33 (coauthor).

"Lymph node-derived donor encephalitogenic CD4+ T cells in C57BL/6 mice adoptive transfer experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis highly express GM-CSF and T-bet," Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2011 Jun 24;8:73 (coauthor).


University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

PhD, Immunology, 2001


Texas Christian University

MS, Biology, 1989


University of Toronto

BS, Microbiology, 1986