Two UC researchers named 2017 Breakthrough Prize winners
UC Santa Barbara physicist Joseph Polchinski and UC Santa Cruz molecular biologist Harry Noller have each been awarded the 2017 Breakthrough Prize, the most lucrative award in science.
Polchinski won the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics along with Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa. The three will share in the $3 million prize.
Noller won the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, together with Stephen J. Elledge, Roeland Nusse, Yoshinori Ohsumi and Huda Yahya Zoghbi. The group will also share $3 million.
Recognized for promising early-career work was UC Berkeley’s Surjeet Rajendran, who was awarded the 2017 New Horizons in Physics Prize.
They were among a select group of mathematicians and scientists honored at a glittering Silicon Valley gala on Dec. 4, emceed by actor Morgan Freeman and hosted by Breakthrough Prize founders Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.