Silicon Valley heavyweights Art Levinson (chairman of the board at Apple, and chairman and former CEO of Genentech), Sergey Brin (co-founder, Google), Anne Wojcicki (co-founder of 23andMe, and wife of Mr. Brin) , Mark Zuckerberg (founder chairman, and CEO of Facebook), Priscilla Chan (wife of Mr. Zuckerberg) and Yuri Milner (founder of Digital Sky Technologies) have come together to start the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
There will be five annual prizes of $3 million each. (The Nobel Prize amounts for 2012 is $1.2 million, in case you were wondering). Beyond the five years, the founding sponsors may continue their awards, and there may be others joining in, as well.
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Art Levinson, will serve as the chairman of the board at the Breakthrough Foundation. Additional directors will include Anne Wojcicki , Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner.
The Breakthrough Prize will recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. The prize will be administered by the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.
The first 11 recipients of the Breakthrough Prize are:
- Cornelia I. Bargmann
- David Botstein
- Lewis C. Cantley
- Hans Clevers
- Napoleone Ferrara
- Titia de Lange
- Eric S. Lander
- Charles L. Sawyers
- Bert Vogelstein
- Robert A. Weinberg
- Shinya Yamanaka