SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The Breakthrough Prize and its founders, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, last week announced the winners of the 2017 edition, which also marks the fifth year the awards have taken place.

The Breakthrough Prize recognizes top achievements in life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics. A combined prize total of $25 million was handed out to award winners at the Dec. 4 gala, which was hosted by Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman.

Each of the Breakthrough Prizes is worth $3 million, the largest individual monetary prize in science.

This year, a total of seven prizes were awarded to nine individuals, along with a $3 million Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, which was split between three founders and more than a thousand members of the LIGO team. In addition, three $100,000 New Horizons in Physics Prizes were awarded to six early-career physicists, and a further three $100,000 New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes were awarded to four young mathematicians. And this year there were two winners of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, each receiving up to $400,000 in educational prizes for them, their teacher and their school.

Since its inception in 2012, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded nearly $200 million to honor paradigm-shifting research in the fields of fundamental physics, life sciences, and mathematics.

“There has never been a more important time to support science,” said Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. “The 2017 Breakthrough Prize laureates represent the leaders in scientific research in physics, math and life sciences. Their breakthroughs will unlock new possibilities and help make the world a better place for everyone.”

The 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was awarded to Harvard Medical School student Stephen J. Elledge; Harry F. Noller from UC Santa Cruz; Roeland Nusse of Stanford University; Yoshinori Ohsumi from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Huda Yahya Zoghbi from the Baylor College of Medicine.

The prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to Joseph Polchinski from UC Santa Barbara, and Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa of Harvard University.

In addition, six New Horizons prizes – an annual prize of $100,000 each, recognizing the achievements of early-career physicists and mathematicians – were awarded.

The New Horizons in Physics Prize was awarded to:

  • Asimina Arvanitaki (Perimeter Institute, Ontario), Peter W. Graham (Stanford University) and Surjeet Rajendran (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Simone Giombi (Princeton University) and Xi Yin (Harvard)

  • Frans Pretorius (Princeton University)

The New Horizons in Mathematics Prize was awarded to:

  • Mohammed Abouzaid (Columbia University)

  • Hugo Duminil-Copin (Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques and University of Geneva)

  • Benjamin Elias (University of Oregon) and Geordie Williamson (Kyoto University and University of Sydney)