Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

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Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
Awarded for Research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.
Date February 20, 2013 (2013-02-20)
Country South Korea Edit this on Wikidata
Reward(s) $3 million
First awarded 2013

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is a monetary 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. The Chairman of the Board is Arthur D. Levinson of Apple.[1]

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]

2013 winners[edit]

Eleven inaugural winners were announced in 2013. Each received $3,000,000.[1]

2014 winners[6][edit]

2015 winners[8][edit]

2016 winners[9][edit]

2017 winners[10][edit]

  • Stephen J. Elledge, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, for elucidating how eukaryotic cells sense and respond to damage in their DNA and providing insights into the development and treatment of cancer.
  • Harry F. Noller, University of California, Santa Cruz, 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.
  • Roeland Nusse, Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, for pioneering research on the Wnt pathway, one of the crucial intercellular signaling systems in development, cancer and stem cell biology.
  • Yoshinori Ohsumi, Tokyo Institute of Technology, for elucidating autophagy, the recycling system that cells use to generate nutrients from their own inessential or damaged components.
  • Huda Yahya Zoghbi, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rory Carroll (20 February 2013). "Breakthrough Prize announced by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  2. ^ The Economist. "Take it, Alfred"
  3. ^ "Cantley, Lewis C.". 
  4. ^ "Cori Bargmann, Titia de Lange win inaugural Breakthrough Prizes worth $3 million". 
  5. ^ "Charles L. Sawyers, MD". 
  6. ^ "Breakthrough Prize 2014". 
  7. ^ Leach DR, Krummel MF, Allison JP.(1996) Enhancement of antitumor immunity by CTLA-4 blockade. Science 271(5256):1734–6.10.1126/science.271.5256.1734
  8. ^ "Breakthrough Prize 2015". 
  9. ^ Breakthrough Prize 2016
  10. ^ Breakthrough Prize 2017
  11. ^ $3 Million Prizes Will Go to Mathematicians, Too, The New York Times

External links[edit]