Spring 2000

Fall 1999

A Message from the Dean

Cities at the Horizon
Communities at the Horizon
Eastward from Our Horizon: U.S., China & Russia
Beyond the Horizon: Innovation and Technology

ILE Lecture: Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. L'60
Profile: Richard E. Rosin L'68
Profile: Pamela Daley L'79
Profile: Professor Jason Johnston
Profile: Howard Chang
Profile: Robert A. Gorman
Oral Legal History Project

Snippets of History
Faculty Notes
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam

Penn Law

What most captures the imagination, ironically, is that which is uncapturable.  That which lies before us inspires the rallying call “To infinity and beyond!,” first heralded by the aptly named Buzz Lightyear in the film “Toy Story.”  We can imagine a world that revolves around circuitry and chips, genes and clones, regulation and innovation.  The laws on the books today may or may not be adequate to adapt to future developments.  

What is known is that lawyers and leaders will be required to navigate the terrain.  This provides the clearest validation that the course of interdisciplinary study that has been promoted at Penn Law has prepared students well for this new era.  Equipped with the legal basics, as explorers would make sure they had maps and compasses, our alumni have fearlessly embarked on adventures beyond the horizon.  Indeed, many are defining the future for us all.

Making the Space Race a Thing of the Past
Charles A. Heimbold Jr, L'60
Chairman & CEO, Bristol Meyers Squibb

“This is an amazing time for biological science,” says Elliot Sigel, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president, Early Discovery and Applied Technology for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pharmaceutical Research Institute.  He leads the company’s Department of Applied Genomics that pursues the science that studies genes and their function.  Established in 1997, the department applies the rapid advancements in genomic information and disease genetics to drug discovery and development programs. 

Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. L’60, Bristol-Myers Squibb Chairman and CEO, and Chairman of the Law School’s Board of Overseers, has been the leader on this voyage to the unknown. “Charlie has allowed innovative technology to be brought into the company,” says Sigal.  “He set a strategy of unprecedented research and development growth.  He is an enlightened leader who allows for the creation of challenging issues and risk taking, but with accountability.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb has been at the forefront of pharmacogenomics – an emerging field that involves the use of technologies such as transcription profiling, gene sequencing, and genotyping to discover novel targets for the development of new drugs and to identify biological markers that can predict which patients will best respond to different drug regimens.The company has invested millions of dollars into this research with the goal of developing drugs that will take the guesswork out of a physician’s treatment. “A major part of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s growth is generated by our medicines business.  In that business, genomics is having a profound impact on the understanding of modern biology and on the discovery of new drugs,” states Heimbold.  “Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to being at the forefront of this revolution, integrating genomics and other technologies to increase productivity at every stage of drug development, from discovery and clinical evaluation to registration and marketing.  We’re confident that this strategy will lead to greater benefits for patients today and in the future.”

Dr. Sigal observes that the field of genomics is evolving in parallel with the law.  At the least, “this work raises questions of intellectual property and issues of informed consent.”  The creation of the Ethical Legal and Societal Implications (ELSI) group emphasizes “the importance for society that we insure privacy and confidentiality, and guard against discrimination in the use of the genetic information that will be identified.”

As Heimbold said in a lecture at the Law School recently (see p.17), "Today, genetic engineering, pharmacogenomics and molecular biology are taking us to new and unimagined frontiers in the fight against AIDS, and diseases of aging, among others."

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