In an effort to extend human life, and to find cures for currently incurable diseases, Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, along with Yuri Milner are rewarding scientists for their past achievements in the field of life sciences, cash prizes totaling $3 million. Prizes will be doled out annually for at least the next five years. The objective is to provide the scientists more opportunity to do more and better life-saving work in the future.
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Prizes are administered by the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, the non-profit organization founded by the aforementioned donors. Chairman of the Board of the foundation is Art Levinson and additional directors include Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner.
Announced on February 21 were the 11 inaugural recipients of this year's Breakthrough Prize. The winners are Cornelia I. Bargmann, David Botstein, Lewis C. Cantley, Hans Clevers, Napoleone Ferrara, Titia de Lange, Eric S. Lander, Charles L. Sawyers, Bert Vogelstein, Robert A. Weinberg, Shinya Yamanaka, many of whom contributed to the advancement towards cures for cancer. Each recipient was awarded $3 million for their breakthroughs.
"I am delighted to announce the launch of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and welcome its first recipients," said Art Levinson, Chairman of the Board for Apple. "I believe this new prize will shine a light on the extraordinary achievements of the outstanding minds in the field of life sciences, enhance medical innovation, and ultimately become a platform for recognizing future discoveries. I also want to thank our founding sponsors, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and Yuri Milner. Without their contribution, this prize would not have been possible."
Providing a unique transparent nomination process, the foundation is allowing anyone to nominate candidates via the "Nominations" page of the website, which as of this writing is currently under construction and reads "Online nominations for Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences will be open soon." Age of the nominee has no bearing, there are no minor or major ages. If someone, anyone, has contributed to life sciences in any meaningful way, they can be nominated by anyone, including you.