J & J: Douglas Wallace, Ph.D., Wins 2017 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research; Campaign for Champions of Science Launched

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

J & J: Douglas Wallace, Ph.D., Wins 2017 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research; Campaign for Champions of Science Launched

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) today named Douglas Wallace, Ph.D., of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, winner of the 2017 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, and launched a campaign for champions of science as part of the Dr. Paul Janssen Project – a new year-long, multi-faceted program to recognize the impact of science on humanity. The full breadth of the program will be announced at the Dr. Paul Janssen Award ceremony in September.

Dr. Wallace won for his pioneering work in the field of mitochondrial genetics, and joins 14 other scientists who have received the Dr. Paul Janssen Award in the past 13 years, including two who went on to win the Nobel Prize. 

Mitochondrial DNA is genetic material found in mitochondria – tiny power plants within cells – and is passed down exclusively from mothers. Dr. Wallace's groundbreaking work has led to a treasure trove of insights into our genealogy, and has implications for understanding and treating a range of metabolic and degenerative diseases, cancer and aging.

"I am honored that such a distinguished committee has selected me to join the list of exceptional past winners of the Dr. Paul Janssen Award," said Dr. Wallace. "Of particular importance is that this Award focuses attention on the crucial role of mitochondrial DNA genetics and bioenergetics in the etiology of common metabolic and degenerative diseases. This perspective offers powerful new approaches for diagnosis and treatment of these ubiquitous maladies and thus for enhancing the health and well-being of all peoples." A video of Dr. Wallace's full acceptance comments can be viewed here.

"We are proud to honor the legacy of Dr. Paul by celebrating today's pioneers like Dr. Wallace," said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. "We are expanding our Awards program to a year-round commitment to recognize the contributions of scientists all over the world to advancing human health."

"Dr. Wallace's insatiable curiosity, tenacity, and passion for humanity exemplifies the spirit we hope to fuel by expanding our commitment to champion science through the Dr. Paul Janssen Project," said Seema Kumar, Vice President, Innovation, Global Health and Science Policy Communication, Johnson & Johnson. "This includes our longstanding support of programs like the Biotechnology Institute's BioGENEius Challenge, that inspire and encourage the next generation of innovators."

To celebrate dedicated researchers like Dr. Wallace, and to fuel the next generation of passionate innovators globally, the company will donate $5, up to $50,000, to the Biotechnology Institute every time someone shows support for science by using #ChampionsofScience on social media channels through September 30, 2017i.

Dr. Wallace is the founder and director of the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he holds the Michael and Charles Barnett Chair of Pediatric Mitochondrial Medicine and Metabolic Disease. He also is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze detta dei XL (Italian National Academy of Science).

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