Scientists Receive First-Ever Breakthrough Prize in Life Science

We learned this week that eleven scientists have been named as the first-ever recipients of research prizes given by four technology giants, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and that among them are some familiar names to people working in our research program.

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences recognizes innovation in medicine and biology and the amount awarded, $3 million each, is more than double the amount of the Nobel Prize. Some of you may know that 46 Nobel Laureates were once recipients of American Cancer Society research grants, pointing the the Society’s strong track record of identifying, and helping make possible, the most promising work in cancer medicine.

Well, we’re proud to say more than half of the recipients of this new prestigious prize were also once ACS grantees.

  • Cornelia Bargmann received the first of four ACS research grants in 1991
  • David Botstein – was awarded ACS grants in 1969 and 1977, very early in his career
  • Lewis Cantley – received the first of two ACS grants in 1994
  • Charles Sawyers – received the first of two ACS grants in 1994
  • Titia De Lange – became an ACS Research Professor in 2010
  • Robert Weinberg – became an ACS Research Professor in 1985
  • Bert Vogelstein – became an ACS Research Professor in 1993

Anne Wojcicki, the founder of the genetics company 23andMe and one of the four who created the award told the New York Times the new prize is meant to reward scientists “who think big, take risks and have made a significant impact on our lives.”

We are so proud to be reminded of the important role the American Cancer Society plays  in making sure the most promising research is supported, allowing researchers to help us find answers. And we hope those of us who have supported us along the way, as well as those who want to join the fight will be proud, too.

You can read more about our research program on our website.

About David Sampson

I am the director of medical and scientific communications for the American Cancer Society national home office.
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One Response to Scientists Receive First-Ever Breakthrough Prize in Life Science

  1. John Schubel says:

    It’s great that you give grants and all to researchers but you took away scholarships to college students……………………………………

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