The winners of this year’s Breakthrough Prizes—the “Oscars of Science”—recognized innovative researchers in life sciences, physics, and mathematics—including several that could reshape approaches to stubborn public health challenges, reports National Geographic.
The winners—who will get $3 million, courtesy of Silicon Valley giants—include:
- Virginia Man-Yee Lee, of the University of Pennsylvania, for deciphering the role of tau proteins in the brains of people with diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and ALS.
- University of California, San Francisco physiologist David Julius, for identifying pain communication pathways in the brain—research sparked by his curiosity about pain triggered by eating hot chilies.
- Rockefeller University’s Jeffrey M. Friedman, for discovering a new endocrine system tied to the brain’s food intake regulation.