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The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is a scientific award, funded by internet entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan of Facebook; Sergey Brin of Google; entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner; and Anne Wojcicki, one of the founders of the genetics company 23andMe.[1]

Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
Awarded forResearch aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.
DateFebruary 20, 2013; 11 years ago (2013-02-20)
Reward(s)$3 million
First awarded2013
Websitebreakthroughprizeinlifesciences.org

The award of $3 million, the largest award in the sciences,[2] is given to researchers who have made discoveries that extend human life. The Prize is awarded annually, beginning in 2013, with six awards given in each subsequent year. Winners are expected to give public lectures and form the committee to decide future winners.[1] The ceremony takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the symposiums alternating between University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Francisco, and Stanford University.

Laureates

Year Portrait Laureate
(birth/death)
Country Rationale Affiliation
2013[1]   Cornelia Bargmann
(b. 1961)
  United States "for the genetics of neural circuits and behavior, and synaptic guidepost molecules." Rockefeller University
  David Botstein
(b. 1942)
   Switzerland
  United States
"for linkage mapping of Mendelian disease in humans using DNA polymorphisms." Princeton University
  Lewis C. Cantley
(b. 1949)
  United States "for the discovery of PI 3-Kinase and its role in cancer metabolism." Harvard Medical School
Weill Cornell Medical College
  Hans Clevers
(b. 1957)
  Netherlands "for describing the role of Wnt signaling in tissue stem cells and cancer." Hubrecht Institute
  Titia de Lange
(b. 1955)
  Netherlands
  United States
"for research on telomeres, illuminating how they protect chromosome ends and their role in genome instability in cancer." Rockefeller University
  Napoleone Ferrara
(b. 1956)
  Italy
  United States
"for discoveries in the mechanisms of angiogenesis that led to therapies for cancer and eye diseases." University of California, San Diego
  Eric S. Lander
(b. 1957)
  United States "for the discovery of general principles for identifying human disease genes, and enabling their application to medicine through the creation and analysis of genetic, physical and sequence maps of the human genome." Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Broad Institute
  Charles L. Sawyers
(b. 1959)
  United States "for cancer genes and targeted therapy." Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  Robert A. Weinberg
(b. 1942)
  United States "for characterization of human cancer genes." Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Whitehead Institute
  Shinya Yamanaka
(b. 1962)
  Japan "for induced pluripotent stem cells." Kyoto University
J. David Gladstone Institutes
University of California, San Francisco
  Bert Vogelstein
(b. 1949)
  United States "for cancer genomics and tumor suppressor genes." Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Johns Hopkins University
2014[3]   James P. Allison
(b. 1948)
  United States "for the discovery of T cell checkpoint blockade as effective cancer therapy." M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  Mahlon DeLong
(b. 1938)
  United States "for defining the interlocking circuits in the brain that malfunction in Parkinson's disease – this scientific foundation underlies the circuit-based treatment of Parkinson's disease by deep brain stimulation." Emory University
  Michael N. Hall
(b. 1953)
   Switzerland
  United States
"for the discovery of Target of Rapamycin (TOR) and its role in cell growth control." Biozentrum University of Basel
  Robert Langer
(b. 1948)
  United States "for discoveries leading to the development of controlled drug-release systems and new biomaterials." Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Richard P. Lifton
(b. 1953)
  United States "for the discovery of genes and biochemical mechanisms that cause hypertension." Yale University School of Medicine
  Alexander Varshavsky
(b. 1946)
  Russia
  United States
"for discovering critical molecular determinants and biological functions of intracellular protein degradation." Caltech
2015[4]   Alim-Louis Benabid
(b. 1942)
  France "for the discovery and pioneering work on the development of high-frequency deep brain stimulation (DBS), which has revolutionized the treatment of Parkinson's disease." Joseph Fourier University
  C. David Allis
(1951–2023)
  United States "for the discovery of covalent modifications of histone proteins and their critical roles in the regulation of gene expression and chromatin organization, advancing the understanding of diseases ranging from birth defects to cancer." Rockefeller University
  Victor Ambros
(b. 1953)
  United States "for the discovery of a new world of genetic regulation by microRNAs, a class of tiny RNA molecules that inhibit translation or destabilize complementary mRNA targets." University of Massachusetts Medical School
  Gary Ruvkun
(b. 1952)
  United States Massachusetts General Hospital
Harvard Medical School
  Jennifer Doudna
(b. 1964)
  United States "for harnessing an ancient mechanism of bacterial immunity into a powerful and general technology for editing genomes, with wide-ranging implications across biology and medicine." University of California, Berkeley
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  Emmanuelle Charpentier
(b. 1968)
  France Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Umeå University
2016[5]   Edward S. Boyden
(b. 1979)
  United States "for the development and implementation of optogenetics – the programming of neurons to express light-activated ion channels and pumps, so that their electrical activity can be controlled by light." Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Karl Deisseroth
(b. 1971)
  United States Stanford University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  John Hardy
(b. 1954)
  United Kingdom "for discovering mutations in the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene that cause early onset Alzheimer's disease, linking accumulation of APP-derived beta-amyloid peptide to Alzheimer's pathogenesis and inspiring new strategies for disease prevention." University College London
  Helen Hobbs
(b. 1952)
  United States "for the discovery of human genetic variants that alter the levels and distribution of cholesterol and other lipids, inspiring new approaches to the prevention of cardiovascular and liver disease." University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Svante Pääbo
(b. 1955)
  Sweden "for pioneering the sequencing of ancient DNA and ancient genomes, thereby illuminating the origins of modern humans, our relationships to extinct relatives such as Neanderthals, and the evolution of human populations and traits." Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
2017[6]   Stephen J. Elledge
(b. 1956)
  United States "for elucidating how eukaryotic cells sense and respond to damage in their DNA and providing insights into the development and treatment of cancer." Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Harry F. Noller
(b. 1939)
  United States "for discovering the centrality of RNA in forming the active centers of the ribosome, the fundamental machinery of protein synthesis in all cells, thereby connecting modern biology to the origin of life and also explaining how many natural antibiotics disrupt protein synthesis." University of California, Santa Cruz
