MEDIA ADVISORY: UCSF Hosts Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Symposium at Mission Bay

WHAT: The day after the 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences winners are announced at a private evening event in the Bay Area, the recipients – along with 2013 recipients, UCSF Nobel laureates and other luminaries in the field – will participate in a symposium on the state of research in cancer, genetics, neurobiology and stem cells. The all-day symposium will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, with the 2014 Breakthrough Prize recipients.

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, which recognizes excellence in research aimed at curing intractable disease and extending human life, was inaugurated in February with the announcement of the 2013 recipients at a ceremony at the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Founding sponsors of the Prize are Art Levinson (Calico CEO), Sergey Brin (Google co-founder), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe founder), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) and Priscilla Chan, MD, Jack Ma (Internet entrepreneur) and Cathy Zhang, and Yuri Milner (entrepreneur). Six new, $3 million prizes will be awarded December 12.

WHEN: Friday, December 13, 2013

8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Symposium (see full agenda, below)

4:00-5:30 p.m. Panel discussion with 2014 Breakthrough Prize recipients

WHERE: Genentech Hall, Byers Auditorium, UCSF Mission Bay campus, 600 16th Street, San Francisco, CA (Map)

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Interviews will be available with speakers at the symposium, including 2013 and 2014 recipients and UCSF Nobel laureates. B-roll is available in nearby labs. RSVP to Kristen Bole at [email protected] or, during the event, at 415-317-3652.

PARKING: The UCSF Mission Bay parking garage is at Fourth and 16th streets (map).


7:30-8:00 a.m. Breakfast (Genentech Hall Auditorium)
8:00-8:10 a.m. Welcome and Introduction (Byers Auditorium)
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
UCSF Chancellor
Representative of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Award Committee
Cancer Genetics  
8:10-8:15 a.m. 2013 Prize Recipients for Cancer Genetics
Art Levinson, PhD, CEO, Calico
8:15-8:45 a.m. Cancer genomes in the war against cancer
Bert Vogelstein, MD, Johns Hopkins University
8:45-9:15 a.m. The formation and function of cancer stem cells
Robert A. Weinberg, PhD, Whitehead Institute, MIT
9:15-9:45 a.m. Break with student posters (Atrium)
Cancer Biology  
9:50-9:55 a.m. 2013 Prize Recipients for Cancer Biology
Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, UCSF
9:55-10:25 a.m. Obesity, diabetes and cancer: The PI3K connection
Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College
10:25-10:55 a.m. Targeting cancer at its roots: The challenges ahead
Charles L. Sawyers, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering
10:55-11:25 a.m. Targeting blood vessels to treat cancer and eye diseases: Progress and challenges
Napoleone Ferrara, MD, UC San Diego
11:25-11:30 a.m. 2013 Prize Recipients for Genetics
Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, UCSF, 2009 Nobel Prize
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Yeast, evolution, and cancer
David Botstein, PhD, Princeton University
12:00-12:30 p.m. Secrets of the human genome
Eric Lander, PhD, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch (Fisher Banquet Hall-William J. Rutter Center)
Neurobiology and Stem Cells  
1:30-1:35 p.m. 2013 Prize Recipients for Neurobiology and Stem Cells
Stanley Prusiner, MD, UCSF, 1997 Nobel Prize
1:35-2:05 p.m. Using fixed circuits to generate flexible behaviors
Cornelia Bargmann, PhD, Rockefeller University
2:05-2:35 p.m. Break with student posters (Genentech Hall Atrium)
2:40-3:10 p.m Wnt, stem cells and cancer
Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, Hubrecht Institute
3:10-3:40 p.m. New era of medicine with iPS cells
Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, The David J. Gladstone Institutes, UCSF and Kyoto University, 2012 Nobel Prize
The 2014 Winners (Fisher Banquet Hall-William J. Rutter Center)
4:00-5:30 p.m. Panel discussion with 2014 Prize recipients
Moderator: UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmont-Hellmann
5:30-6:30 p.m. Reception


UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

About the Breakthrough Prize Foundation:

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing breakthrough research in life sciences, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career. Additional information about the Foundation and previous recipients of the prizes can be found at