Angelika Amon

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

For determining the consequences of aneuploidy, an abnormal chromosome number resulting from chromosome mis-segregation.


Thank you to the Breakthrough Prize founders. Through this prize you highlight the importance of seeking the truth. Today, this mission is more important than ever. I am also grateful to the selection committee – thank you for deeming my lab’s work prizeworthy. In reflecting on the great honor of being one of this year’s Breakthrough Prize recipients, I realized that my true talent is to pick great people to be part of my life. I had the privilege of working with so many talented students and postdocs. The discoveries that are honored today are theirs and I accept the Breakthrough Prize on their behalf. I am also fortunate to have had many mentors throughout my life. Thank you especially to my PhD advisor, Kim Nasmyth, and my postdoctoral advisor Ruth Lehmann. You taught me how to be a scientist and mentor. Foremost, I want to thank my family – my children, Theresa and Clara, who understood when I had to spend long hours away from them. I am indebted to my husband, Johannes Weis. None of this would have been possible without him.

Angelika Amon