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JOHNSON & JOHNSON 'FOCUSED GIVING PROGRAM' REACHES MILESTONE

 JOHNSON & JOHNSON 'FOCUSED GIVING PROGRAM' REACHES MILESTONE
 NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- With multi-year grants to biomedical researchers at four universities and a private research institution, Johnson & Johnson's Focused Giving Program in support of basic research initiatives has passed the 100th grant mark. Managed by Johnson & Johnson's corporate office of science and technology, the Focused Giving Program supports basic research efforts that advance science and technology in the health care and medical fields.
 These multi-year grants, which total more than $1.16 million, range from $150,000 to $300,000. Current grant recipients are Dr. Jacek Skowronski from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island; Dr. Darrell L. Peterson from the Medical College of Virginia; Dr. Ross S. Basch from New York University; Dr. Kathleen Green from Northwestern University; and Dr. Robert W. Colman from Temple University.
 The Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Program opens doors to new scientific and technological developments by promoting mutually beneficial relationships among scientists carrying out their work at universities or research institutions and researchers within the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. Instituted in 1980, the program has now awarded over $17 million in grants to scientists engaged in cutting-edge biomedical research. Setting new directions in science and technology is the cornerstone of the Focused Giving Program.
 "The Johnson & Johnson Focused Giving Program is a model for the industry to follow," said past recipient Dr. Lawrence Tabak of the University of Rochester. "Focused Giving grants give researchers the latitude to take on challenging questions and to explore new areas that they wouldn't normally have the opportunity to explore."
 According to Dr. Robert Z. Gussin, Johnson & Johnson corporate vice president, science & technology, the company's past Focused Giving grants support programs that range from culturing epithelial sheets for skin grafts at Harvard University, to research of higher brain functions at Rockefeller University, to investigation of eye damage from light and blood products at Johns Hopkins University. Past recipients include Nobel Prize winners Baruch Blumberg of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Gerald Edelman of Rockefeller University and Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein of the University of Texas at Dallas.
 "The management of Johnson & Johnson is very pleased with the results of this program," Gussin said. "We are achieving a significant expansion of our own scientific capabilities and opportunities through this network, and this can only lead to more and better health care products from Johnson & Johnson in the future."
 Skowronski will use his grant for a research project aimed at understanding mechanisms involving the AIDS virus. The project will seek to characterize specific genes that appear to play a direct role in CD+ T cell depletion, which is invariably associated with the clinical onset of HIV-1 induced immunodeficiency.
 Peterson's research will attempt to develop a system to produce Hepatitis C virus proteins for use in structure/function studies. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the major cause of post-transfusion hepatitis.
 Basch will focus on isolating and characterizing pluripotential hematopoietic stem cells -- an understanding of which is crucial to developing new strategies for bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy, as well as for analyzing the action of genetically modified growth factors.
 Green will use her grant to investigate the possibility that the desmosomal molecule, a major structure in maintaining skin integrity, is involved in the signal transduction system tantamount to preserving skin health and function.
 Colman's research will be aimed at identifying molecules that may yield anti-thrombotic drugs with applications to anticoagulant therapy following surgery, myocardial infarction and angioplasty.
 Johnson & Johnson is the world's largest and most comprehensive manufacturer of health care products serving the consumer, pharmaceutical and professional markets. The company has its worldwide headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J., where the business was founded over a century ago.
 -0- 5/19/92
 /CONTACT: Michael S. Pincus of Johnson & Johnson, 908-524-3361, or 908-524-3352/ CO: Johnson & Johnson ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:


TQ-OS -- NY018 -- 1701 05/19/92 10:10 EDT
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Date:May 19, 1992
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