Jan 23, 2006    #013
Contact: Noemi Rojas
(816) 235-1520

Holman of UMKC and Torrance of KU. Clones? Close enough.

The similarities are as impressive as their credentials.

They both have doctorate degrees in biology, both are lawyers, both have worked in the bio industry, both now teach law, both are recent hires at their schools, and both live in Leawood.

Chris Holman began teaching last semester at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. He attended law school at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, and his Ph.D. is in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California at Davis.

Andrew Torrance joined the University of Kansas School of Law faculty last semester. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and received his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University.

Holman said he met Torrance last summer in Washington, D.C. at a meeting of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) for new law faculty. They were struck by the unique combination of professional and educational credentials they had in common.

“Andrew and I have both worked for biotechnology companies as outside counsel and as in-house attorneys,” Holman said. “I am not aware of any other full-time law professor in this country with a Ph.D. in the biological sciences and with that kind of experience. It is ironic that we ended up being neighbors.”

Torrance, too, is tickled by the fact that they both ended up moving to the same city to do strikingly similar things.

“It makes you wonder if human cloning is already here,” Torrance joked.

Holman has worked in the science industry as vice-president of intellectual property and patent counsel at several Silicon Valley biotechnology companies. His research interests lie at the intersection of law and technology, with an emphasis on patent law as it is applied in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. At UMKC, Holman will not only teach law with a life science emphasis; he hopes to engage in interdisciplinary projects with UMKC’s life science academic units and business school.

Torrance practiced biotechnology patent law at Fish and Richardson LLC, the world’s largest intellectual property law firm, and has served as in-house patent counsel at Inverness Medical Innovations, a global biotechnology company. Torrance’s research interests are in intellectual property, patent law, biotechnology, bioethics, environmental law, biodiversity and conservation.


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