Two ACGT all-stars celebrated with ‘Oscars of Science’ award

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Carl June, MD, and Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, were recognized for their pioneering achievements in treating cancer.

ACGT is pleased and proud to congratulate two of its ACGT Research Fellows and ACGT Scientific Advisory Council members on being honored with the 2024 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, more popularly known as the “Oscars of Science.”

Carl June, MD (University of Pennsylvania), and Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center), were recognized for their pioneering achievements in treating cancer.

Their research was originally funded by ACGT Research Grants and it led to the development of Kymriah and Yescarta, the first 2 FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies for cancer. There are now 6 FDA-approved CAR T-cell therapies saving the lives of patients with blood cancers.

“I think the best thing is that people learn about this new treatment,” Dr. June said after the ceremony, “and that it came out of research done right here in the United States. There have been 34,000 people treated with CAR T-cell therapy, and it just started 10 years ago. People need to understand the value of research in making these new breakthrough cancer therapies.”

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was founded in 2013 by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner and Anne Wojcicki to honor transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life.

The laureates were celebrated April 13 at the 10th-annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Los Angeles at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Actor and Emmy Award Winner James Cordon hosted and was joined by an acclaimed group of celebrity presenters, including Robert Downey, Jr.; Kim Kardashian; Regina King; Brie Larson; and Rob Lowe.

Visit the Breakthrough Prize website for more about the award, and visit the Breakthrough Prize YouTube channel to watch the full ceremony. 

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