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March 26th, 2013

Recognizing Diabetes Alert Day: One Mother’s Personal and Professional Journey

By Kelsey Ginck, Global Fellow, Corporate Communication, Johnson & Johnson

In honor of American Diabetes Alert Day, a one-day “wake up call” for learning your risk of diabetes, I asked my mom about her journey with diabetes — from her diagnosis and how it influenced her decision to become a diabetes educator at LifeScan Animas, to how her experiences have shaped where she is today, both personally and professionally.

Check out the full post over at JNJParents:

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February 19th, 2013

A New Milestone in the Journey Toward Sustainable Palm Oil

By Simon Perry, Sourcing Manager for Sustainable Palm Oil, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Group

In the past, we’ve told you about Johnson & Johnson’s support of sustainable palm oil, like this blog post about our connection to a program at the Philadelphia Zoo. Although we are very small users overall of palm oil (less than 0.2% of the estimated 50 million tons produced a year) we take our responsibility to protect the environment and our natural resources very seriously. Now, we’re pleased to share with you the latest milestone in our journey to source palm oil sustainably, this time from another part of the world—Thailand.

As the Sourcing Manager for Sustainable Palm Oil within the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Family of Companies, I take pride in helping to drive our organization toward our commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. So it was with great enthusiasm that I recently witnessed an important milestone in this journey, involving a group of 412 independent palm oil farmers in Thailand.

These farmers have been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which means that they now meet the RSPO standards for sustainable palm oil planting and production. They’re able to realize better prices from the mills, produce more and also improve the quality of the fruit by employing better agricultural management practices.

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October 2nd, 2012

A Young Science Journalist’s Impressions on the 2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award

By Bob Hackett, Science Journalism Intern at Janssen R&D

I read in the theme of this year’s Dr. Paul Janssen AwardThe Power of Science to Change the World—an unwritten corollary; how apparently small things can disproportionately impact the large.  Science brims with underdogs.  And science progresses through the dust clouds they leave in their wake.

Left to right: Dr. Gary Ruvkun and Dr. Victor Ambros

2012 winners holding their respective Dr. Paul Janssen Awards

So it was with this year’s winners.  Dr. Victor Ambros and Dr. Gary Ruvkun co-discovered micro-RNAs, a class of miniature molecules, essential to life (human included), by looking inside unwitting, minuscule roundworms known as Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans for short), a nematode.  Micro-RNAs are, as their name suggests, tiny.  Typically only twenty-one nucleotides long.  (Coincidentally, as many letters as are in “Caenorhabditis elegans”.)  Yet scientists believe micro-RNAs to be central regulators of gene expression and development—essential to our every breath, movement, sight, sleep, digestion, cognition.  Without them life is jeopardized and abnormalities abound.  So small yet so vital.

My love for science stems from such underdogs.  The micro-molecules, the mini-worms, the first few researchers who devote themselves to poking around inside…

If you wonder why a company like Janssen would be interested in such arcane science, it is because Dr.

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June 19th, 2012

2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research Honors Joint Discovery of micro-RNA


By Jay P. Siegel, M.D., Chief Biotechnology Officer and Head, Global Regulatory Affairs, Janssen R&D

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research honors the work of an active scientist in academia, industry or a scientific institute and recognizes scientific excellence in the advance of healthcare knowledge, while fulfilling responsibilities in the community.  The award was named after Dr. Paul Janssen, an extraordinarily gifted scientist who revolutionized modern medicine and inspired many who follow in his footsteps.  Today we announced the winners of the 2012 award:  Dr. Victor Ambros and Dr. Gary Rukvun, the co-discoverers of micro-RNA.

I am pleased that we can recognize the transformational discovery, as well as the collaborative spirit, of Drs. Ambros and Ruvkun with the 2012 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. Their tireless search for answers, as well as their partnership, echo the passionate pursuit of scientific knowledge for the benefit of patients exemplified by Dr. Paul.

When micro-RNA was first discovered in a roundworm by Dr. Victor Ambros’ lab in the early 1990’s its function and its relevance to humans was unknown.  What he and his lab found appeared to be a peculiarly small stretch of RNA which bound to other RNA in the worm’s cells.

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May 22nd, 2012

A Turning Point in Alzheimer’s Disease – Reasons to be Optimistic


From Roy Twyman, MD, Vice President, Head of CNS Development, Neuroscience Therapeutic Area, Janssen Research & Development, LLC

There is good reason to believe that we’re entering a new age of research against the sixth leading cause of death in the United States – Alzheimer’s disease.  Extraordinary progress is being made in using genetics to better understand this devastating disease and develop diagnostics and treatments for it.  Unprecedented collaborative efforts among academic and industry researchers are propelling progress forward.  But more research needs to be done, and families with a history of Alzheimer’s disease are needed to participate in clinical trials and contribute their genetic information, which can be done anonymously.

