2018 Breakthrough Prize: These are the most brilliant people of the year — and there’s a local connection

Nine researchers are the big winners of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given for scientific achievement, the group’s foundation announced Wednesday morning.

The brainchild of several of Silicon Valley’s best known business leaders — Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan, Ma Huateng, Yuri and Julia Milner and Anne Wojcicki — the prize honors outstanding work in life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics.

This year’s prizes honor a range of groundbreaking research that include the development of the gene therapy drug Spinraza that treats the deadly infant disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy; insight into how abnormal numbers of chromosomes impact cancer; the discovery of a new class of electronic materials that simultaneously conduct and resist electricity; and contributions to the Langlands program of mathematics.

One of the recipients is Xiaowei Zhuang, a Harvard University professor and investigator at Chevy Chase, Maryland-based…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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