Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Prize recently announced its winners for 2024. These remarkable individuals will receive prizes of up to $3 million for their contributions to the math, fundamental physics, and life sciences arenas. The Breakthrough Prize will celebrate its new laureates at a gala award ceremony in Los Angeles on April 13, 2024.
Breakthrough Prize Co-Founder Yuri Milner
Yuri Milner co-founded the Breakthrough Prize in 2012 to celebrate scientific achievement. In 2015, he established the Breakthrough Junior Challenge and the Breakthrough Initiatives to advance scientific knowledge and inspire future scientists.
Yuri Milner is a member of the Giving Pledge. He has also written Eureka Manifesto, a book about humanity’s place in the Universe. His Breakthrough Foundation funds the Breakthrough Prize, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, the Breakthrough Initiatives, and Tech For Refugees.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global competition for high school students that inspires creative thinking about science. Each year, students from countries around the world submit short videos they’ve created that bring to life a theory or concept in science or math.
The Breakthrough Initiatives
The Breakthrough Initiatives are a suite of astronomical and astrobiological programs that seek answers to the big questions of life in the Universe. The Breakthrough Initiatives have fostered collaboration between leading observatories, space agencies, scholars, and engineers.
Tech For Refugees
Tech For Refugees is a non-profit organization that supports the use of technology to improve the lives of refugees. Yuri Milner and his wife Julia founded Tech For Refugees in 2022 in response to the war in Ukraine.
The 2024 Breakthrough Prize: Incredible Discoveries
This year’s Breakthrough Prize laureates have made incredible leaps in the treatment of major diseases and our understanding of the Universe. Between them, 11 researchers have received 5 $3 million Breakthrough Prizes for their groundbreaking work.
Three 2024 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences have gone to eight researchers for their impactful work in the fight against cancer, cystic fibrosis, and Parkinson’s disease:
- Carl June and Michel Sadelain developed a new immunotherapy for cancer patients. This immunotherapy has fully cured some individuals of cancer, with tumors not returning years after treatment.
- Paul Negulescu, Fredrick Van Goor, and Sabine Hadida created the first medicines to successfully treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.
- Ellen Sidransky, Thomas Gasser, and Andrew Singleton discovered the risk genes for Parkinson’s disease: GBA1 and LRRK2.
Meanwhile, Simon Brendle won the 2024 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics for his impressive work in differential geometry. This field of math uses calculus-based tools to study spaces, surfaces, and curves. Many of Brendle’s results relate to the shape of surfaces.
Finally, John Cardy and Alexander Zamolodchikov received the 2024 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Throughout their careers, the physicists have made many contributions to statistical physics and quantum field theory. Quantum field theories have diverse, far-reaching applications in various areas of math and physics.
In addition to these 11 laureates, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded 12 early-career mathematicians and physicists 6 $100,000 New Horizons Prizes. Plus, three women mathematicians starting their careers have each received a $50,000 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize.
Honoring Breakthrough Prize Laureates
Along with their monetary rewards, the 2024 Breakthrough Prize winners will receive recognition at a glamorous gala awards ceremony in Los Angeles next year.
Known as the “Oscars of Science,” the Breakthrough Prize ceremony is the only one of its kind to place scientists center stage. Luminaries from the worlds of film, comedy, sports, and music attend the event, lending their spotlight to shine on the laureates.
Learn more about the 2024 Breakthrough Prize winners.