Born in 1962, Paul Stoffels is an industrialist, physician and virologist and regarded as one of the most influential individuals in biopharmacy. He studied medicine at Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp and specialized in infectious diseases and tropical medicine at Antwerp's Prince Leopold Institute for Tropical Medicine. Stoffels began his career as a physician in Africa, focusing on HIV and tropical disease research for four years.
Upon his return to Flanders in 1991, he joined Janssen Pharmaceutica to lead research initiatives on HIV treatments. He was promoted to director of Clinical Research and Development for Infectious Diseases and Dermatology, but left the company after 5 years to co-found biotech company Virco, together with Rudi Pauwels, owner of Tibotec. Stoffels then served as chairman of Tibotec and chief operating officer of Virco until the two companies merged in 2001 to form Tibotec-Virco.
Stoffels rejoined Johnson & Johnson when it acquired Virco and Tibotec in 2002, becoming group president of the global virology unit. Currently, Stoffels is vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer there.
In 2020, Paul Stoffels received the Louis Pasteur Leadership Award in Public Health for his long-standing commitment to harnessing innovation in science and technology. His was also recognized for his current work on the COVID-19 outbreak and the ongoing development of a potential vaccine candidate.