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Biotechnology Institute Launches Bi?GENEius Innovators Women-in-Science Mentoring Initiative and Announces Woman of the Year Awardee

Seema Kumar, Vice President of Innovation, Global Health and Science
Policy Communication for Johnson & Johnson was named recipient of the
Biotechnology Institute’s newly launched 2018 Woman of the Year Award.
The award, part of the Institute’s new Bi?GENEius Innovators
women-in-science mentoring initiative, recognizes a woman in science who
exemplifies the goals of the Institute’s mission to engage, excite and
educate our future young innovators. Drawing from the Institute’s
historic 50% participation by young women in the BioGENEius program,
Bi?GENEius Innovators brings together Biotechnology Institute alumni and
experienced women professionals for two days of formal and informal
exchange.

The Biotechnology Institute selected Kumar as its first Woman of the
Year in part for her efforts to increase representation of women and
young people in the sciences. Today more women graduate with college and
university degrees in the U.S. than men, more than twice as many men
graduate with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math
(STEM), and globally only 16%
of women graduate with STEM degrees. Kumar is helping to change this
landscape through the promotion of STEM education and public engagement
in science here and abroad, especially in developing countries where
there is growing need for innovation in health, sustainability and the
environment.

“Seema believes a great idea can come from anywhere, and she has an
intense dedication to fostering the very best talent in innovative
research no matter who they are or where they’re from,” said Larry
Mahan, President of the Biotechnology Institute. “She is an especially
strong champion of young scientists via the Institute’s BioGENEius
Challenge and Gene Pool Pitch Competition held every year at the BIO
International Convention to showcase the research excellence and
entrepreneurial spirit of top U.S. and international high school
students in healthcare, food sustainability and industrial/environmental
applications of biotechnology.”

“Amidst the myriad responsibilities she undertakes for J&J, Seema still
finds time to create or support new programs that promote inclusivity in
the sciences – especially of youth and women of all cultural
ethnicities. This year in addition to participation in and championing
the BioGENEius Challenge, BioGENEius Gene Pool Competition and
Bi?GENEius Innovators program, she announced the launch of an ambitious
Johnson & Johnson Champions of Science storytelling program to spotlight
innovators from all over the world,” said Jim Greenwood, President of
the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

“Seema truly goes ‘beyond the bench’ to advance inclusive innovation for
greater impact on human health,” Mahan added. “We are very proud to name
her the 2018 Woman of the Year.”

About the Biotechnology Institute

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit
organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact
of biotechnology. Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the
public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its
immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental
problems. For more information, visit www.biotechinstitute.org.

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