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Johnson & Johnson people of the year 2017

Johnson & Johnson’s People of the Year: 25 stories of inspiration and innovation from 2017

From the incredible researchers who’ve dedicated their life’s work to fighting chronic diseases to those who work tirelessly to bring hope to underserved populations, we’re taking a moment to celebrate the company’s many heroes.

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As the year draws to a close, we’re reflecting on some of the stories that really inspired us in 2017.

At Johnson & Johnson, over 130,000 employees have the privilege of working toward helping improve healthcare around the world and bettering the lives of those most in need.

These values are spelled out in Our Credo, the company’s guiding business philosophy, and can be seen in action every day across Johnson & Johnson’s many divisions—from Global Community Impact to Citizenship & Sustainability—and operating companies, including Janssen Pharmaceuticals and DePuy Synthes.

Here’s a look at some of the Johnson & Johnson innovators, leaders, do-gooders and everyday heroes who wowed us this past year—and who will no doubt continue to up the wow factor in 2018 and beyond.

The inspiring innovators

The Johnson & Johnson Under 40 to Watch List: 6 young trailblazing scientists

Six up-and-coming innovators from Johnson & Johnson’s inaugural Under 40 to Watch List

Johnson & Johnson’s inaugural Under 40 to Watch List spotlighted six up-and-coming innovators: young scientists leaving their mark in the areas of neurology, oncology, infectious diseases and more.

The JLABS Story: How a Johnson & Johnson incubator is helping nurture the next great healthcare breakthroughs

JLABS, an incubator division of Johnson & Johnson

JLABS Locations: Texas Medical Center Scientist

One way Johnson & Johnson identifies and nurtures new talent in healthcare innovation is through JLABS, an incubator division of the company that celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2017. This in-depth look at JLABS shows how it has championed dozens of budding biotech start-ups to date.

“I want to Revolutionize healthcare": Meet the 26-year-old CEO of start-Up IntuiTap

Jessica Traver of IntuiTap

Jessica Traver

One of those start-ups is IntuiTap, spearheaded by 26-year-old CEO Jessica Traver, who’s made it her mission to create a product that will help make spinal taps more effective and easier to administer.

3 entrepreneurs, 3 big ideas: Cutting-edge cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes research

Quickfire: holding molecules

Three other inspiring innovators doing cutting-edge research to help combat Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer won the World Without Disease QuickFire Challenge—sponsored by JLABS and Janssen Research & Development—and nabbed $500,000 in grant money to advance their work.

The next generation of cancer care: How Johnson & Johnson is working to defeat—and even prevent—the disease

A diagram of cancer cells

The scientists at Janssen Oncology are also taking an innovative approach to cancer research to help treat, prevent and potentially even someday eradicate some forms of one of the most devastating diseases of our time.

4 amazing men and women at the forefront of HIV work

A photo of a scientist looking at a microscope

A scientist using a microscope

nicolas_/Getty Images

Meet four brilliant researchers who’ve dedicated their life’s work to tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

This is your brain with schizophrenia: How the illness manifests and what researchers are doing to help


Johnson & Johnson scientists, like Husseini Manji, M.D., are focused on unraveling the mysteries of schizophrenia to help find ways to minimize the toll it takes on the brain and improve long-term health outcomes for the millions who have the mental illness.

5 things we now know about autism

A photo of a boy wearing blue headphones and looking out train window

Gahan Pandina and his neuroscience team are doing equally groundbreaking work with Autism Spectrum Disorder through an exciting new learning system called JAKE™, or the Janssen Autism Knowledge Engine. We spoke to Pandina and the Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development at Duke University Medical Center to get the very latest facts about autism—and dispel some misconceptions.

The power of 3-D printing: How this technology is blazing new medical frontiers

Sam Onukuri, head of Johnson & Johnson’s 3-D Printing Center of Excellence

Sam Onukuri, head of Johnson & Johnson’s 3-D Printing Center of Excellence, has his sights set on changing the landscape of healthcare through such 3-D printed innovations as surgical tools and medical implants that are customized for each patient.

“I designed my knee replacement”: Meet the Johnson & Johnson employee who benefited from his own innovation

Dan Rumple of DePuy Synthes

This year, we also got to know Dan Rumple at DePuy Synthes, who went from product designer of the Attune® Knee System to patient when he underwent a double knee replacement surgery at age 48.

“I’m a mom who makes products for babies”: Meet 4 Johnson & Johnson safety scientists

A photo of a parent holding a baby wrapped in towel

Cutest baby child after bath with towel on head

NataliaDeriabina/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Take a peek behind the scenes at Johnson’s® Baby, where four women working in research and development are coupling their scientific know-how with maternal insight and instincts to ensure the products they develop meet the highest standards.

The Inspiring Do-Gooders

Bringing hope to girls in Guatemala, one bicycle at a time

Young schoolgirls and members of Girl Up and UNFPA at a bike distribution in Guatemala

Through its partnership with Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign aimed at improving the futures of young girls, Johnson & Johnson is helping give girls in Guatemala better access to education via one simple item: a bicycle.

