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Genes and the Human Genome Project

Thursday November 2001


Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D. President, Rockefeller University

The revolution in biology has begun to pay real dividends in health care. For the first time, we understand the origins of cancer in human beings and have begun to design drugs that kill cancerous cells with no side effects.

The era of rational drug design is with us, and 402 new drugs for the treatment of cancer are in the pipeline (FDA approved trials) today. This brings new challenges to a rapidly changing and ethically more complex medical system in the United States.

Science will continue to present us with changes—from stem cells to biological warfare—for which our society must prepare itself.

Dr. Levine, President of The Rockefeller University, is a molecular biologist whose discoveries have been key to understanding cancer.