Tech Giants Fund Big Annual Award for Scientists

Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, will shell out $3M to each winner
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2013 2:30 PM CST
Tech Giants Fund Big Annual Award for Scientists
Mark Zuckerberg is seen celebrating Facebook's IPO in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Nasdaq via Facebook, Zef Nikolla, File)

Forget the Nobel Prize; pretty soon, enterprising medical researchers will really be after the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize. Some of the biggest names in tech—including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin—have teamed to create the award, which rewards biological breakthroughs with fat, $3 million checks. Which, the New York Times points out, is more than twice what Nobel winners earn. "Curing a disease should be worth more than a touchdown," Brin reasoned in a statement.

Normally, the group will give out five awards a year, but yesterday it announced 11 winners to make a debut splash, awarding pioneers in stem cell and cancer research, genome mapping, and more—you can see all the winners here. Russian entrepreneur (and really nice house owner) Yuri Milner is the driving force behind the project, having last year set up a similar physics prize on his own, PCMag reports. Milner felt he needed help to properly reward life science researchers. "These scientists should be household names," he says. (More life science stories.)

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