Dr. Stephen Quake, professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at Stanford, received a $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, an award for inventors who have developed a patented product or process of significant practical value to society.
Dr. Quake was an early pioneer of microfluidics technology and co-founded Fluidigm Corp in 1999. In 2009, he famously sequenced his own genome in an attempt to show that DNA sequencing technology was approaching a cost where individual genome sequencing would be routinely feasible for medical diagnostics. He used a next generation sequencing instrument from Helicos--another company which he helped found several years earlier. Also, he provided the the core intellectual property for Verinata's prenatal testing technology using fetal DNA in maternal blood, which relies on next generation DNA sequencing.
Dr. Quake's biography makes it evident why he was chosen for this award, and also demonstrates the strong relationship between academic research and biotech business that has produced most of the practical innovative advances in biotech and biomedical technology.
You can read more details about this award to Dr. Quake here.