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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

Four University of Cambridge researchers recognised in the Breakthrough Prize

Four University of Cambridge researchers – Professors Shankar Balasubramanian, David Klenerman, Suchitra Sebastian and Jack Thorne – have been recognised by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation for their outstanding scientific achievements.

Prof Suchitra Sebastian (Cavendish Laboratory) and Prof Jack Thorne (Dept of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics) have been recognised with the New Horizons Prize, awarded to outstanding early-career researchers.

Profs Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman (Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry) have been awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences – the world’s largest science prize – for the development of next-generation DNA sequencing.

Prof Suchitra Sebastian work explores high precision electronic and magnetic measurements that have profoundly changed the understanding of high temperature superconductors and unconventional insulators. It involves tuning the co-operative behaviour of electrons within these materials by subjecting them to extreme conditions including low temperature, high applied pressure, and intense magnetic field. Under these conditions, the materials that are quite close to behaving like a superconductor – perfect, lossless conductors of electricity.

For the tenth year, the Breakthrough Prize recognises the world’s top scientists. Each prize is US $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics (one per year) and Mathematics (one per year). In addition, up to three New Horizons in Physics Prizes, up to three New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes and up to three Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prizes are given out to early-career researchers each year, each worth US $100,000. The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki.

Read the full University of Cambridge article