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Until recently, the human microbiome languished in relative obscurity. But now it’s drawn all kinds of attention from medicine and from commerce — and three of the field’s star researchers are being recognized for their efforts to advance the field.

“I’m delighted that it’s the microbiome in the spotlight this year,” said Rob Knight, one of this year’s winners of the University of California, San Diego’s prestigious Massry Prize. Knight, a professor and the director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UCSD, is sharing the $200,000 prize with Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and University of Colorado professor Norman Pace; as part of the prize, all will give lectures at the University of Southern California in October.

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