Prof Sir David Klenerman, UK DRI Group Leader at Cambridge, and Prof Sir Shankar Balasubramanian have been awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize for their development of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The groundbreaking technology has significantly reduced the time and cost associated with sequencing a human genome, revolutionising modern research and medicine.
The Cambridge pair, who also picked up the ‘Millennium Technology Prize’ this year, share the $3m (£2.2m) prize with Pascal Mayer, from the French company Alphanosos. The NGS technology allows us to read a human genome in one hour for £1k - a million times faster and at a fraction of the cost of previous approaches. This has been critical for modern science and tackling global health challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic where researchers have been able to rapidly share the genetic code of viral variants to help diagnosis and vaccine development.