Each award was worth $3 million dollars and the breakthroughs were from everything from cancer research to genomics.  The sponsors of the awards are from Google and Facebook, the CEOs and a few others named below. 

This is brand new as well as is the website and here’s the about information:

“Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is founded by imageArt Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri Milner to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. The prize is administered by the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.

Founding sponsors of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences include Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri Milner, who collectively have agreed to establish 5 annual prizes, US$3 million each, going forward. These prizes will be awarded for past achievements in the field of life sciences, with the aim of providing the recipients with more freedom and opportunity to pursue even greater future accomplishments.

Going forward, each year’s prize winners will join the Selection Committee for future awardees. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Breakthrough Prize will be a transparent selection process, in which anyone will be able to nominate a candidate online for consideration. Also, the prize can be shared between any number of deserving scientists and can be received more than once. In addition, there are no age restrictions for nominees.

All Breakthrough Prize recipients will be invited to present public talks targeting a general audience. These lectures, together with supporting materials, will be made available to the public, allowing everyone to keep abreast of the latest developments in life sciences, guided by contemporary masters of the field.”

The website says soon the site will enable nominations to be created for the next award, which is to take place annually and the awards today were the first inaugural winners.  One award went to Charles L. Sawyers, Head of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Pathology and Oncology Program.  Dr. Sawyers is already internationally recognized and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator which is America’s Second Largest Charity. 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Partner to Fund Plant Research To Further Human Health as Well as Environmental Issues

All recipients were very stunned at the amount of the prizes they received indeed.  BD

Eleven scientists became multimillionaires this morning when they were named the first winners of the new Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Each researcher, whose specialties include genetics, stem cells, and cancer, will receive $3 million dollars, more than twice the maximum amount of a Nobel Prize.

Funded by several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, including Arthur Levinson of Apple, venture capitalist Yuri Milner, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, the Breakthrough Prize aims to "recogniz[e] excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life," according to the foundation's Web site.

The first group of winners includes Cornelia I. Bargmann of Rockefeller University in New York City; David Botstein of Princeton University; Lewis C. Cantley of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City; Hans Clevers of the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands; Napoleone Ferrara of the University of California, San Diego; Titia de Lange of Rockefeller University; Eric S. Lander of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge; Charles L. Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City; Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; Robert A. Weinberg of MIT; and the 2012 Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco.



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