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2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences awarded to Xiaowei Zhuang

05 November 2018

Xiaowei Zhuang | Image courtesy of Harvard University
Xiaowei Zhuang
Image courtesy of
Harvard University

Xiaowei Zhuang, senior editor of the SPIE journal, Neurophotonics, the David B. Arnold Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has won the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Zhuang received her award at the annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California on 4 November. This year’s ceremony was also broadcast live on Nat Geo, YouTube and Facebook Live.

According to the initiative’s news release, the Breakthrough Prize “recognizes achievements in the Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics, the disciplines that ask the biggest questions and find the deepest explanations.” Considered the world’s most generous science prize, each Breakthrough Prize recipient is awarded $3 million.

Zhuang was selected for discovering hidden structures in cells by developing super-resolution imaging – a method that transcends the fundamental spatial resolution limit of light microscopy. In a statement released by Harvard University, Zhuang said, “It is really a remarkable honor. Being recognized is gratifying, but as scientists, we don’t work with a goal of winning prizes. We do science because we love it and we love making discoveries and understanding how things work… but this is a very pleasant surprise.”

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