Dr. Emmanuel Mignot and Dr. Masashi Yanagisawa have won the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for discovering the cause of narcolepsy, a chronic neurological condition that impairs the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Each year, the Breakthrough Prize awards $15 million across five prizes to top researchers working in the fields of physics, mathematics and life sciences.
“Huge congratulations to Dr. Mignot and Dr. Yanagisawa for this well-deserved recognition of their historic discovery,” said Project Sleep’s President and CEO, Julie Flygare, JD. “The significance of their discovery cannot be overstated. It has given validation and hope to millions of people impacted by narcolepsy with significant drug development underway aiming to target the hypocretin/orexin system specifically for narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. The ramifications go further too, having led to thousands of publications about the hypocretin/orexin system in general and possible connections to addiction, obesity, and insomnia.“