NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – August 20, 2020 – Johnson & Johnson today announced Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian as the winner of the 2020 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research for his incisive research revealing the fundamental aspects of metabolism that have profound implications for the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
“Like all of the past Dr. Paul Janssen Award winners, and indeed like Dr. Janssen himself, Dr. Cantley challenged the status quo, asked provocative questions, and tirelessly followed his curiosity to uncover scientific insights that have led to an expanded understanding of human biology and the development of solutions that can improve people’s lives,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We are proud to honor the legacy of Dr. Janssen by celebrating today's research pioneers like Dr. Cantley.”
Selected by an independent committee of world-renowned scientists, Cantley won for his discovery of phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K), a key enzyme that promotes cell growth and division, and plays a critical role in diseases including cancer to diabetes, as well as rare diseases such as mosaicism. He joins 18 scientists who have received the Dr. Paul Janssen Award since 2004, including three who went on to win the Nobel Prize.
“I am honored to be named the winner of this year’s Paul Janssen Award,” said Dr. Cantley, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and a professor of cancer biology at Weill Cornell Medicine. “I share Dr. Janssen’s passion for scientific exploration, and I’m pleased to receive this recognition of the work done in my laboratory.”
The Award is part of Johnson & Johnson’s Champions of Science initiative to fuel public engagement, support and trust in science.
“The critical role of science in our society has been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Seema Kumar, Vice President, Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication, Johnson & Johnson. “Today more than ever, we look to science to provide answers and new solutions to maintain our health and solve complex medical challenges. By sharing the stories of scientists across generations and geographies, from students to those at the pinnacle of their career, like the winners of the Dr. Paul Janssen Award, we hope to engage more people in becoming ardent champions of science.”
Dr. Cantley’s work will be celebrated during the Champions of Science: Dr. Paul Janssen Award 2020 webcast, open to the public, on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. ET via Johnson & Johnson's page on LinkedIn. This unique virtual celebration will honor Dr. Cantley, showcase young innovators at the start of their STEM journeys, and engage the public in a conversation about the importance of science in society.
In addition, Dr. Cantley will be honored at a virtual scientific symposium, presented in collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences, on September 16, 2020, at 9 a.m. ET. The event will feature presentations from leading experts on the biology of cellular metabolism and its role in human health and disease, including Matthew Vander Heiden, M.D., Ph.D. of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, Karen Vousden, Ph.D., of the Francis Crick Institute, and Ulrike Philippar, Ph.D., of Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Click here to register or for additional information.
“Dr. Cantley’s discoveries have transformed our understanding of how human cellular metabolism works,” said Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., President of The Rockefeller University and Dr. Paul Janssen Award committee chair. “The discovery of PI3K has led to better treatment of a range of diseases, bringing hope to countless patients around the world.”
“The research of Dr. Cantley has been illustrative in understanding the metabolic properties of malignant cells and in informing more targeted approaches in cancer treatment,” said Peter Lebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “Dr. Cantley’s contributions have spurred innovations in oncology that have ultimately benefited many patients, and he has inspired many scientists to progress new research strategies.”
About Champions of Science
Science touches our lives in every imaginable way. From antibiotics and telecommunications, to genomics, precision medicine and 3D printing, science has improved the human condition leading to longer, healthier, happier lives for people all over the world. To continue to advance, science needs champions!
As a global healthcare company, The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is uniquely positioned to champion the role of science in society. Champions of Science is a multi-faceted public engagement initiative to convene and catalyze champions of science and engage people of all generations and backgrounds to see the unlimited opportunities that science brings. To learn more, visit www.jnj.com/champions-of-science
About the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Dr. Paul Janssen was one of the 20th century’s most gifted and passionate researchers. He helped save millions of lives through his contribution to the discovery and development of more than 80 medicines, four of which remain on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.
The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research was established by Johnson & Johnson in 2004 to honor the memory of Dr. Paul. Since its inception, the Award has recognized 18 outstanding scientists, three of whom have gone on to win the Nobel Prize for the same work. Winners are chosen by an independent selection committee of the world’s most renowned scientists. The Award, which includes a $200,000 prize, is presented at ceremonies in September.
Previous winners include:
· 2019 – Franz-Ulrich Hartl, M.D., and Arthur Horwich, M.D.
· 2018 – James Allison, Ph.D. Nobel Laureate
· 2017 – Douglas Wallace, Ph.D.
· 2016 – Yoshinori Ohsumi, Ph.D. Nobel Laureate
· 2015 – Bert Vogelstein, M.D.
· 2014 – Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D. and Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D.
· 2013 – David Julius, Ph.D.
· 2012 – Victor Ambros, Ph.D., and Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D.
· 2011 – Napoleon Ferrara, M.D.
· 2010 – Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. and Erick De Clercq, M.D., Ph.D.
· 2009 – Axel Ullrich, Ph.D.
· 2008 – Sri Ravinder Maini, FRCP, FMedSci, FRS and Marc Feldmann, FMedSci, FAA, FRS
· 2006 – Craig Mello, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate
Learn more about The Dr. Paul Janssen Award at www.pauljanssenaward.com
About Johnson & Johnson
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly based health care company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. To learn more, visit www.jnj.com