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Passion for Health Gideon Bevelander

Passion for Health: Gideon Bevelander

Gideon Bevelander looks for connections with other parties to boost innovation both within and beyond Janssen. His enthusiasm about his work as Medical Innovation Science Manager stems from a desire to have an impact on patients’ lives and society at large. In his spare time, Gideon is a jiu-jitsu practitioner, a sport he has practiced for most of his life, although not as fervently as before: instead, he has found a comfortable balance between performance and pleasure.

Cooperation is absolutely essential: only together can we achieve real results.

Key city

Gideon Bevelander started his career at Janssen as Senior Associate Medical Advice & Communications in Leiden. The city was familiar territory: prior to his PhD at the University of Nijmegen, he studied Biology in Leiden. After having obtained his doctorate, Gideon was ready for a different working environment: “At the time I was working on my PhD, there was little cooperation between groups in fundamental research, let alone with companies. Today the situation has changed: an active innovation environment has arisen around universities. Collaboration is absolutely essential: it increases the chance of real impact”.

Establishing links

He began his career at Janssen in the area of rheumatology. Later on, his focus shifted to gastroenterology: initially as a Study Responsible Scientist, later as a Medical Science Liaison. “The great thing about the gastroenterology projects was that I could really contribute something, at a local level, because I already had the experience and a network." It is this network that Gideon is expanding in his current position.

Currently, as Medical Innovation Science Manager, Gideon carries out his work within Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Janssen. His work is predominantly focused on innovation in the pharmaceutical branch, which is bundled globally within Janssen. “The link between internal and external innovation is essential for an innovative company like ours. For this reason Janssen and Johnson & Johnson are very active in this area: my work at Janssen is a part of it, but the JNJ Innovation Centers and our incubator model JLABS also contribute to this. In addition, Janssen is also involved in many European research projects: sometimes I am bewildered by the number.”

We are involved in many European projects. Sometimes it leaves me bewildered.

In his current function, Gideon maps what is going on in the Dutch research sector. As a result, he is on top of the latest developments and speaks with a wide range of scientists throughout the country. He continues to speak enthusiastically about the company’s vision in this area. Janssen actively reaches out for potential collaborations with parties that fit the company’s six focus areas. This is happening worldwide: Gideon’s focus is primarily on The Netherlands. “My international colleagues and I bring in many leads. As a company we try to filter out the truly transformational opportunities. ” Gideon is really satisfied with his work if these activities result in concrete forms of cooperation, such as a partnership or a strategic alliance.

Everyone here breathes the motto ‘patient first’.

Creating added value

One of the things that Gideon finds attractive about Janssen is the company's involvement with patients and the community. He works at Janssen because he sees first-hand what impact the company has on the community and on patients and because of the innovative portfolio of medicines. “Everyone here breathes the motto ‘patient first’: from the people in the labs at R&D, to the inspiring leaders such as Paul Stoffels. Even at that level, the first topic on the agenda is how to create added value for the patient.” Moreover, there is enough room at Janssen for personal development. Gideon’s management, for instance, gave him enough space to finish his dissertation properly. “Janssen offers many possibilities, the doors are open. But you have to grab those opportunities yourself and sometimes you need to be patient.

The balance between performance and pleasure has improved.

Everything balanced

Balance is an important theme in Gideon's life: he has been on the tatami since he was four. Jiu-jitsu is his big passion. As student he trained at least four times a week. Later he even became a licensed jiu-jitsu teacher. “Being a teacher has changed me: I am much more relaxed now. The balance between performance and having fun has improved.” This balance is reflected when it comes to healthy living: while this is very important to Gideon personally, he gives his children the freedom to choose: “I encourage my children to exercise and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but for me the most important thing is that they do what they enjoy most.”