You are here


David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

November 9, 2015
10:30 am - 5:00 pm

The event is available via webcast.  For the complete playlist CLICK HERE. Links to each session are included below.
A selection of photos from the symposium is here



10:30 - 11:00

Welcome Reception 
Introduction: Dr. Pete Worden, Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and Christopher McKee, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley

11:00 - 5:00 Symposium
  Life Sciences Fundamental Physics Mathematics


Session 1


How the Brain Operates:
Development and Disease

View video here

Ehud Isacoff, UC Berkeley

Cornelia Bargmann, Rockefeller University
Genes, experience, and neurons:  How fixed circuits give rise to flexible behaviors
Mahlon DeLong, Emory University
Brain Disorders and Circuit Dysfunction-Surgical Approaches
Alim-Louis BenabidU. Joseph Fourier
Perspectives for Deep Brain Stimulation; From Electrons to Photons



Panel Discussion introducing the 2016 Laureates in Fundamental Physics
View video here

Stanley Wojcicki, Stanford

Panel moderated by Yuri Milner and featuring the 2016 Breakthrough Prize Laureates


Mathematical Horizons I
View video here


David Eisenbud, UC Berkeley and MSRI

Sourav ChatterjeeStanford
Nonlinear large deviations
Lauren Williams,  UC Berkeley
Combinatorics of hopping particles and orthogonal polynomials

      12:15-1:20 Lunch 12:10-1:00 Lunch 12:20-1:10 Lunch


Session 2


Genetic Origin and Manipulation
of Disease

View video here

Ehud Isacoff, UC Berkeley

Gary Ruvkun, Harvard
The Tiny RNA World
Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley
The CRISPR-Cas 9 Genome Engineering Revolution
Napoleone Ferrara, UC San Diego
Targeting VEGF for age-related macular degeneration: a case study for reduction in the incidence of blindness
Robert Weinberg, MIT
The Engine Driving Malignant Progression



The Future of Particle Physics
View video here


Steve Boggs, UC Berkeley

Nima Arkani-Hamed, Inst. for Advanced Study
Motivations for 100km Circular Colliders
Lawrence Hall, UC Berkeley
New Searches for Dark Matter in Particle Collisions
Beate Heinemann, UC Berkeley
The LHC and beyond: what can colliders teach us?
Gabriel Orebi Gann, UC Berkeley
Unravelling the Secrets of the Universe with Neutrinos
Thomas Shutt, Stanford
The Hunt for Dark Matter


Mathematical Horizons II
View video here

David Eisenbud, UC Berkeley and MSRI

2016 Breakthrough Prize Laureate
Title to be announced
David Nadler, UC Berkeley
Back in Black: Geometry's Payment Plan to Number Theory
George Lakoff, UC Berkeley
The Brain's Mathematics: The Cognitive and Neural Foundations of Mathematics


      3:00-3:30 Break 3:05-3:30 Break 3:10-3:30 Break


Session 3

3:30-5:00 Panel Discussion

A Multilingual Conversation in Science: from Quantum Mechanics to CRISPR to Chaos
View video here

This culminating joint session includes a panel of three scientists who will present on a project in their subject area. Each will then be an interlocutor, providing an interpretation of their colleagues talks that will result in an engaging discussion for this final session of the symposium.

Chair:  Saul Perlmutter, UC Berkeley

Moderator: I-han Chou, Nature

Fundamental Physics Speaker:  Raphael Bousso, UC Berkeley
    Geometry and Information: Hidden Patterns in Gravity and Quantum Mechanics
Life Sciences Speaker:  Jonathan Weissman, UCSF
    Turning human genes on and off with CRISPRi/a
Mathematics Speaker:  Maciej Zworski, UC Berkeley
    Linear vs Chaotic

in partnership with Scientific American       Scientific American



Followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Yuri Milner