Genetic Engineer Awarded Prestigious Scientific Prize for Breakthrough Cancer Treatment

French-Canadian scientist Michel Sadelain was honored with the Breakthrough Prize at a ceremony in Los Angeles for his research in genetically modifying immune cells to combat cancer. Sadelain’s work on developing CAR-T therapy, which has shown remarkable effectiveness against certain blood cancers, was recognized in front of an audience that included tech giants like Elon Musk and Bill Gates, as well as celebrities such as Jessica Chastain, Robert Downey Jr., and Bradley Cooper.

Sadelain expressed his gratitude for the prestigious award, highlighting the initial skepticism he faced from his scientific peers who doubted the success of his research. The Breakthrough Prize, often referred to as the “Oscars for Science”, was established in 2010 to commend exceptional achievements in various fields including life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. The prize, which is backed by influential figures from Silicon Valley like Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan, and Mark Zuckerberg, aims to celebrate the accomplishments of brilliant minds.

In collaboration with American immunologist Carl June, Sadelain developed a groundbreaking method using a disabled virus to genetically modify human T-cells. This technique involved reprogramming the T-cells to form antigen receptors, enabling them to selectively target cancer cells. Both Sadelain and June will share the $3 million award money for their innovative contributions to the field of cancer therapy. This recognition serves as a testament to the significant advancements made in the fight against cancer through genetic engineering and immunotherapy.

By Samantha Robertson

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