Showcasing the Stories of Superstars of STEM

As a leading healthcare company and proud champions of science, we believe that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are critical to advancing and enhancing the health of everyone, everywhere. To advance health for humanity through science and technology, Johnson & Johnson Innovation works with many partners to fuel a strong pipeline of the next generation of innovators. For many years now, we have been a proud member of the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) Global STEM Alliance (GSA) and supporter of the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program.  The GSA is a coalition of more than 250 organizations united in our commitment to increase the number and diversity of students in the STEM pipeline. The programs that encompass the Alliance aim to identify STEM talent wherever it exists and inspire and prepare the next generation of STEM innovators.

In August, I was proud to attend the 2018 GSA Summit at NYAS and announce the winner of the first ever “Champions of Science – Superstars of STEM” essay writing contest. The contest focused on telling stories of inspirational modern day female superstars in STEM whose work has helped change the trajectory of health for humanity. By telling more stories about women in STEM, we hope to not only raise awareness about women’s contributions to science, but also provide more relatable role models for young women hoping to succeed in STEM careers.

We received a multitude of powerful stories.  Below, you can learn more about the five finalists of the contest and read their inspirational essays.

Anagha Honnali from India profiled the story of Dr. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology/Medicine for her work in discovering the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Full Story | Video


Beijia (Bethany) Yuan from China shared the story of Dr. Nieng Yan, Tilghman Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University whose work focuses on glucose absorption in the cell.

Full Story | Video


Maud Webster from the United Kingdom wrote about Fiona Stanley, the renowned Australian epidemiologist, and her momentous work in the fields of public health, child and maternal health, and birth disorders, including cerebral palsy.

Full Story | Video


Ngoc Huynh from Australia profiled Dr. Canan Dagdeviren, Assistant Professor at MIT’s Media Lab and the Director of the Conformable Decoder group, and her contributions to advancements in battery life for implantable medical devices.

Full Story | Video


Rebeka Oláh from Hungary wrote about Dr. Ellen Stofan, the former Chief Scientist at NASA, and her pioneering work in astrobiology and planetary geology.

Full Story | Video


All five stories were truly inspiring, and Anagha Honnali was chosen as the winner of the Contest during the recent GSA Summit!

Through this and many other programs that are part of Johnson & Johnson Champions of Science platform, we hope to celebrate diverse champions of science from around the world and get more people to embrace the role of science in our society.

Congratulations and thanks to all the Superstars of STEM Storytelling Contest participants!

To find out more about the Global STEM Alliance, please click here.