NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–On January 21, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) opened nominations for the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, a prestigious award to recongnize individuals whose scientific research has made, or has the potential to make, significant contributions toward the improvement of human health. 

Nomimations will be accepted until March 15, for consideration by an independent selection committee of scientists, and the winner of the award will be announced in the spring, said J&J in a press release.

The cash prize has been doubled to $200,000 this year, double what it has  been in prior years.

“As in past years, we look forward to selecting a 2015 Dr. Paul Janssen Award winner(s) from among the nominations of worthy individuals in research institutions and companies around the world, whose research has significantly improved human health,” said Craig Mello, chair of the Award Selection Committee.

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research was established by J&J to salute the most passionate and creative scientists in basic or clinical research whose scientific achievements have made, or will make, a measurable impact on human health, according to J&J.

“The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research honors Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003), who is widely recognized as one of the most productive scientists of the 20th century,” reads the release.

Janssen was responsible for breakthrough treatments in disease areas including pain management, psychiatry, infectious disease and gastroenterology, according to the release.  He also founded Janssen Pharmaceutica, N.V. in 1953.  His company became a part of Johnson & Johnson in 1961.

Known to his colleagues as “Dr. Paul,” the release says that Janssen was “one of the 20th century’s most gifted and passionate researchers, a physician-scientist who 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.”

“Innovative science and technology have the power to transform the world, ” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals at J&J.

“Through the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, Johnson & Johnson honors the inspirational legacy of Dr. Paul and applauds today’s researchers whose discoveries have the potential to transform the future of human health.”

Drs. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won the award last year.

Their collaboration led to the discovery of a new method for manipulating genetic information in ways that should produce new insights in health and disease, and may lead to new drug development.

Charpentier and Doudna also won the the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

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Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.

Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.