2023 Breakthrough Prize winners in life sciences announced

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 26, 2022 -- Winners of the 2023 Breakthrough Prizes established by technology heavyweights such as Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg have been announced, including “game-changing” discoveries in the life sciences.

The prizes amount to $15.75 million in total and are awarded to scientists who have made breakthroughs in the fields of fundamental physics, life sciences, and mathematics.

Three prizes in the life sciences were awarded to the following recipients:

  • Clifford Brangwynne (Princeton University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratory) and Anthony Hyman (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics) for discovering a fundamental mechanism of cellular organization mediated by phase separation of proteins and RNA into membrane-less liquid droplets.
  • Demis Hassabis and John Jumper (both from DeepMind) for developing a deep-learning method called AlphaFold that rapidly and accurately predicts the three-dimensional structure of proteins from their amino acid sequence.
  • Emmanuel Mignot (Stanford University School of Medicine) and Masashi Yanagisawa (University of Tsukuba) for discovering that narcolepsy is caused by the loss of a small population of brain cells that make a wake-promoting substance, paving the way for the development of new treatments for sleep disorders.

The full list of winners and the details of their discoveries can be found on the Breakthrough Prize website.

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