Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka was among 11 recipients of the first Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences who will be receiving a $3 million cash prize each. He received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine last year for his research on induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells. In a statement, he said that he was appreciative of all the support for his research. He also stressed that he is working to bring the benefits of iPS technology to patients as soon as possible. The prize is double the amount as that of the Nobel Prize.
The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was created to recognize research and efforts that aim at curing intractable diseases. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin are named founding sponsors, while Apple board chairman Arthur Levinson is taking charge of the foundation. According to a statement from the foundation, the 11 winners will serve on the selection committee in order to elect the recipients of future prizes. It also said that anyone may nominate a candidate online to ensure transparency in the selection process.
The other 10 recipients are Cornelia Bargmann of Rockefeller University, David Botstein of Princeton University, Lewis Cantley of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, Hans Clevers of Hubrecht Institute of the Netherlands, Titia de Lange of Rockefeller University, Napoleone Ferrara of University of California, San Diego, Eric Lander of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Charles Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University and Robert Weinberg of MIT.