Awards Backed by Silicon Valley Elite Focus on Discoveries Aimed at Extending Human Life
The nation’s top scientists will gather at UC San Francisco to discuss the latest in research discovery at a special symposium honoring the 2013 and 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Award recipients on Friday, Dec. 13.
From left, UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Apple and Genentech
board chairman Arthur D. Levinson, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, venture
capitalist Yuri Milner and 23andMe.com founder Anne Wojcicki launched the Break-
through Prize in Life Sciences during a Feb. 20 press conference on UCSF's
Mission Bay campus. Photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice/Breakthrough Prize
The sold-out symposium will highlight the latest advances in cancer, genetics, neurobiology and stem cell research and also feature UCSF’s Nobel laureates Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD (2009); Stanley Prusiner, MD (1997) and Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD (2012).
The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was founded by some of Silicon Valley’s top executives – Art Levinson, PhD, CEO of Calico and chairman of Apple Inc. and Genentech Inc.; Sergey Brin, founder of Google Inc.; Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23andMe.com; Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan, MD; and venture capitalist Yuri Milner – to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, and his wife Cathy Zhang joined the founding sponsors this year to award a total of six, $3 million prizes each year going forward.
UCSF hosted the unveiling of the prize and this year’s 11 winners in February at its Mission Bay campus.
The 2013 Breakthrough Prize recipients, including Yamanaka, will share their findings in their respective fields at this week’s symposium, with a focus on big ideas that will both challenge and change our view of human health and disease. UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, will moderate a panel discussion with the 2014 prizewinners on the future directions in science.