Stanford neuroscientist Thomas Sudhof, MD, is a recipient of the Kavli Prize, called "one of the richest prizes in science" by the New York Times. He'll split the $1 million award with two other scientists for their work on the molecular basis of nervous transmission:
In the 1980s, Dr. S¸dhof and Dr. [Richard] Scheller [of Genetech] decoded the genes that control the functioning of tiny nerve cell bundles called vesicles, which send neurotransmitters across the synapses between cells. In particular, they found that a protein that senses calcium acts as a switch for transmission. Dr. [James] Rothman [from Yale] investigated how the vesicles involved in a wide range of physiological activities get to where they need to be in the body and how they know when to release their chemicals.
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awards the prize, one each in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience, each year.