  Roeland Nusse
(b. 1950)
  Netherlands "for pioneering research on the Wnt pathway, one of the crucial intercellular signaling systems in development, cancer and stem cell biology." Stanford University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Yoshinori Ohsumi
(b. 1945)
  Japan "for elucidating autophagy, the recycling system that cells use to generate nutrients from their own inessential or damaged components." Tokyo Institute of Technology
  Huda Zoghbi
(b. 1954)
  Lebanon
  United States
"for discoveries of the genetic causes and biochemical mechanisms of spinocerebellar ataxia and Rett syndrome, findings that have provided insight into the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neurological diseases." Baylor College of Medicine
Texas Children's Hospital
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2018[6]   Joanne Chory
(b. 1955)
  United States "for discovering how plants optimize their growth, development, and cellular structure to transform sunlight into chemical energy." Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Peter Walter
(b. 1954)
  Germany
  United States
"for elucidating the unfolded protein response, a cellular quality-control system that detects disease-causing unfolded proteins and directs cells to take corrective measures." University of California, San Francisco
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Kazutoshi Mori
(b. 1958)
  Japan Kyoto University
  Kim Nasmyth
(b. 1952)
  United Kingdom "for elucidating the sophisticated mechanism that mediates the perilous separation of duplicated chromosomes during cell division and thereby prevents genetic diseases such as cancer." University of Oxford
  Don W. Cleveland
(b. 1950)
  United States "for elucidating the molecular pathogenesis of a type of inherited ALS, including the role of glia in neurodegeneration, and for establishing antisense oligonucleotide therapy in animal models of ALS and Huntington disease." University of California, San Diego
2019[6]   C. Frank Bennett
(b. 1960)
  United States "for the development of an effective antisense oligonucleotide therapy for children with the neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy." Ionis Pharmaceuticals
  Adrian R. Krainer
(b. 1958)
  United States Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  Angelika Amon
(1967–2020)
  Austria
  United States
"for determining the consequences of aneuploidy, an abnormal chromosome number resulting from chromosome mis-segregation." Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  Xiaowei Zhuang
(b. 1972)
  China
  United States
"for discovering hidden structures in cells by developing super-resolution imaging – a method that transcends the fundamental spatial resolution limit of light microscopy." Harvard University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Zhijian James Chen
(b. 1966)
  China
  United States
"for elucidating how DNA triggers immune and autoimmune responses from the interior of a cell through the discovery of the DNA-sensing enzyme cGAS." UT Southwestern Medical Center
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2020[7]   Jeffrey M. Friedman
(b. 1954)
  United States "for the discovery of a new endocrine system through which adipose tissue signals the brain to regulate food intake." Rockefeller University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Franz-Ulrich Hartl
(b. 1957)
  Germany "for discovering functions of molecular chaperones in mediating protein folding and preventing protein aggregation." Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
  Arthur L. Horwich
(b. 1951)
  United States "for discovering functions of molecular chaperones in mediating protein folding and preventing protein aggregation." Yale School of Medicine
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  David Julius
(b. 1955)
  United States "for discovering molecules, cells, and mechanisms underlying pain sensation." University of California, San Francisco
  Virginia Man-Yee Lee
(b. 1945)
  China
  United States
"for discovering TDP43 protein aggregates in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and revealing that different forms of alpha-synuclein, in different cell types, underlie Parkinson's disease and Multiple System Atrophy." University of Pennsylvania
2021[8]   David Baker
(b. 1962)
  United States "for developing technology that allowed the design of proteins never seen before in nature, including novel proteins that have the potential for therapeutic intervention in human diseases." University of Washington
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Catherine Dulac
(b. 1963)
  France
  United States
"for deconstructing the complex behavior of parenting to the level of cell-types and their wiring, and demonstrating that the neural circuits governing both male and female-specific parenting behaviors are present in both sexes." Harvard University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  Yuk Ming Dennis Lo
(b. 1963)
  Hong Kong "for discovering that fetal DNA is present in maternal blood and can be used for the prenatal testing of trisomy 21 and other genetic disorders" The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  Richard J. Youle
(b. 1952)
  United States "for elucidating a quality control pathway that clears damaged mitochondria and thereby protects against Parkinson's Disease." National Institutes of Health
2022[9]   Jeffery W. Kelly
(b. 1960)
  United States "for elucidating the molecular basis of neurodegenerative and cardiac transthyretin diseases, and for developing tafamidis, a drug that slows their progression." Scripps Research Institute
  Katalin Karikó
(b. 1955)
  Hungary
  United States
"for engineering modified RNA technology which enabled rapid development of effective COVID-19 vaccines." BioNTech
University of Pennsylvania
  Drew Weissman
(b. 1958)
  United States University of Pennsylvania
  Shankar Balasubramanian
(b. 1966)
  India
  United Kingdom
"for the development of a robust and affordable method to determine DNA sequences on a massive scale, which has transformed the practice of science and medicine." University of Cambridge
  David Klenerman
(b. 1959)
  United Kingdom University of Cambridge
  Pascal Mayer
(b. 1963)
  France Alphanosos
2023[10]   Clifford P. Brangwynne
(b. -)
  United States "for discovering a fundamental mechanism of cellular organization mediated by phase separation of proteins and RNA into membraneless liquid droplets." Princeton University
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Marine Biological Laboratory
  Anthony A. Hyman
(b. 1962)
  United Kingdom Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
  Demis Hassabis
(b. 1976)
  United Kingdom "for developing a deep learning AI method that rapidly and accurately predicts the three-dimensional structure of proteins from their amino acid sequence.." DeepMind
  John Jumper
(b. -)
  United States DeepMind
  Emmanuel Mignot
(b. 1959)
  United States "for discovering that narcolepsy is caused by the loss of a small population of brain cells that make a wake-promoting substance, paving the way for the development of new treatments for sleep disorders.." Stanford University School of Medicine
  Masashi Yanagisawa
(b. 1960)
  Japan
  United States
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
University of Tsukuba
2024

