The Foundation for the NIH Names Winners of The 2021 Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award

NORTH BETHESDA, MD, October 7, 2021 — The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) will honor Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and the eight Working Group Co-Chairs of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) Initiative by naming them recipients of the 2021 Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award. This Award recognizes persons and/or organizations that have made significant contributions to the FNIH’s work in support of the mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This recognition is unique and particularly meaningful because all nominations are made by the FNIH staff.

Over the last year, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, has been an exemplary partner and leader across many FNIH projects and programs, including ACTIV; several Accelerating Medicines Partnerships®, such as the newly launched program in Schizophrenia; the Biomarkers Consortium and many of its projects; the Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies (PACT); and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), among others. Janssen members in their scientific leadership role have consistently promoted a highly collegial, collaborative approach to problem-solving with an emphasis on teamwork and transparent communication that enables open precompetitive science. To receive the award, Janssen will be represented by Mr. Alex Gorsky, Chairman, Board of Directors, and CEO of Johnson & Johnson.

The Co-Chairs of the ACTIV Working Groups include Christine M. Colvis, Ph.D., Director of Drug Development Partnership Programs, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH; Elizabeth Desrosiers, M.S., P.M.P., Executive Director of Clinical Sciences and Study Management at Merck & Co., Inc.; Eric Hughes, M.D., Ph.D., Global Development Unit Head of Immunology, Hepatology and Dermatology, and China Region Development Head at Novartis; Kathrin Jansen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer; Michael Kurilla, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Division of Clinical Innovation, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH; Douglas Lowy, M.D., Principal Deputy Director, National Cancer Institute (NCI) at NIH; Sarah Read, M.D., Deputy Director, Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at NIH; and John Young, Ph.D., Global Head of Infectious Diseases and Vice President at Roche.

In support of finding therapeutics and vaccines to combat COVID-19, the Working Group Co-Chairs spent countless hours working individually, in partnership with their corresponding co-chair and FNIH Working Group manager, and with their teams. They collaborated with the FNIH, NIH, pharmaceutical, and nonprofit partners to design the strategies for their areas and execute them with unprecedented speed. They participated in hundreds of meetings, reporting regularly to the ACTIV Leadership Team, and devoted valuable time and effort to identify opportunities for and help resolve challenges to the partnership. Throughout the past year, they and their fellow co-chairs remained energized and engaged, willing to take on virtually all tasks that the Leadership Team requested of them. They have been invaluable to the ability of ACTIV to navigate the ever-changing scientific and political landscape during this all-encompassing global pandemic.

“This past year, the FNIH’s 25th Anniversary, witnessed unprecedented partnership and collaboration in finding new pathways to improve global health. These heroic efforts by companies and individuals helped the FNIH move closer to a number of ambitious goals,” said Steven M. Paul, M.D., Chairman of the Board, FNIH. “We are delighted to present this year’s Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award to outstanding partners, including Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and the eight ACTIV Working Group Co-Chairs.”

The Charles A. Sanders, M.D., Partnership Award is named for the former Chairman of the FNIH Board of Directors, and will be presented at the FNIH 2021 Awards Ceremony on October 20, 2021. The FNIH is grateful to Novalis LifeSciences and Fred & Donna Seigel for being Visionary Sponsors of the Ceremony. For more information about the FNIH Awards Ceremony and a complete list of sponsors, click here.

For more information about the Partnership Award, click here.

About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health creates and manages alliances with public and private institutions in support of the mission of the NIH, the world’s premier medical research agency. The Foundation, also known as the FNIH, works with its partners to accelerate biomedical research and strategies against diseases and health concerns in the United States and across the globe. The FNIH organizes and administers research projects; supports education and training of new researchers; organizes educational events and symposia; and administers a series of funds supporting a wide range of health issues. Established by Congress in 1990, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

For more information about the FNIH, please visit

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