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Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., a Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded the 2022 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research. The annual honor goes to a scientist who has made a transformational contribution toward improving human health. Dr. Gordon’s work clearly embodies the spirit of the award.
Innovating to Change the Trajectory of Health
Known as the “father of microbiome research,” Dr. Gordon has changed our understanding of how human physiology is shaped by our microbial communities, provided a more nuanced view of what’s known as germ theory and expanded our understanding of microbial contributions to noncommunicable diseases.
He’s also ushered in a new era of microbiome-based therapeutics and preventive medicine. Case in point: His discovery of gut microbiome-directed therapeutic foods represents a new approach to treating childhood malnutrition—the leading cause of death in children 5 and under across the globe.
The Dr. Paul Janssen Award was established in 2004 by what is now called the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to honor the memory of “Dr. Paul,” who coined over 100 patents and developed dozens of life-changing medications. Since its inception, the award has recognized 19 scientists, five of whom have gone on to win the Nobel Prize for the same work. The award includes a $200,000 cash prize.