NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Nov. 16, 2016 – Johnson & Johnson today announced the establishment of the Susan Lindquist Chair for Women in Science to honor the life and legacy of Susan L. Lindquist, Ph.D., a globally renowned scientist whose intellectually courageous, boundary defying research significantly advanced science and medicine in the field of protein folding. Dr. Lindquist, who passed away October 27, left behind a storied career and reputation in biomedical innovation that spanned basic research, entrepreneurship, and mentorship for women in science. The $5 million Chair is endowed in perpetuity at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and will be awarded to a female scientist to advance biomedical research.
“Sue was a scientific pioneer who changed fundamental understanding of the biology of human health. As part of the Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors, she challenged us to use science and technology in new ways to help improve the health and lives of people all around the world,” said Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson. “We are pleased to establish this Chair in Sue’s name, recognizing a greatly respected and beloved scientist and a passionate advocate for women in science.”
An insightful leader with an incomparable perspective on the intersection of academic and commercial medical research, Dr. Lindquist’s research changed the scientific community’s understanding of protein folding and its role in human health, including diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. In addition to founding and co-founding multiple biotechnology companies, she served on the Johnson & Johnson Board of Directors since 2004 as Chairman of its Science, Technology & Sustainability Committee and as a member of its Regulatory, Compliance & Government Affairs Committee. When she joined the Whitehead Institute as both a Member and the Institute’s Director in 2001, she became the Institute’s first female head and one of the first women in the nation to lead a major independent research organization.
David C. Page, M.D., Director of the Whitehead Institute and Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said, "We are so pleased to partner with Johnson & Johnson to honor Sue’s legacy and the impact of women in science. In shaping the focus of this endowed Chair with Sue and Johnson & Johnson, our aim was to ensure the incumbents have great flexibility in how they pursue her legacy of stellar science and courageous leadership.”
Dr. Lindquist’s personal warmth and generosity were widely admired. As one colleague remembered, “she became one of my dearest mentors—never failing to check in on me, regularly inviting me to lunch to talk about the latest developments in our labs, even thinking to send me a gift to welcome my newborn son. Speaking with Sue always left me with a sense that everything was possible—that one could be a first-class scientist and a first-class human being. The world somehow expanded for all of us because she was in it. Sue made a point of lifting others up and championing younger people—she showed by example that this is how to have maximal impact.”
“Sue changed the face of research in so many ways, and she will be deeply missed. We are pleased that her legacy and inspiration continues in her research and in support for other women in science through this new Chair,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “She was a phenomenal role model in all ways, to young men and women alike. She was one of the finest people I have ever had the privilege to know.”
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