Break­through Prize win­ners make a splash

Modern Healthcare - - ASIDES & INSIDES -

The Break­through Prize in Life Sciences may not be the No­bel Prize, but the 11 in­au­gu­ral win­ners aren’t likely to com­plain. The re­searchers and sci­en­tists hon­ored last week each get $3 mil­lion, more than twice the cash that comes with the No­bel Prize for medicine or phys­i­ol­ogy.

The Break­through Prize spon­sors are a group of tech heavy­weights, in­clud­ing Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Ge­nen­tech Chair­man Art Levin­son.

The win­ners, mostly Amer­i­can, rep­re­sent some bold­face in­sti­tu­tional names in medicine and re­search, in­clud­ing Prince­ton Univer­sity, New York-Pres­by­te­rian Hospi­tal, Me­mo­rial Sloan-Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter and Johns Hop­kins Medicine.

Among those hon­ored are five physi­cians, in­clud­ing one doc who got a lit­tle at­ten­tion last fall. Dr. Shinya Ya­manaka, di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for iPS Cell Re­search and Ap­pli­ca­tion at Ky­oto Univer­sity, shared the 2012 No­bel Prize for medicine or phys­i­ol­ogy with Sir John Gur­don, of the Gur­don In­sti­tute at Cam­bridge Univer­sity. Ya­manaka, who also is se­nior in­ves­ti­ga­tor at the Glad­stone In­sti­tutes, San Fran­cisco, won both prizes for his work on in­duced pluripo­tent stem cells.

Next year, the list of win­ners will be trimmed to five, but the cash prize stays at $3 mil­lion per honoree.

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