UNM alum shares $3M life sciences prize - Albuquerque Journal

UNM alum shares $3M life sciences prize

A University of New Mexico alumnus has won the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in life sciences.

Frank Bennett will share the $3 million payout with his collaborator, Adrian Krainer.

Frank Bennett, a winner of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. (Courtesy Ionis Pharmaceuticals)

The prize is funded by several members of the technology elite, including the founders of Google, Facebook and 23andMe. The competition culminates in a star-studded award ceremony dubbed “the Oscars of science,” which will be held on Nov. 4 in Mountain View, Calif.

Bennett and Krainer were awarded the prize for their work on a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic cause of infant death. They developed the medication nusinersen, also known as Spinraza, which alters a gene to create more of a specific type of protein in the body.

Bennett grew up in Aztec in a historic hotel now known as Miss Gail’s Inn. He graduated from UNM in 1980 and received his doctorate in pharmacology from Baylor University before co-founding Ionis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, Calif.

Asked what he would do with the prize money, Bennett said he hadn’t spent much time thinking about it.

“I haven’t gotten that far,” he said. “I’ll probably give some to charity.”

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » UNM alum shares $3M life sciences prize


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Coffee shop holds fundraiser for first responders
ABQnews Seeker
All Ziggi's locations will donate $1 ... All Ziggi's locations will donate $1 for every drink sold, both in-store and via their mobile app
2
Los Alamos County again crowned healthiest community in the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Rankings are based on approximately 3,000 ... Rankings are based on approximately 3,000 communities nationwide across 89 health and health-related metrics in 10 categories
3
Matching cash for Roadrunner Food Bank
ABQnews Seeker
All monetary donations will be matched ... All monetary donations will be matched up to $60,000 through June 30 as inflation hits
4
Free Summer Food Service Program begins
ABQnews Seeker
Meals available through August Meals available through August
5
Father, daughter work to build health center in Kenya
Arts
Billy Jivetti started the Fellbaum Community ... Billy Jivetti started the Fellbaum Community Health Centre in 2012 and named it after Lloyd Fellbaum, his friend's late cousin.
6
ABQ teenager receives Davis Scholarship
ABQnews Seeker
One of only 59 recipients, Emma ... One of only 59 recipients, Emma Ramsey will study at UWC in Hong Kong
7
PNM grants to aid community safety
ABQnews Seeker
$230K for nonprofits preventing things that ... $230K for nonprofits preventing things that can lead to crime
8
Cruces woman competes for national recognition
ABQnews Seeker
Salma Barragan is a finalist for ... Salma Barragan is a finalist for Distinguished Young Woman of America
9
BioPark baby Bulan named for lunar eclipse
ABQnews Seeker
Sumatran orangutans are ‘critically endangered,’ with ... Sumatran orangutans are ‘critically endangered,’ with only about 7,500 living in the wild