Basser Global Prize

To further enhance the Basser Center's mission, the Basser Global Prize was established by Shari Basser Potter and Leonard Potter to honor a visionary scientist who has conceptually advanced BRCA1/2 related research that has led to improvements in clinical care. The prize will be considered for a broad range of basic, translational and clinical BRCA1/2 cancer researchers worldwide. Outstanding candidates will be those whose research has produced seminal advances in the field and who continue to drive BRCA1/2 related research towards the ultimate goal of mitigating the adverse impact of deleterious BRCA1/2 and related mutations.

The Basser Global Prize provides $100,000 in unrestricted support of the awardee's innovative BRCA1/2 related research efforts. The Awardee will give the Keynote address at the annual Basser Center for BRCA Symposium the following year, at which time they will be awarded the Basser trophy and a personal $10,000 cash prize by the Gray and Potter Families.

2015 Global Prize Information

The winner of the 2015 Basser Global Prize is Dr. David Livingston, from Harvard Medical School’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Livingston has greatly expanded current understanding of how mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 can promote cancer development. His goal is to reduce the number of cells in the breast and ovary of BRCA1 mutation-bearing women that manifest a high potential for becoming malignant. “Our objective is to eliminate them by a relatively non-toxic approach and to ensure that they do not accumulate thereafter,” Livingston explains. “If successful, such an approach has the potential to significantly reduce the likelihood of BRCA1 cancer developing in mutation-bearing women.”

“The Basser Center and the Basser Global Prize provide extraordinary opportunities for scientists to pursue research directed at reducing the heavy burden of BRCA disease. In that context, the support from the Basser Prize will strengthen our ability to identify new, non-invasive means of preventing BRCA1 breast and ovarian cancer,” said David M. Livingston, MD, who is the Emil Frei Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chair of the Executive Committee for Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Read the 2015 Basser Global Prize press release here. 

Scroll down for more information on previous years' award winners.

The Basser Global Prize Application Process


Nominees are not restricted to any geographic area or type of institution. The appropriate Institutional Official (e.g. Chancellor, Dean or Provost) must nominate applicants. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

The following must be included in the Nomination Package:

  • Basser Global Prize Application Form including:
    • Nominee and Institutional Official contact information and signatures
    • Summary Statement of Major Research Accomplishments (500 words maximum). This statement should summarize and succinctly state the major research accomplishments of the nominee, with a particular emphasis on how these findings have advanced BRCA1/2 related research. Accomplishments can span basic biology, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for BRCA1/2 carriers and their families.
    • Listing of five most important publications related to BRCA1/2 research (250 words maximum, each). Provide a description of the importance of each publication.
    • Vision for future BRCA1/2 research (1,000 words maximum) The Nominee will describe a broad vision of her/his research program over the next 5 years.
  • Nominee's CV
  • Nominating letter (1 page). The Institutional Official will describe the major accomplishments of the nominee and why this individual warrants consideration for the Basser Global Prize.

Previous Global Prize Winners

2014 Global Prize Winner - Dr. Mary-Claire King

The winner of the 2014 Basser Global Prize was Dr. Mary-Claire King, from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. King is known worldwide for her major accomplishments in human genetics research and one of her most noteworthy achievements is the identification of the BRCA1 gene. 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the identification of the gene. 

Read the press release here.

2013 Global Prize Winner - Dr. Alan Ashworth

The winner of the inaugural Basser Global Prize in 2013 was Professor Alan Ashworth, FRS, from the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) in the UK. Professor Ashworth's laboratory focuses on using genetic principles to understand cancer biology and then uses this information to change the way patients are treated. For example, using genetic principles Professor Ashworth's lab has developed a novel therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment using PARP inhibitors. 

Read the press release here.