2023 Breakthrough Prize Recognizes Discovery at MBL of New Organizing Principle in Cells

“The discovery of biomolecular condensates has fundamentally changed how we think about cellular processes and disease,” said MBL Director Nipam Patel. “It is a tribute to the tremendous value of the MBL’s education and training programs that the original observation was in the Physiology course, and that in the decade to follow, many scientists associated with the MBL vastly extended the observation and pioneered a new field of study.”

The Breakthrough Prize was founded in 2013 by high-tech pioneers Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki.

“The laureates honored today embody the remarkable power of fundamental science,” said Milner, “both to reveal deep truths about the Universe, and to improve human lives.”

 “The 2023 laureates have produced absolutely stellar science,” said Anne Wojcicki. “The creativity, ingenuity and sheer perseverance that went into this work is awe-inspiring.”


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery – exploring fundamental biology, understanding marine biodiversity and the environment, and informing the human condition through research and education. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.

Additional resources:

Clifford Brangwynne’s Friday Evening Lecture at MBL (2021)

Current Condensate Research and Training at the MBL (Summer of 2022)

Description of the Original Discovery in the Physiology Course

MBL Press Release on Physiology Course Discovery (2009)

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