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The Most Brilliant Minds Recognized with Prestigious Science Oscars by La Jornada

The Breakthrough Awards, known as the “Oscars of science,” were recently held at the Academy Museum of Motion Picture in Los Angeles, California. The event recognized the most brilliant minds in various fields, including researchers, movie stars, and technology industry leaders.

One of the notable winners was French-Canadian scientist Michel Sadelain, who was awarded the Breakthrough Prize for his groundbreaking research on genetic modification of immune cells to combat cancer. His work led to the development of a new therapy known as CAR-T, which has shown remarkable effectiveness against certain blood cancers.

Sadelain will share the $3 million prize with American immunologist Carl June, who also made significant contributions to the field. Sadelain expressed his gratitude for the recognition, highlighting the impact of their work on patients who have benefited from CAR-T therapy.

Having studied medicine and immunology, Sadelain’s research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York paved the way for the use of genetically reprogrammed T cells to target cancer cells with precision. The CAR-T cell therapy has now been approved for use in the United States and shows promise for treating various types of cancer.

In addition to cancer research, other notable achievements were recognized at the awards ceremony. Scientists Ellen Sidransk, Thomas Gasser, and Andrew Singleton were honored for their discoveries in Parkinson’s disease genetics. Spanish chemist Sabine Hadida, along with her colleagues, received an award for their work on developing medications for cystic fibrosis.

The event also acknowledged physicists John Cardy, Alexander Zamolodchikov, Hidetoshi Katori, and Jun Ye, as well as mathematician Simon Brendle for their contributions to their respective fields. The total prize money awarded this year amounted to $15.75 million, with a cumulative total in Breakthrough history of $308 million.

The Breakthrough Awards, established in 2010, aim to recognize excellence in life sciences, physics, mathematics, and other fields, presenting a Silicon Valley-backed alternative to the Nobel Prize. The award ceremony brought together renowned personalities from the world of science and entertainment, further highlighting the importance of innovation and research.

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