How Johnson & Johnson is helping to give hope to the youngest Syrian refugees

A photo of Asma and Ahmed at the Save the Children Learning Center in Mount Lebanon

With the support of partners like Johnson & Johnson, Save the Children has created unique education programs in Lebanon that are helping displaced refugee children thrive. Go behind the scenes to meet some of the amazingly resilient kids and families who are rebuilding their lives in the region.

4 stories of Johnson & Johnson customer service employees who’ve saved lives

A photo of the aftermath of the 2017 Kos, Greece, earthquake

Dionisis Partheniadis/Dionisis Partheniadis / SOOC

At Johnson & Johnson, thousands of customer service representatives work hard each day to ensure smooth deliveries and a seamless experience for customers. In October, we spotlighted four of these unsung heroes who went above and beyond to help change lives in times of crisis.

This Johnson & Johnson patent holder is helping to save the planet

A photo of a school of fish underwater

horizontal shot of colorful tropical fishes underwater, amazing nature background.

In 2017, Robert Predale, Director of Environmental Product Stewardship at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., and his team were awarded a patent for their unique Global Aquatic Ingredient Assessment Tool™ (GAIA), which is helping the company meet its sustainability goals.

7 women who are helping to change the world for women

Alice Lin Fabiano shows women in India how mMitra works

From helping to reduce HIV/AIDS infections in vulnerable populations to inspiring more girls to pursue careers in science, these seven Johnson & Johnson employees are doing their part to help improve the health, safety and trajectory of women worldwide.

The inspiring leaders

Johnson & Johnson leaders make Fortune‘s 2017 Most Powerful Women List

Johnson & Johnson’s Sandi Peterson (left) and Jennifer Taubert from Fortune's 2017 Most Powerful Women List

Sandi Peterson, Group Worldwide Chair, and Jennifer Taubert, Company Group Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, The Americas, were both named again this year to the annual Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list.

How Johnson & Johnson’s Health for Humanity 2020 goals can help improve the well-being of the world

A landscape of a lake and mountains

Two more leading ladies—Lauren Moore, Vice President, Global Community Impact, and Paulette Frank, Worldwide Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability—are working to change the trajectory of human health for the better by helping the company achieve its Health for Humanity 2020 Goals.

4 ways Johnson & Johnson is leading the fight against cyberattackers

A photo of a person typing on a computer keyboard

After cyberhacking made headlines this year, we pulled back the curtain to profile members of the company’s cybersecurity team and the proactive measures they’re taking to help keep patients safe.

3 ways Johnson & Johnson is taking talent acquisition to the next level

A photo of a person drinking coffee and looking at J&J Shine on their cell phone

Learn how Sjoerd Gehring, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, and his team are disrupting the talent acquisition process by harnessing forward-thinking technologies aimed at reinventing what it’s like to apply for a job.

The Inspiring Everyday Heroes

A perfect match: “How a bone marrow transplant saved my life”

A photo of Dana Pelz

After a bone marrow donor saved her from a life-threatening blood disorder, Johnson & Johnson employee Dana Pelz looked to pay it forward through bone marrow drives and a Be The Match campaign designed to educate co-workers about the importance of being a registered donor.

This unique Johnson & Johnson program lets employees take paid time off work to do good

A photo of Reinhard Juraschek with children and a guitar in Guatemala

In April, we profiled four altruistic employees who’ve taken advantage of the company’s Extended Volunteer Leave Policy, which allows staffers to take up to two weeks away from their jobs to volunteer at a nonprofit and help make a lasting difference in the world.

Meet the Johnson & Johnson engineer who’s giving back to his home country—one computer at a time

A photo of Philemon Padonou with CodeToHope children

Philemon Padonou explains in his own words the many obstacles he overcame on his way to becoming a software engineer at Johnson & Johnson—and how the company inspired him to start a nonprofit that’s helping his homeland of Benin.

“I escaped war-torn Syria": The story of a Johnson & Johnson refugee scientist

A photo of Abdullah Al Hommada with colleagues in Janssen's clinical immunology lab

With his hometown of Deir Ezzor plagued by constant fighting, Abdullah Al Hommada had no choice but to flee Syria for a chance at a better future for him and his family. Today, he’s rebuilding his life in the Netherlands as a Janssen scientist.

“I adopted an orphan with AIDS”: Meet an inspiring Johnson & Johnson employee who saved a boy in need

A photo of Ilio and Fernando Salinas sharing a father-son moment at a baseball game

Shortly after Fernando Salinas met and took custody of 4-year-old Ilio, who was HIV-positive, he discovered his son had AIDS. Fourteen years later, Salinas shares his family’s story of hope, perseverance and unconditional love.

More from Johnson & Johnson

By the numbers: Understanding dry eye disease

For National Dry Eye Awareness Month, learn about the causes of this common condition and how Johnson & Johnson is helping to find treatment options.

What to know about We All Belong: 2023 DEI Impact Review

The annual report details how Johnson & Johnson is harnessing the power of diversity, equity and inclusion to provide better care around the world.
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