Mark Zuckerberg And Morgan Freeman Hosts Silicon Valley Event Honoring Life Science ScientistsBy Jane Reed, UniversityHerald Reporter
Actor Morgan Freeman, known for his work in "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Bruce Almighty" recently hosted the fifth annual event, "Breakthrough Prize." The event gathers the greatest minds from the Silicon Valley including tech billionaires Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg.
The aim of the event is to honor the world's greatest and brightest minds in science with the addition of multi-million dollar prizes. The event was broadcast live from the NASA Ames Research Center on December 4, 2016. Forbes describes the event as a glamorous way to honor science.
Aside from Morgan Freeman, other Hollywood celebrities also joined the event and are even part of the ceremony. Alicia Keys performed on stage as well as actors Jeremy Irons, Vin Diesel, Bryce Dallas Howard and Sienna Miller.
The following were honored for their achievements in life sciences and each received $3 million in prizes:
1. Stephen Elledge from Harvard Medical School won an award for his work on how eukaryotic cells respond to damage in the DNA.
2. Harry F. Noller from the University of California, Santa Cruz, was awarded for his discovery regarding the centrality of the RNA in forming active centers of the ribosome.
3. Roeland Nusse from Stanford University was awarded for his research on the Wnt pathway which is considered to be an important intercellular signaling system when it comes to cancer and stem cells.
4. Yoshinori Ohsumi of Tokyo Institute of Technology was honored for his research on autophagy - the recycling system that cells use to generate nutrients from their own parts (whether damaged or not important).
5. Huda Yahya Zoghbi from the Baylor College of Medicine was awarded for his research on the genetic causes and biochemical mechanisms of spinocerebellar ataxia and Rett syndrome.
Three other scientists were awarded for their work in physics - Joseph Polchinski from the UC Santa Barbara, Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa from Harvard University.