The winners of the Kavli Prize in astrophysics, neuroscience and nanoscience were announced June 3 in Oslo, Norway, by the Oxnard-based Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
Eight American and European scientists won the prizes, which come with an award of $1 million.
The astrophysics winners were Jerry Nelson of UC Santa Cruz; Ray Wilson, for his work at Imperial College London and the European Southern Observatory; and Roger Angel of the University of Arizona. All three were recognized for innovations in the field of telescope design.
The nanoscience prize went to Donald M. Eigler of IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose and Nadrian Seeman of New York University.
Eigler has made a series of breakthroughs, including, in 1989, being the first person to pick up an individual atom and move it to another precise location, according to the Kavli Foundation. Seeman invented structural DNA nanotechnology when he realized the genetic blueprint of living organisms could be harnessed to create the raw materials for new, nanoscale circuits, sensors and medical devices, the foundation said.
In neuroscience, the winners were Thomas Sudhof of Stanford University, Richard Scheller of the biotech company Genentech and James Rothman of Yale University. All three have made important advances in revealing the molecular basis of the transfer of signals between nerve cells in the brain.
The Kavli Prize was founded by Fred Kavli, a Norwegian-born scientist and entrepreneur who lives in Santa Barbara. He is the founder of Kavlico Corp. and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara.