Today the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced the winners of the Kavli Prize, a 1 million dollar award given out every other year. All told, 3 prizes are awarded, one each for astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience (for a total of $3 million dollars). An official description of the Kavli Prizes states that they "were set up to recognise outstanding scientific research, honour highly creative scientists, promote public understanding of scientists and their work and to encourage international scientific coop eration." The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience is specifically geared towards awarding "outstanding achievement in advancing our knowledge and understanding of the brain and nervous system, including molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, neurogenetics, developmental neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and related facets of the brain and nervous system."
The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience was awarded to Stanford's Tom Südhof, as well as Richard H. Scheller (Genentech) and James E. Rothman (Yale) for their combined work on neurotransmission, in particular the molecular mechanisms of vesicle release.
The nanoscience prize will be shared by Donald M. Eigler (IBM's Almaden Research Center) and Nadrian C. Seeman (NYU). The astrophysics prize goes to Jerry Nelson (UC Santa Cruz), J. Roger P. Angel (U. Arizona) and Raymond N. Wilson (formerly of European Southern Observatory, Germany).