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Passion for Health Joëlle Vermeulen

Passion for Health: Joëlle Vermeulen

In her role as Senior Legal Counsel, Joëlle Vermeulen provides legal support to Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, a team responsible for managing and operating Johnson & Johnson’s 13 start-up incubators worldwide. She combines this position with her work as general lawyer for Janssen Campus Belgium, providing legal assistance in the broadest sense. The rest of her time she spends with her family, in the gym, or as a volunteer of the company’s fire brigade.

A variety of stakeholders

Joëlle started her career as an attorney in private practice, before transferring to the world of legal consulting. Because she wants to use her talents where she feels she can make a difference, and because she likes to follow up on projects that she’s involved in from start to finish, she decided to join Janssen three years ago. She started as a general lawyer supporting Janssen Campus Belgium, where she provides general legal support for a wide variety of stakeholders and departments. “As legal counsel, I coordinate various projects, which gives me the opportunity to contribute to big projects on our Campus – like our geothermal energy project or our project to use green energy from wind turbines on the North Sea,” says Joëlle. “In doing so, I interact with various stakeholders on the Campus, and I provide legal support where necessary.” As of the beginning of this year, Joëlle took up the role of Global Dedicated Lawyer for Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS

As JLABS’ Senior Legal Counsel, she supports the global JLABS-team, responsible for creating, operating and managing Johnson & Johnson Innovations – JLABS. The 13 start-up incubators of Johnson & Johnson around the world provide the necessary facilities and support for starting life science companies, so they can focus on the development of their scientific discoveries. In this way, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, wants to stimulate innovation in the health care sector. Joëlle provides legal support to the JLABS-team on a wide range of topics, including legal support during negotiations for the set-up of new JLABS-sites or for new collaborations with strategic partners.

With Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS’ locations in the US, Europe and Asia, all operating in different time zones, Joëlle’s work requires flexibility and timely action. According to her, it is a good example of the opportunities for growth within Janssen and Johnson & Johnson: “The company gives its employees a lot of opportunities, provided they are willing to show initiative, take responsibility and show leadership.” Throughout her career at Janssen, Joëlle has always felt greatly supported by the Law Department and her managers, for which she is very grateful.

If you’re willing to take responsibility and show leadership, Johnson & Johnson offers a lot of opportunities


Since she began working at Janssen, Joëlle works out in the Health Center on the Janssen Campus Belgium. Daily exercise gives her a clear mind, which in her opinion enables her to work better and more efficient. Additionally, the classic afternoon dip is now a thing of the past. Janssen wants to encourage its employees to embrace a healthy lifestyle. “Janssen understands that there’s a big return in investing in healthy employees,” says Joëlle. “Happy and healthy employees perform better.”

Volunteer at the fire brigade

Exercising also helps her as a volunteer of the company’s fire brigade. Because both her grandfather and father were fire brigade commanders, Joëlle decided to join the voluntary fire brigade together with her colleague and gym buddy Elien. After an intensive training program, including exercises with respiratory protection and hazmat suits, both ladies are now part of the crew of volunteers of the Janssen fire brigade in Beerse. The volunteers, consisting of employees of different departments on Campus, get together every two weeks to practice different firefighting scenarios.

Regular exercise helps me perform better at my job