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Princeton Catalysis Initiative Announces 10-Year Collaboration with Janssen

Announcements- - By Department of Chemistry

Janssen Research & Development, LLC has joined the ranks of industry members of the Princeton Catalysis Initiative (PCI), a funded commitment by Princeton University to foster interdisciplinary collaborations to accelerate the discovery of new research areas of catalysis: chemical or biological reactions that are accelerated with a catalyst. Catalysis has significantly enabled innovation in such areas as the global food supply, renewable energy and drug discovery. A key component of PCI, which the 10-year Janssen commitment will help fund, is the potential for collaboration between Princeton scientists and industry collaborators from a variety of disciplines to develop new areas of research. 

“The collaboration between Princeton University and Janssen will enable research and discoveries that may significantly impact healthcare and society over the next decade, and recognizes the significance of catalysis and its impact on developing novel therapies for human benefit,” noted PCI Director, David MacMillan, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry. “In combination with the faculty and students at Princeton University, we look forward to accelerating new fields of research that may ultimately provide unique academic opportunities and fundamental knowledge that drive medical breakthroughs via this new and important initiative.”

A graduate student researcher setting up an experiment in a photo reactor. The photo reactors activate Princeton-developed photoredox catalysts with blue light to produce unique chemical reactivity.
Photo by C. Todd Reichart

Coleen Murphy, Professor of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, the Richard B. Fisher Preceptor in Integrative Genomics, and Director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratory for Aging Research observed, “Funding from the Princeton Catalysis Initiative is allowing us to carry out research in areas that we might not have been able to before, including new collaborations that bring together expertise in different systems that have not been previously combined, or in exploratory directions that more traditional funding does not usually support.”

In less than two years since its founding in early 2018, PCI has involved 50 Princeton faculty and secured $60 million in industry and private donor commitments. “As we announce our largest commitment to date, the progress over this short time demonstrates the breadth of interest among our faculty and industry partners in the promise of the initiative,” stated David MacMillan.