An American professor at Emory University and an Australian scientist have been awarded the Japan Prize for research in immunology.

The winners were announced Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo.

The Japan Prize Foundation said the work of Emory pediatrician Dr. Max Cooper and Australian professor Jacques Miller laid "the conceptual groundwork for our understanding of nearly all fields touched by immunology."

A third winner was Japanese inventor Akira Yoshino, recognized for work that is the foundation of the lithium ion battery.

The prize comes with a cash award of 50 million yen ($460,000).

The Japan Prize honors scientists who have made significant contributions to science, technology and society to further the peace and prosperity of mankind.