A collection of tech industry titans, from competing companies, have joined forces to award a total $33 million in prize money for medical research to cure disease and extend human life. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are teaming up with Google cofounder Sergey Brin, 23andMe cofounder Anne Wojcicki (Brin's wife), Apple Chairman Art Levinson, and Russian tech investor Yuri Milner to launch the new "Breakthrough Prize Foundation."
The massive new nonprofit organization will award five annual prizes, each worth $3 million, to scientists who have made massive leaps in medicine, biotechnology and other related fields, making it the largest cumulative award for life sciences in the world. Repeat winners are allowed and there are no age restrictions.
"Curing a disease should be worth more than a touchdown"
"Curing a disease should be worth more than a touchdown," said Sergey Brin, in a statement announcing the new prize on the organization's website. Zuckerberg also posted about the news on his Facebook page.
For the first round of Breakthrough Prizes this year, the foundation went even further, giving 11 different scientists each a $3 million prize for their work on stem cells, DNA, and cancer. The scientists also get to join the selection committee that picks future winners.
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