[11]

  Carl H. June
(b. 1953)
  United States "For the development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy whereby the patient's T cells are modified to target and kill cancer cells." Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  Michel Sadelain   France Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  Sabine Hadida   Spain
  United States
"For developing life-transforming drug combinations that repair the defective chloride channel protein in patients with cystic fibrosis." Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  Paul Negulescu   United States
  Fredrick Van Goor   United States
  Thomas Gasser   Germany "For identifying GBA1 and LRRK2 as risk genes for Parkinson's disease, implicating autophagy and lysosomal biology as critical contributors to the pathogenesis of the disease." Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
  Ellen Sidransky   United States National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
  Andrew Singleton
(b. 1972)
  United Kingdom National Institute on Aging, NIH

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Rory Carroll (February 20, 2013). "Breakthrough Prize announced by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs". The Guardian. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  2. ^ The Economist. "Take it, Alfred" https://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/02/science-prizes
  3. ^ "Breakthrough Prize 2014". breakthroughprize.org. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "Breakthrough Prize 2015". breakthroughprize.org. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Breakthrough Prize Awarded $22 Million In Science Prizes". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "Breakthrough Prize – Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize – Laureates". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners Of The 2020 Breakthrough Prize In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics And Mathematics Announced". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  8. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners Of The 2021 Breakthrough Prizes In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics And Mathematics Announced". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  9. ^ "Breakthrough Prize – Winners Of The 2022 Breakthrough Prizes In Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics And Mathematics Announced". breakthroughprize.org. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Laureates 2023
  11. ^ "BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE ANNOUNCES 2024 LAUREATES IN LIFE SCIENCES, FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS, AND MATHEMATICS". BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE. September 14, 2023. Retrieved September 14, 2023.
  12. ^ Overbye, Dennis (December 13, 2013). "$3 Million Prizes Will Go to Mathematicians, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2021. (subscription required)