Professor Dennis Lo awarded The 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Professor Dennis Yuk Ming LO, President of The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences (ASHK), Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the President of Hong Kong Alliance of Technology and Innovation, was awarded the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, renowned as the “Oscars of Science”, for his discovering that fetal DNA is present in maternal blood and can be used for the prenatal testing of trisomy 21 and other genetic disorders.

Due to the pandemic, the award ceremony was postponed for two years and took place yesterday in Los Angeles, USA, where Professor Lo attended and accepted the honor in person. Chloé Zhao, the 2021 Oscar-winning director of Nomadland, and well-known Hollywood actress Brie Larson, who starred in "Captain Marvel”, presented the award to Professor Lo.

“Scientific research is like opening windows that allow us to see places that no one has ever been to before. It has been my privilege of finding a window that can miraculously reveal the health of a baby inside the womb of a pregnant mother. Finding this window requires teamwork and faith that a window has to be there even though others can only see a blank wall. I shall continue to look for other windows into our health, helping to make medical diagnostics safer, more accurate and timely.”, Professor Dennis Lo said. 

Speech by Professor Lo:


About The Breakthrough Prize

The Breakthrough Prize, renowned as the “Oscars of Science,” recognizes the world’s top scientists. The Foundation’s programs include the Breakthrough Prize, which recognizes the world’s top scientists in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.

The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. The Prizes have been sponsored by the personal foundations established by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, Jack Ma, Yuri and Julia Milner and Anne Wojcicki.

Information on Breakthrough Prize is available at

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