February 22nd, 2016

A Royal Reflection on Medical Advancements in Leeds

By Mike Barker, Worldwide Vice President Research & Development, DePuy Synthes (Joint Reconstruction, Mitek Sports Medicine, Power Tools)

As Worldwide Vice President Research & Development for DePuy Synthes Research & Development for Joint Reconstruction, Mitek Sports Medicine and Power Tools, I am continually looking to the future for meaningful innovations capable of addressing the unmet needs of patients and clinicians, and improving patient outcomes. So, it is not too often that I am able to reflect on how far we have come in the field of orthopedics.

100 years ago, King George V made a Royal Visit to the East Leeds Military War Hospital. On February 8 of this year, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne marked the centenary of her great-grandfather’s Royal Visit by visiting the Thackray Medical Museum, which is the former site of the East Leeds hospital. I had the rare opportunity to be a part of this visit and take a step back in orthopedic time.

Thackray Medical Museum

Paul Thackray, Founder of the Thackray Medical Museum speaks with Princess Anne. Photo by Simon Dewhurst.

Thackray Medical Museum

Princess Anne is introduced to employees from DePuy Synthes at Thackray Medical Museum. Photo by Simon Dewhurst.

Princess Anne toured the museum and visited an exhibit entitled ‘Recovery?

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February 17th, 2016

Innovating to Fight HIV


Editor’s Note: Over 1,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV every day. This must change, and with your help, it could. The #DREAMSInnovation Challenge, launched today, seeks to infuse innovative ideas into existing evidence-informed approaches to better address this urgent and complex issue in 10 hard-hit countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. The Challenge invites innovators to submit Expressions of Interest by March 28 in one of six focus areas. Johnson & Johnson is a proud partner of this challenge. Jaak Peeters, head of Johnson & Johnson’s Global Public Health organization, shares on our Innovation blog why we’re issuing a call for all innovators to step up and share their big ideas on how to face this challenge head-on.

Read Jaak Peeters’ post here.



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February 17th, 2016

What It Takes to Be a MAKER: Meet 3 Johnson & Johnson Employees Who Go Above and Beyond to Help Women Leaders

J&J Makers

Johnson & Johnson MAKERS (from left) Beth McCombs, Catherine Owen, and Colleen Flesher


By Kristine Solomon

It’s an extraordinary time to be an enterprising woman.

Just ask Catherine Owen, Beth McCombs and Colleen Flesher. The three Johnson & Johnson employees were honored this month by the MAKERS@ program, which partners with organizations to recognize women leaders for their exceptional accomplishments, including their support and mentorship of fellow female professionals.

As awardees in the 2015-2016 MAKERS@ program, the trio attended the 2016 MAKERS Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., earlier this month, where they met such prominent female leaders as Sheryl Sandberg, Gloria Steinem, and Katie Couric.

Also in attendance were lesser-known but equally impactful groundbreakers like MAKER Regina Wilson, the first black woman to become a New York firefighter who made it her mission to recruit more females to the force.

“She encountered racism, sexism, and people saying she would fail,” says Owen, Vice President of Immunology Marketing for Janssen Biotech.

Owen herself has done a great deal to encourage professional camaraderie at Johnson & Johnson. In conjunction with the IT department, she helped develop “Janssen High 5,” a proprietary app that publicly recognizes employees and their accomplishments. “It’s the first time something like this had been [spearheaded] by a business leader, so it feels grassroots,” says Owen.

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February 16th, 2016

Healthy Ever After

As the Janssen Prevention Center celebrates its first anniversary, its Global Head Jaap Goudsmit imagines a world where the average person lives to 100 in good health.


Somewhere in the future I envision a global population of people who, on average, live to 100 and stay healthy to the end of their lives. The first part of that equation—staying alive to 100 or even more—is becoming increasingly likely. According to current projections, the average baby girl born in 2030 in the industrialized world can expect to live to 92 years of age.1 But will she be enjoying an active, vital life at that age? Probably not––unless we can find ways to prevent age-related chronic illness and frailty.

This is the impetus behind the Janssen Prevention Center. One year ago, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced the launch of our center to break new ground in the area of disease prevention. The focus of our work is to discover ways to prevent the illness and infirmity that typically come with age.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth across the sexes has increased over the past 150 years by approximately 3 months each year. In the industrialized countries, this gain has been mainly attributable to reduced child mortality (between 1900 and 1925), then to reduced mortality among adults under 65 years of age (between 1925 and 1975) and from around the 1990s to increased survival among people aged 65 and older.

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February 12th, 2016


The Next Stem Cell Frontier: Diabetes

By Stephanie Booth

When you think of stem cell treatments, you probably picture a patient with an immune disorder or cancer. But thanks to a new partnership between Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech, Inc. and biotech company ViaCyte, Inc., there’s a new wave of stem cell research being conducted that holds a lot of promise for people with Type 1 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes. Although the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes isn’t known, in most cases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy pancreatic cells. As a result, people lose the ability to make insulin—a hormone that allows the body to convert glucose from food into energy—causing sugar to build up in the bloodstream.

Over time, people with Type 1 diabetes can develop serious complications, such as blindness, heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney failure. So patients have to closely monitor what they eat, test their blood sugar up to six or more times a day, and carefully balance their insulin levels using injections or insulin pumps.

