Rockefeller University's David Allis from has won this year's Japan Prize in its life science category, according to the foundation that gives out the award. It notes that Allis is being honored for his work studying how histone modifications regulate gene expression.
"[Allis] proved for the first time that modifications of histones are actually regulating gene activity," Makoto Asashima, from National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and who chaired the life science selection committee, tells ScienceInsider. He adds that Allis's work paved the way for the field of epigenetics.
Additionally, Yasuharu Suematsu from the Tokyo Institute of Technology won in the electronics category for his work on semi-conductor lasers for long-distance optical fiber communication.
Both winners will receive a prize of ¥50 million, or about $487,300.
Next year, ScienceInsider notes, the Japan Prize will honor contributions to the fields of "Resources, Energy and Social Infrastructure" and "Medical Science and Medicinal Science."