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Johnson & Johnson Symposium Honors 2011 Recipient of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

September 14, 2011

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., will receive the Johnson & Johnson Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, including a $100,000 prize, this week during a series of events that celebrate his central role in the discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the core signaling molecule of angiogenesis. His research has opened the door to the development of a new class of therapeutics to combat a serious eye disorder and contributed to the development of new oncology therapeutics. The Award aims to extend the legacy of Dr. Paul Janssen, an exceptionally gifted and passionate scientist who revolutionized modern medicine and inspired a new generation of researchers, by honoring the work of an active scientist in academia, industry or a scientific institute who has made a significant contribution to advancing human health.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110914/NY68250)

“Dr. Ferrara’s groundbreaking research has made a direct impact on the quality of life of many thousands of people,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. “We are pleased to recognize Dr. Ferrara’s important achievements in advancing human well-being and his ongoing commitment to scientific innovation that embody the spirit of Dr. Paul Janssen.”

Dr. Ferrara received recognition for this achievement at a reception last night and is also being honored during a scientific symposium today at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York. A formal award ceremony to honor Dr. Ferrara will also take place at the Dr. Paul Janssen Research Center in Beerse, Belgium tomorrow.

The symposium will feature presentations by Dr. Ferrara and other internationally renowned experts who have a seminal role in advancing anti-angiogenic therapies for ocular disease and cancer. Presentations will discuss the progress of research in molecular mechanisms and clinical applications of angiogenesis. Dr. Ferrara will provide keynote remarks and participate in a roundtable discussion addressing the current challenges and future directions of anti-angiogenic therapies.

“I am looking forward to participating in this symposium today and to discussing with my fellow researchers the need to continue to strive for advancements in anti-angiogenic therapies,” said Dr. Ferrara. “Dr. Paul Janssen was a pioneering scientist who was passionate about solving unmet medical needs and helping patients. It is an honor to participate in this symposium and receive this award named in his memory.”

Dr. Ferrara’s lab isolated and cloned vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a major regulator of angiogenesis in physiology and disease, and helped elucidate the role of the factor and its receptors in the development of tumors. Dr. Ferrara’s findings resulted in the development of a new class of treatments, anti-VEGF compounds, which inhibit the growth of new blood vessels. His discoveries led to the development of ranibizumab (trade name Lucentis®), a treatment that can help halt and even reverse vision loss in the many patients who experience severe vision loss or blindness caused by the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This advancement also helped foster the clinical development of bevacizumab (trade name Avastin®), an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody for the treatment of cancer.

Dr. Ferrara has previously received prestigious honors and awards, including the 2010 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the Prize for Research in Ophthalmic Disorders from AIRCMO, the Italian Association for Ophthalmic Research, the American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine, the Bruce F. Cain Memorial Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, the Grand Prix Lefoulon-Delalande-Institut de France Award and the General Motors Cancer Research Award.

More information about the symposium is available at www.nyas.org.

About The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

Known to his colleagues as “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 to honor the memory of Dr. Paul. Past winners include Craig Mello, Marc Feldmann, Sir Ravinder Maini, Axel Ullrich, Erik De Clercq and Anthony S. Fauci. Learn more at www.pauljanssenaward.com.

About the Selection Committee

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award independent Selection Committee is composed of some of the world’s leading scientists, including National Medal of Science winners, Nobel Laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences and past winners of The Dr. Paul Janssen Award. The 2011 Selection Committee includes:

  • Solomon Snyder, M.D., (chairman) distinguished service professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; co-winner, 1978 Albert Lasker Award; winner, 2003 National Medal of Science (United States)
  • Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle; member, National Academy of Sciences; member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Robert S. Langer Jr., ScD, David H. Koch Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2006 National Medal of Science winner; Charles Stark Draper Prize winner; 2008 Millennium Prize winner; member, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine
  • Jean Marie Lehn, Ph.D., professor, College de France; winner, 1987 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (France)
  • Craig Mello, Ph.D., professor, Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine; 2006 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research winner
  • Sir Richard Sykes, Ph.D., chair, National Health Service, London; former rector Imperial College London; former chief executive officer, GlaxoWellcome; fellow of the Royal Society; honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (United Kingdom)
  • Axel Ullrich, Ph.D. Director, Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany; winner, 2009 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research; 2010 Wolf Prize winner
  • Huda Zoghbi, M.D., Professor, Baylor College of Medicine; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; member, National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine; member, Lasker Award jury; E. Mead Johnson Award for Pediatric Research winner.

About Johnson & Johnson

Caring for the world, one person at a time… inspires and unites the people of Johnson & Johnson. We embrace research and science – bringing innovative ideas, products and services to advance the health and well-being of people. Our approximately 119,400 employees at more than 250 Johnson & Johnson companies work with partners in healthcare to touch the lives of over a billion people every day, throughout the world.

Contact:
Seema Kumar
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
908-218-6460 or skumar10@its.jnj.com

Diane Pressman
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
908-927-6171 or dpressm1@its.jnj.com

Frederik Wittock
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
+32 14 60 57 24 or fwittock@its.jnj.com

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson


Source: PR Newswire