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Role of Protein Folding in Health and Disease to be Spotlighted at 2019 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Symposium

Franz-Ulrich Hartl, MD and Arthur Horwich, MD will be honored for their discoveries and impact on the field.

Published October 03, 2019

NEW YORK, October 3, 2019Franz-Ulrich Hartl, MD, a biochemist at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and Arthur Horwich, MD, a geneticist at the Yale School of Medicine, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute will be honored at the 2019 Dr. Paul Janssen Award Symposium, for their groundbreaking discovery of a class of molecular chaperone proteins that help facilitate the protein folding process.

Protein folding has broad implications for the understanding of human biology and medicine, and diseases. Misfolded proteins are often associated with diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, prion disease, and Cystic Fibrosis.

Drs. Hartl and Horwich have dedicated their careers to better understanding the molecular machinery that drives protein folding and implications to human health when proteins misfold. In recognition of that commitment they will share a $200,000 cash prize.

“I feel very honored that the New York Academy of Sciences is holding a symposium on the occasion of the Paul Janssen Award. I am excited to share our work with colleagues and friends and look forward to hearing about the newest developments in the field.” said Dr. Hartl. “The Janssen Award Symposium will reflect both on the history and present studies of cellular protein folding in the spirit of discovery (“What’s new?”) that was the trademark of Dr. Paul Janssen.” said Dr. Horwich.

At the symposium, presented by the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research and the New York Academy of Sciences, some of the world’s leading experts will discuss the biology of protein folding and its role in human health and disease. In addition to the award winners, the event will feature presentations from Judith Frydman, PhD, Stanford University; Andrew Dillin, PhD, University of California Berkeley and Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Lila M. Gierasch, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and David S. Bredt, MD, PhD, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

The symposium is sponsored by the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research and Johnson & Johnson and will be held at the New York Academy of Sciences headquarters, at 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street, in Lower Manhattan on Friday, October 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Award was created by Johnson & Johnson in 2004 to honor the work of active scientists, “who have made a significant, transformational contribution toward the improvement of human health.”

“We are pleased to celebrate Drs. Hartl and Horwich for their achievements. Their curiosity and collaboration have led to important insights that are fueling research of new solutions for patients suffering from a wide range of diseases,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We are fortunate to have champions of science who have come before us, like Dr. Paul Janssen, and who are among us today, like Drs. Hartl and Horwich. Their work will have a lasting impact on our world.”

About The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research

The Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research was established by Johnson & Johnson to honor the memory of Dr. Paul Janssen — one of the 20th century's most gifted and passionate pharmaceutical researchers, and to celebrate today’s champions of science. Dr. Paul helped save millions of lives through his contribution to the discovery and development of more than 80 medicines. The winners of the Dr. Paul Janssen Award are chosen by an independent selection committee of the world's most renowned scientists. Learn more at

About New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 20,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at


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