Interview with Marcel Kenter in Medicines Magazine

Medicines interviewed Marcel Kenter about the Paul Janssen Futurelab initiative and the successful Clinical Development course. We have already been able to welcome over 60 graduated biomedical professionals from industry, start-ups, and academia in Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Blended learning

Published on 2017-11-14

This interview was published in Medicines – Onafhankelijk vakblad voor geneesmiddelenonderzoek, November 2017.


Paul Janssen Futurelab offers blended learning programs for entrepreneurial biomedical professionals. What is the idea behind this initiative?

Developing novel medical interventions such as medicines, medical devices, and medicinal nutrition is a risky and expensive business. Successful development requires input from many experts, including scientific, clinical, legal, regulatory, and financial specialists. Multidisciplinary leadership is needed to oversee an entire development program and to make the right decisions. Most leaders in the field learn this on the job, often by trial and error. The idea behind Paul Janssen Futurelab is to give future leaders the tools they need to make these tough decisions.

How does Futurelab combine science and entrepreneurship?

Futurelab develops blended courses that integrate science and business. For example, in the course Clinical Development, professionals learn the pros and cons of a Net Present Value (NPV), a risk-adjusted NPV, and a Question-based methodology using scientific insights when valuing a research project and defining an efficient clinical development plan for their product. We offer professionals a safe and inspiring environment where they learn from simulations based on real-world cases from the industry. During the courses, professionals can make “wrong decisions” without the negative consequences for their careers, patients, and their companies and learn how to use the acquired skills and knowledge in their own projects.


The institute is named after dr. Paul Janssen, founder of Janssen Pharmaceutica. Can you tell us more about this?

Paul Janssen was a legendary physician, chemist, pharmacologist, and a very successful entrepreneur. He productively integrated science with business and he is a role-module for our participants. We are honoured that our initiative may carry his name. We have no financial ties with the firm Janssen Pharmaceutica or its mother organization Johnson and Johnson.

What are the plans for Futurelab?

We are developing an international part-time advanced master’s program for graduated biomedical professionals. The advance master’s will contain blended modules on topics like intellectual property, finance, clinical development, regulatory approval, etc. In addition, we will continue to offer stand-alone courses for those who wish to extend their skills on a specific topic. The amount of study hours required for our 5 weeks online courses is modest allowing to combine learning with a busy job and family life.

>> The next international online course Clinical Development will start on March 5, 2018 <<

Paul Janssen Futurelab