During the past decade, a new research approach has emerged to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and to find ways to predict and stem its progress.  Scientists from industry, government and academia are working together and sharing information about the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease.  The National Institute of Aging (NIA) Genetics Initiative has played a significant role in encouraging research institutions to work together to recruit families and share information.  And thanks to several collaborative efforts of researchers in the United States and worldwide, DNA samples have been collected from tens of thousands of families with members who do and do not have late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

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February 1st, 2012

Letter to The Wall Street Journal on Executive Changes


The Wall Street Journal published a story yesterday on executive changes at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, and the Company has responded with the following letter to the editor from Ray Jordan, Vice President of Public Affairs and Corporate Communication for Johnson & Johnson:

January 31, 2012

Dear Editor of The Wall Street Journal,

In reporting on recent departures at the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies (“J&J Shakes Up McNeil Unit Again”), your article got only some of the facts right, and the overall story wrong. Patrick Mutchler, to whom the President of our McNeil Consumer Healthcare business reported, chose to retire from Johnson & Johnson after 35 years of exemplary service to the company.  You inaccurately connected the departure of another senior executive, Pericles Stamatiades, to Mr. Mutchler’s retirement even though he had no direct responsibility for the McNeil business.

Through their contributions to our business, the leaders they have developed, and the many friends they made at Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Mutchler and Mr. Stamatiades have left an extraordinary legacy, and we will miss them. Perhaps most important, however, is the fact that McNeil Consumer Healthcare today remains under the same strong leadership of President Denice Torres, who stepped into her role last April. 

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September 20th, 2011

Harnessing Mobile Technology to Communicate About Noncommunicable Disease


On Monday, the United Nations kicked off a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD), during which governments, organizations, industry and others convened to discuss solutions to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other conditions — commonly referred to as NCDs.

The toll these diseases take is staggering, According to the World Health Organization, NCDs represent approximately 60% of the global burden of disease, and nearly half of all deaths, with a projected cost of treatment over the next two decades estimated at $47 trillion. Further, nearly 80% of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.

Behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets and limited physical activity are among the factors contributing to the rise in NCDs. In developing counties where NCDs are the most prevalent, systemic factors — such as lack of access to effective health care, limited access to critical, actionable health information, and shortages of skilled health workers – create even more challenges to finding effective approaches to improving health.

Connecting with community-based organizations, participating in multi-sectoral partnerships, seeking ways to build health care capacity and leveraging innovative technology are among the approaches that Johnson & Johnson takes to address the threat of NCDs.

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May 10th, 2011

Disaster Relief for the Southern United States from Johnson & Johnson

By William Lin, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

We have been saddened by the images of the aftermath of severe weather that hit the southern United States, destroying thousands of homes and leaving over 300 people dead, with hundreds more injured and many still missing.   Whenever natural disasters occur, we are all touched by the magnitude of the impact and are committed to providing assistance where it is needed.

Continuing a long-standing commitment to helping those in need, Johnson & Johnson and our operating companies have been working with our relief agency partners to provide emergency relief across the several states affected by these natural disasters.  Our immediate response has included cash contributions and product donations from our Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices and Diagnostics businesses.

We have engaged with our disaster relief partner organizations to deliver much needed supplies to community health centers and free clinics. We will continue to work with these partners as they pursue ongoing relief efforts, and support them as they address the needs of the affected communities. 

The expression of concern from our colleagues across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has been inspiring and has demonstrated, once again, our commitment individually and collectively to helping those in need.

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February 8th, 2011

Happy Birthday — Text4Baby Turns One!!!

By Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Johnson & Johnson

As a mother, I have always been proud of our work to better the health of women and children around the world. Over the past 2 years, I had the opportunity to be deeply involved with text4baby, an initiative designed to deliver healthy pregnancy information to under resourced expectant mothers.

The idea was simple: leverage the reach of mobile phones to deliver important health information to new and expecting moms. The concept of text4baby was born at the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and quickly became a reality through an innovative platform from Voxiva, the essential backing of CTIA—The Wireless Foundation and the passionate support of the healthcare community across the country.

As David Borstein explained in a piece on today’s online version of the New York Times, helping to raise text4baby has been quite a journey. From the White House to public health clinics across the country, more than 400 partners adopted text4baby as their own. As the founding sponsor of text4baby, Johnson & Johnson salutes the efforts of every partner who helped text4baby reach more than 126,000 moms in just one year. I’ve seen their efforts firsthand at the grassroots level and they are truly moving.

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July 16th, 2010

Preventing HIV Transmission in Newborns

From Anu Gupta, M.D., Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

As I pulled out my suitcase to pack for the upcoming International AIDS Society conference in Vienna, Austria, I was reminded of the last time I used it. A month ago, I had traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Global Health Council Award Dinner. While I had been to the dinner before, this was a very special year because I had nominated mothers2mothers (m2m) for an award and they had won! 

As I sat with m2m founder Dr. Mitch Besser at the VIP table with luminaries in global health, I recalled my last visit to m2m in October 2006 to open a series of new sites in East London, South Africa, where Johnson & Johnson has had a manufacturing facility for more than 75 years. The mentor mothers I met on that trip, their stories, their songs and their struggles have stayed with me. 

It was no surprise to me that when Mitch went to the podium to accept the award, his speech was all about the mothers – the mentor mothers, all HIV-positive, who had recently delivered and gone through the process of taking antiretrovirals to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and the pregnant women, also all HIV-positive, whom the mentor mothers were actively empowering through words and by example to have healthy children and live healthier lives. 

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