A major discovery about the human brain made at the School of Medicine has been named a finalist for Breakthrough of the Year by Science , one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals. The award aims to recognize the “most momentous scientific discovery, development or trend of 2015.”
UVA’s shocking discovery of a direct connection between the brain and the immune system – a connection long thought not to exist – is one of 10 finalists selected by the publication’s writers and editors. They will announce the winner Dec. 17. In the meantime, readers can see the list of finalists and vote for their pick for the People’s Choice award .
But hurry – voting closes this Sunday, Dec. 6. The final tally will be available that day.
About UVA’s discovery
UVA researchers Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, and Antoine Louveau, PhD, overturned decades of textbook teaching when they discovered previously unknown vessels connecting the brain directly to the lymphatic system. The finding redrew the map of the human lymphatic system and struck down long-held beliefs about how the immune system functions in the brain. The discovery could have profound implications for a huge array of neurological diseases, from multiple sclerosis to Alzheimer’s disease.
Kipnis is a professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. Louveau is a research scientist who joined Kipnis’ lab as a postdoctoral fellow.