Three high-profile San Diego scientists took home the Breakthrough Prize, billed as the Oscars of Science.

Of the recipients of the $3 million award are two UC San Diego faculty members and a biologist at Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

• Joanne Chory of the Salk Institute won for her life sciences work. She is now leading the charge to combat global warming with plant-based solutions;

• Also winning in life sciences was Don Cleveland of UC San Diego, who studies fundamental cellular mechanisms in the search for new treatments for diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); and

• James McKernan, of UC San Diego as well, is a mathematician who investigates algebraic geometry and multivariate polynomials. He split the $3 million award with Christopher Hacon of the University of Utah.

The Breakthrough Prize, established in 2012, is the creation of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

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