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Breakthrough Prize winners' research for Cell Press freely available

Five $3M prizes a year will be sponsored by founders of Google, Facebook, Genentech, 23andMe and Mail.ru

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was created by five celebrated entrepreneurs known for their contributions to world of  technology. They helped build empires like Google, Facebook and Genentech and invested in technologies that have changed the way people live and work.

Now, with this prize, they are putting their money behind a different kind of breakthrough: "recognizing excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life." [caption align="alignright" ]

Founding sponsors

As founding sponsors, Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner announced the launch of this prize yesterday, along with the first winners. And they agreed to establish five annual prizes of $3 million each going forward.

To administer the prize, they set up the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a nonprofit organization "dedicated to "advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career."

All 11 prize winners have connections with Elsevier, particularly with Cell Press, where seven are editorial board members and nine have published in Cell Press journals. To honor these authors, Cell Press is making much of their prize-winning work freely available. This article includes a link to two articles for more of these authors:

Breakthrough Prize winners

The 11 recipients are:

  • David Botstein "for  linkage mapping of Mendelian disease in humans using DNA polymorphisms." Dr. Botstein is Director and Anthony B Evnin professor of genomics at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.
  • Napoleone Ferrara — "for discoveries in the mechanisms of angiogenesis that led to therapies for cancer and eye diseases." Dr. Ferrara is  Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Senior Deputy Director for Basic Sciences at Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego.
  • [Shinya Yamanaka, MD, recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine, was one of the 11 prize winners Eric S. Lander "for the discovery of general principles for identifying human disease genes, and enabling their application to medicine through the creation and analysis of genetic, physical and sequence maps of the human genome." Dr. Lander is President and founding director of the Eli and Edythe L Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Professor of biology at MIT, and Professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. Here is Dr. Lander's 2011 article for Cell: "Stochastic State Transitions Give Rise to Phenotypic Equilibrium in Populations of Cancer Cells."
All prize winners have agreed to serve on the selection committee to choose recipients of future prizes. Also, they will be invited to present public talks targeting a general audience. These lectures and supporting materials will be made available to the public. [divider]

Elsevier Connect Contributors

[caption id="attachment_11223" align="alignleft" width="150"]Alison Bert, DMA Alison Bert, DMA[/caption] [caption id="attachment_18867" align="alignright" width="150"]Mary Beth O'Leary Mary Beth O'Leary[/caption] Alison Bert (@AlisonBert) is Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier Connect. She joined Elsevier five years ago from the world of journalism, where she was a business reporter and blogger for The Journal News, a Gannett daily newspaper in New York. In the previous century, she was a classical guitarist on the music faculty of Syracuse University. She holds a doctorate in music from the University of Arizona, was a Fulbright scholar in Spain and performed in the 1986 master class of Andres Segovia.

Mary Beth O'Leary is Press Officer and Associate Media Relations Manager for Cell Press (@CellPressNews), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She began her career at Cell Press as an Senior Editorial Assistant for the journal Cell before transitioning into a role as Marketing/Publicity Coordinator. In December, she moved into her position as Press Officer for Cell Press's 29 journals. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, she studied literature and art history.


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