The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet announced on Monday that the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 goes jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.
This year’s Nobel laureates have identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen, which has long been unknown.
Depending on the three prominent researchers’ work, the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes is now revealed, establishing the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function.
In its statement, the Nobel Prize Assembly said that the discoveries of the three researchers have paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anaemia, cancer, and many other diseases.
Kaelin is a professor at Harvard Medical School. He is also a 2016 recipient of the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the 2016 ASCO Science of Oncology Award, and the 2016 AACR Princess Takamatsu Award. His work focuses on tumour suppressor proteins.
Ratcliffe works as a professor at the Francis Crick Institute, and head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Semenza is a professor of paediatrics, radiation oncology, and molecular radiation sciences, biological chemistry, medicine, and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.