Katherine (Kate) Gadacz

Director of Intellectual Property and Contracts



Kate is currently the Director of Intellectual Property and Contracts for the University of Notre Dame IDEA Center. 

Kate received her B.S. from Ohio University in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a focus on Genetics.Thereafter she received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame she also studied entrepreneurship and patent law, leading her to take the Patent Bar during graduate school and become a registered Patent Agent. This title allows her to work with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on patent prosecution matters. 

While at Notre Dame she worked on several research projects aimed to discover early diagnostic biomarkers for pancreatic cancer as well as identify factors in exosomes that cause pancreatic cancer chemoresistance. Concurrently, she collaborated with the Biomolecular Engineering Department to establish a microfluidics device capable of exosome microRNA detection in patient blood samples to serve as an early diagnostic platform for cancer. She taught classes in general biological sciences, genetics, and toxicology.  She also volunteered as an “entrepreneurial lead” for the IDEA Center’s problem validation process.

As a graduate student she created the website and social media sites for the ND Biology Graduate Student Organization. She volunteered at food pantries, science fairs and events, as well as within organizations such as Association for Women in Science (AWIS), Harper Cancer Research Institute, and the IP Law Society. As an undergraduate she volunteered at food pantries, the ACRN radio station, Brick City Records, the Tri Beta Biological Sciences Honor Society, as well as several other organizations. For fun she played soccer for the Notre Dame Ballologists as well as beach volleyball.