Dr. Gladys Monroy

A leading intellectual property lawyer, Dr. Gladys Monroy served as a senior partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, a multinational law firm where she founded and headed the Patent Law Group until her retirement in 2015. Dr. Monroy is also a biochemist: She holds a PhD from New York University, conducted postdoctoral research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and served as an assistant professor at New York Medical College, where she headed her own research lab.

Among her many advisory roles, Dr. Monroy served as president of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association and on the board of the Intellectual Property Committee of the State Bar. She also sits on the boards of Cancer Commons, the Myeloma Institute of the University of Arkansas and GPN Vaccines, and is a trustee of the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation. She has won numerous accolades for her legal work, including being named Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year as part of the Chambers Women in Law Awards for 2012.

Born in New York, Dr. Monroy has lived in California since the 1980s. While working as a research associate at the University of California, San Francisco, she noticed that many successful scientists, struggling to obtain grants from traditional funding agencies, leave academia to launch biotech startups. Seeking a way to keep some of the monetary windfalls of this intellectual property on campus, where it can fund future research, Dr. Monroy entered law school at the University of San Francisco, earning her JD in 1986 and embarking on a successful career as a patent attorney.

Dr. Monroy’s passion for scientific discovery is reflected in her devotion to the Weizmann Institute. Together with her husband, Larry Marks, a fellow honorary PhD recipient, she served as co-chair of the American Committee’s Bay Area Region, led an American Committee mission to Israel and in 2014, was inducted into the President’s Circle. A life member of the Weizmann Institute’s International Board, she became the president of the American Committee in 2019.

Dr. Monroy first learned about the Weizmann Institute as a postdoc, when she published research together with Prof. Yoram Groner, who would go on to do pioneering work in molecular genetics and serve as the Weizmann’s vice president. They have remained friends for some 50 years. Prof. Groner was Dr. Monroy’s gateway to the Weizmann Institute, which she and Larry – who trained in chemistry before moving into a career in real estate – both enthusiastically support.

Among their philanthropic gifts, the couple established the Monroy-Marks Career Development Chair – held by neuroscientist Dr. Yarden Cohen – and a Research Fellow Chair, held by staff scientist Dr. Tali Scherf, head of the Institute’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Unit in the Chemical Research Support Department. Increasing the impact of a center for neuroscience research they generously funded in 2017, they recently added to their giving to establish the Monroy-Marks Integrative Center for Brain Disorder Research within the flagship Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences.

Dr. Monroy continues to cultivate and expand the Institute’s circle of supporters in the United States.