Debbie Law (DPhil)
Senior Vice President, Head, Tumor Microenvironment Thematic Research Center
Redwood City, California
Debbie Law serves as senior vice president and head of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Tumor Microenvironment Thematic Research Center. In this role, Debbie leads a talented team of researchers who explore the complexities of tumors, with a specific focus on the environment the tumor creates. By exploring this complex tumor microenvironment further, Debbie and her team use findings to generate more targeted therapies that may provide therapeutic benefit for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.
Through the exploration of the tumor microenvironment, Debbie and her team paint a holistic picture of the tumor. By focusing on multiple cell types within the tumor, including the cancer cells themselves, but also immune and stromal cells, the team can better understand the tumor architecture, as well as its influence on the surrounding cells. In doing so, Debbie and her team can figure out the tactics the tumor uses to evade detection from the body’s immune system, allowing them to then develop potential therapies that can make the tumor targetable.
“We’re looking for approaches that make the tumor more visible to the host immune system,” she said. “At the end of the day, our goal is to use the patient’s own body to fight back effectively against cancer.”
Prior to joining Bristol Myers Squibb in 2020, Debbie spent time at life science companies across the Bay Area and Boston/Cambridge area, including Janssen, Merck and Jounce Therapeutics, where she served as CSO. Debbie completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow and went on to earn her Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in immunology from the University of Oxford.
Interests and Expertise
Debbie finds herself enamored by science even after she leaves work for the day. In her free time, she enjoys reading about all things science, especially as she finds herself in one of the most invigorating life science hubs in the country: the San Francisco Bay Area.
Debbie was drawn to Redwood City, and later BMS, because of the exciting and life-changing work that companies are doing up and down the San Francisco Bay. “I’ve known about the amazing work BMS has been doing in Redwood City for a long time,” she said. “It was a fascination and love of continuing to help patients that led me to Bristol Myers Squibb, and I’m excited about what’s to come from our sites here.”
Surrounding herself with science, as well as working to inspire the next generation of scientists, is just as important to Debbie. Being in an area that attracts such incredible talent, Debbie wants to inspire and mentor the up-and-coming scientists who will make the next great scientific discoveries for patients in need.