But ViaCyte’s work with VC-01™ could change all of that.

The VC-01™ product uses two unique technologies. First, embryonic stem cells are turned into immature pancreas cells.

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February 11th, 2016

6 Things Everyone Should Know About the Zika Virus

By Liz Ozaist, Global Content Lab Editor-in-Chief
zika virus

Zika. It’s a word that has dominated the headlines for weeks. And it’s likely to continue to be a part of the news cycle for weeks to come.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil last May. Since then, the virus has spread throughout Central and South America—and even the United States.

Last week, the first known case of Zika was reported in Texas by local health officials, and the virus was declared an international health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It’s a lot to digest, and it’s likely leaving a lot of people asking: So what do I really need to know about this virus?

Zika is spread through mosquito bites, causing such symptoms as fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. Unborn children are particularly at risk because the virus has been linked to birth defects, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can result in muscle weakness and even paralysis.

Johnson & Johnson has a long-standing commitment to mobilizing to help address such public health crises—and the Zika virus is no exception.

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February 10th, 2016

Donate a Photo: This Photo Helped Protect a Child From a Sports Injury

Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo Program Hits the 1,000,000 Mark

By Jacob Lepiarz, Manager, Digital Strategy and Engagement

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words—but it can also be worth a thousand good deeds.

In my role managing Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo program, I’ve learned that countless small actions have the potential to really add up to make a big difference. In fact, it’s become my own personal mantra.

Through our Donate a Photo app, we’ve turned the simple act of sharing a picture into an impactful way to do good: Whenever a user shares a photo via the app, Johnson & Johnson donates a $1 to a non-profit of the user’s choice.*

Well, we’ve come a long way since we first launched the program in April of 2013: I am happy to report that we will reach a significant milestone this week with one million photos donated!

Knowing that this was going to be an important achievement, I decided to take a look back at the first act of good that started us on the road to one million by interviewing Peter Kuang, an Associate Technology Director at R/GA, who worked to develop the app, about the very first photo shared through the app, which he donated.

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February 5th, 2016

A Blizzard of Ideas at a Hackathon for Health

Hackathon for Health

Winter Storm Jonas paralyzed much of the East Coast of the U.S. on the weekend of January 22nd. But there was an even bigger blizzard taking place at the Penn campus that weekend: a blizzard of ideas.

The PennApps XIII Hackathon is the nation’s first student run college hackathon, and this year it included approximately 1200 participants from 133 colleges, 31 states, and 13 countries. These students came together for a marathon weekend to compete, ideate and exercise a vast array of technical skills. Our R&D Digital Solutions team at Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies (JJDCC) was proud to be the lead sponsor of the healthcare track. Now to be clear, a “hackathon” refers to the good kind of hacking, not the malicious kind. In this context, hacking means coming up with rapid, clever and even unexpected solutions to important challenges.

So, why is a diabetes company sponsoring a college hackathon? It’s part of our R&D effort to stimulate innovation by tapping into top academic institutions and their on-campus innovation efforts.  Hackathons provide an opportunity for our team members to gain exposure to new ideas, creative thinking from young minds, and lead us to think about our toughest challenges in new ways. 

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February 4th, 2016


A Partnership 75 Years in the Making: Why We’re So Proud to Be Saluting the USO

By Susan Can, Senior Director, Global Corporate Equity and Partnerships, Johnson & Johnson

This week, one of our partners celebrates a significant milestone: The United Service Organizations (USO) is turning 75.

It was on the eve of World War II that President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the USO as an organization that would support active military service members on the frontlines by doing things like assembling holiday care packages—while also comforting their family members back on the home front.

And for over 70 years, the USO has delivered on its mission. Through war and peace time. From the moment someone first dons a uniform to the day that person retires and transitions back to civilian life.

So I couldn’t be prouder for Johnson & Johnson to partner closely with the USO in advancing their mission of connecting service members to family, home and country.

In 2014, Johnson & Johnson became the official healthcare partner of the USO, whose guiding principles dovetail with our own long-standing commitment of caring for service members and their families.

Just like the USO, J&J has a long history of supporting and hiring veterans as far back as the Spanish American War. Veterans like employee Vincent Utz, who earned a Purple Heart for the bravery he displayed in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

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February 3rd, 2016


The Importance of Investing in Better Health

By Ashoke Bhattacharjya, PhD, Executive Director of Global Health Policy at Johnson & Johnson

Around the world, strategic investments in health not only deliver better health and improve well-being for more people, but also bolster economies, create jobs, and enhance personal productivity. In other words, investing in health is a vital economic and societal catalyst.

In December, I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion on this very topic, focused on the role of health care investments in social and economic development – hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and featuring a mix of high-level policymakers, industry stakeholders, academics and business leaders.

The symbiotic relationship among health, development, and stability was a central topic of discussion during the panel – and one that I examined closely in a white paper I recently co-authored with Precision Health Economics, An Examination of the Literature on the Impact of Health on Development: Assessing the Economic and Societal Yield of Investments in Health Care. The research we conducted found a strong relationship between improvements in health and potential economic and social gains. However, converting this potential into realized gains is dependent on the presence of what we refer to as “translational institutions” – social or economic institutions essential for turning health gains into productivity and welfare gains, such as educational opportunities, access to open markets, vital infrastructure and transportation.

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