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Nobel laureate goes to discovery that promises to improve cancer treatments

by Ace Damon
Nobel laureate goes to discovery that promises to improve cancer treatments

Nobel Prize winners of medicine 2019On the panel, Nobel Prize winners in medicine: Gregg Semenza, Peter Ratcliffe and William Kaelin | Photo: Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

  • People's Gazette
  • (10/07/2019) (08:05)

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine was jointly awarded to Americans William G. Kaelin Jr and Gregg L. Semenza and Briton Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe "for their discoveries of how cells feel and adapt to oxygen availability." The announcement was made on Monday by the Karolinska Institute, which is in charge of selecting the winners.

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"The fundamental importance of oxygen has been known for centuries, but the way in which cells adapt to oxygen levels remains unknown," the organization said. Therefore, the award has rewarded work that reveals the "molecular mechanisms underlying how cells adapt to variations in oxygen supply." The organization also noted that the findings made by this year's winners "paved the way for promising new strategies to combat anemia, cancer and many other diseases."

The main studies that yielded the distinction to the three researchers were published between 1991 and 2001 in three specialized journals: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science, and Nature.

The researchers

William G. Kaelin Jr .: was born in 1957 in New York. She specializes in internal medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He established his own research laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and became a full professor at Harvard Medical School in 2002. He has been a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1998.

Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe: Born in 1954 in Lancashire, United Kingdom. He studied medicine at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University and did his specialized nephrology training at Oxford. He established an independent research group at Oxford University and became a full professor in 1996. He is director of clinical research at the Francis Crick Institute in London, director of the Target Discovery Institute in Oxford, and a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Gregg L. Semenza: Born 1956 in New York. Graduated in Biology, with a PhD in Medicine from Duke University, Durham. Postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, where he also established an independent research group. He became a full professor at Johns Hopkins University in 1999 and since 2003 is director of the Vascular Research Program at the Johns Hopkins Institute of Cellular Engineering.


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