The 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology was awarded jointly to Sir Peter Ratcliffe, of the University of Oxford and Francis Crick Institute, William Kaelin, of Harvard, and Gregg Semenza, of Johns Hopkins University.
They were bestowed with the honour “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.”
The 2019 #NobelPrize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.” pic.twitter.com/6m2LJclOoL
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 7, 2019
While the importance of oxygen for the human body has long been known and understood, how the cells in the body adapt to the changes in the levels of oxygen was not known. The Nobel Prize winners for 2019 have identified the molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen, thus establishing the cornerstone for understanding how these fluctuations in oxygen levels have an impact on cellular metabolism.
Their pioneering work in this field has brought in new treatments for conditions such as anaemia and diseases such as cancer.
Read the press release by the Nobel Foundation here.
In 2018, the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology was awarded to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo for discovering how to fight cancer using the body’s immune system.