Immac Juventinus Thampoe, Ph.D., J.D., or Casey as many knew him, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, June 18, 2021.
Immac is survived by his wife of 26 years, Virginia and children, Michael and Emily; his parents, Anna and Joseph Thampoe; his uncle Bishop Emeritus Thomas Savundaranayagam; his siblings Vijitha (Dudley), Basti (Karen), Indra (late Philip), and Lalanthi (Peter); parents in-law the late John Alfred Singarayer and Rose Alfred; in-laws late Antony (Jeeva), Sylvester (Sharmila), Felician (Sujeeva), and Anne (Kannan); and his many nieces and nephews.
Despite all his accomplishments in the fields of biology, law, and on the tennis court, Immac was a very grounded and humble man who loved his family and friends dearly. Known for his hearty laugh, brilliant smile, and jovial nature, he lit up any room he was in. He enjoyed many things including classic rock music, cooking for his colleagues, family, friends, and teammates, enjoying the culinary offerings of different cultures, gardening, the outdoors, and reading.
Immac was born on February 2, 1959 in Kayts, Sri Lanka and spent most of his childhood and early adolescence in Colombo. He attended St. Benedict’s College in Colombo and spent time as an altar boy and as a Boy Scout. During his time at school, he earned top marks and received many accolades.
Just before his 16th birthday, he was awarded with a scholarship that allowed for him to move to the United States in 1975 to pursue studies in the Jesuit tradition at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, New York City.
He would then go onto pursue Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Biology on the Rose Hill Campus at Fordham University. His doctoral research was done under the supervision of Dr. Sergio Abreu and focused on the area of biological characterization of fibroblast interferon. After finishing his Ph.D., he worked as a post-doctoral Research Fellow and Research Associate in tumor immunology at the flagship location of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1986 to 1990. At MSKCC, he worked under Dr. Kenneth Lloyd.
Spending many years as a scientist, Immac began to work in the law field during the day while attending Fordham Law School in the evening, from where he graduated from in 1994. His first forays into the world of patent law include a role as an Associate Patent Agent in the Biotechnology Patent Law Group at Fish & Neave (now Ropes & Gray) and as an Associate in the Intellectual Property Group at Cummings & Lockwood.
He then spent time in various roles as an in-house Patent Attorney at Schering-Plough Corporation, time as Managing IP Counsel at Merck & Co. after the merger with Schering-Plough, and time at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., most recently as the Executive Director & Assistant General Counsel for IP Portfolio Development.
Immac is a past President of the New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association, and the chair of the group’s Patent Litigation Committee since 2000. He chaired and spoke at many biotechnology patent law conferences in Boston, London, Munich, New York, and San Francisco.
Outside of his illustrious education and work, he played Varsity Squash for Fordham and managed its Squash and Tennis teams. Since 2011, he has been a player captain of USTA Adult League teams and has led over 10 different teams to the USTA National Championships. He has received many accolades from the USTA including the 2017 Middle States New Jersey Captain of the Year award.
To our dad, who did so much in his life and for us and our mother- we are blessed to have made many wonderful memories with you. We will miss you dearly, may you rest in peace. We love you very much, till we meet again. -Michael and Emily Thampoe
Thank you for the outpouring of support you have shown the Thampoe family during this time. Going forward, in lieu of flowers and memorial trees, the family suggests that a donation can be made to the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services (RCCAS). RCCAS is a program that Dr. Thampoe has been supporting in the past few years. To make a donation, one can go to https://bit.ly/3gTvNBs and indicate that they'd like to support the Supporting Community Access through Leisure and Employment (SCALE) Program specifically. Thank you again for your messages and for your care, it is much appreciated.
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