Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Prize Now Accepting 2025 Nominations

Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Prize is now accepting 2025 nominations for its Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences, and Mathematics categories. Now in its thirteenth year, the Breakthrough Prize honours the world’s top scientists and their pioneering research.

The Breakthrough Prizes

Julia and Yuri Milner, Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan, Sergey Brin, and Anne Wojcicki founded the Breakthrough Prize in 2012. The first-ever Breakthrough Prize recognised transformative advances in fundamental physics. The co-founders added the Life Sciences and Mathematics prize categories in 2013.

Ever since, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded three prizes in Life Sciences, one in Fundamental Physics, and one in Mathematics each year. Many know the Breakthrough Prize as the world’s biggest science award, as each prize comes with $3 million.

Additional awards include the New Horizons Prizes and the Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prizes: Annually, six New Horizons Prizes in Physics and Mathematics, each $100,000, go to talented early-career researchers. Meanwhile, three Maryam Mirzakhani prizes, each $50,000, go to women mathematicians who have recently started their careers and finished their PhDs in the last two years.

To date, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded a total of $308 million to emerging and established scientists and mathematicians.

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Insights from the field of fundamental physics have transformed how we see the world. In the last century alone, ideas like general relativity and quantum mechanics have revolutionised our understanding of space and time.

This century will likely bring more surprises. From the cosmic to the subatomic scale, physicists continue to uncover answers to the Universe’s deepest mysteries.

The 2025 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics will go to the researcher(s) who have made significant contributions to human knowledge. Any number of theoretical or experimental physicists may share the prize.

The 2024 Fundamental Physics laureates were John Cardy and Alexander Zamolodchikov. The physicists won the prize for their contributions to statistical physics and quantum field theory. Their research has varied, extensive applications in various areas of physics and maths.

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

In the 50 years between discovering the double helix and decoding the human genome, our understanding of life has changed dramatically. Since then, the rate of discoveries in the life sciences has increased. Thanks to new knowledge and technologies, fields like molecular biology, genetics, neurology, and oncology are seeing major leaps forward.

Three 2025 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences will go to researchers who have made considerable advances in understanding living systems and extending human life. One of the Life Sciences prizes focuses on breakthroughs in understanding Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative disorders.

The three 2024 Life Sciences prizes went to:

  • Sabine Hadida, Paul Negulescu, and Fredrick Van Goor.
  • Thomas Gasser, Ellen Sidransky, and Andrew Singleton.
  • Carl H. June and Michel Sadelain.

Hadida, Negulescu, and Van Goor developed powerful drug combinations that improve the function of a faulty protein in cystic fibrosis patients. Their work has led to life-changing results for these individuals.

Gasser, Sidransky, and Singleton identified two risk genes for Parkinson’s disease. Their discovery suggests that the processes of autophagy and lysosomal biology play important roles in causing the disease.

June and Sadelain developed a chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell immunotherapy. This treatment involves modifying a patient’s T cells to target and destroy cancer cells.

The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics

Pythagoras famously believed that numbers lie at the heart of all things. While modern mathematics extends beyond numbers, his belief still holds: Mathematics serves as the universal language of nature.

Furthermore, mathematics plays a crucial role in expanding knowledge. The discipline acts as a framework that supports all other sciences.

Maths and physics share an especially close connection. We now know that concepts that once seemed abstract, like imaginary numbers and Hilbert spaces, underpin actual physical phenomena. On top of this, statistical and computational methods are essential in all areas of contemporary life sciences research.

The 2025 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics will go to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the field of mathematics.

Simon Brendle won the 2024 Mathematics prize for his groundbreaking advancements in differential geometry. His research encompasses precise geometric inequalities, Ricci flow, mean curvature flow, and the Lawson conjecture on minimal tori in the 3-sphere.

ALLEA And ResearchGate: Breakthrough Prize Partners

This is the eighth year that the Breakthrough Prize will partner with the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) and ResearchGate. These partnerships allow the Breakthrough Prize to interact directly with researchers and the scientific community.

ALLEA unites more than 50 academies from over 40 countries. These academies’ members are at the forefront of scholarly research in all disciplines of the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.

Established in 2008 and based in Berlin, ResearchGate is on a mission to connect the global scientific community and make research accessible to everyone.

Over 20 million researchers use ResearchGate to share and discover research, develop their networks, and progress in their careers. ResearchGate encourages members to nominate their peers for the 2025 Breakthrough Prizes.

The Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

The Breakthrough Prize hosts an annual, globally broadcast gala award ceremony to celebrate its laureates’ achievements. It’s the only event of its kind to place scientists centre-stage, encouraging popular support for science and inspiring future generations of researchers.

Film, music, sports, and business luminaries attend the annual ceremony as audience members and award presenters, lending their spotlight to shine on the laureates. The Breakthrough Prize ceremony’s star-studded reputation has earned it the title of the “Oscars of Science.”

The ninth Breakthrough Prize ceremony — the first in Los Angeles — took place in April 2023. Hosted by James Corden, the event featured numerous A-list celebrities, including Robert Downey Jr., Danny DeVito, Gal Gadot, Edward Norton, Brie Larson, and Chris Pine. Popular artists John Legend,, and Estelle gave live musical performances.

The tenth annual ceremony will honour the esteemed winners of the 2024 Breakthrough Prizes this spring, on 13 April.

Make A 2025 Breakthrough Prize Nomination

Anyone can nominate scientists or researchers for a 2025 prize through the Breakthrough Prize website. The deadline for nominations is 8 a.m. GMT on 1 April 2024. The Breakthrough Prize does not accept self-nominations.

Selection Committees composed of previous Breakthrough Prize laureates will select the winners from the list of nominations.

Nominate a researcher for the 2025 Breakthrough Prize.

About Yuri Milner

Aside from co-founding the Breakthrough Prize, Yuri Milner has established the Breakthrough Initiatives and the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual competition that asks students everywhere to create short, engaging videos explaining a complex scientific idea. Sia Godika, 17, from India, won the 2023 Breakthrough Junior Challenge with her insightful video about Yamanaka factors.

Launched in 2015, the Breakthrough Initiatives are a set of multi-billion-dollar space science programmes. The programmes focus on space exploration and the search for life in the Universe.

These non-profit initiatives receive funding from Yuri Milner through his Breakthrough Foundation. He set up the Foundation in 2012, the same year that he joined Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge.

Yuri Milner has written a book about humanity’s place in the Universe and our role in its future. Eureka Manifesto: The Mission for Our Civilisation argues that humanity should unite to explore and understand our Universe, helping us thrive for generations to come. Yuri Milner suggests that one way to advance this shared mission is by celebrating scientists as heroes.

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