The 2019 Nobel Prize for Medicine has been jointly awarded to three physician-scientists from the U.S. and Britain- William G. Kaelin, Gregg L. Semenza, Peter J. Ratcliffe for their pioneering research of how cells sense and to adapt to oxygen availability.
The discoveries by the trio illuminated how cells adapt to oxygen levels that are vital for life and mainly used to convert food into energy. Their discovery helps in explaining how, at high altitudes, the body adapts to thinner air by sending signals to generate more red blood cells to carry oxygen into how human cells respond to changing oxygen levels. It also paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anaemia, cancer, and numerous diseases. Since 1901, this is the 110th prize in the category that has been awarded.
William G. Kaelin– New York-born, Kaelin is a scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, which is his own research laboratory. Kaelin became a full professor at Harvard Medical School in 2002.
Gregg L. Semenza– Samenza is also born in New York and is a scientist at Johns Hopkins University. In 1999, he became a full-time professor at Johns Hopkins University and since 2003 has been the Director of the Vascular Research Program at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.
Peter J. Ratcliffe- Ratcliffe is the director of clinical research at Francis Crick Institute, London. He was born in Lancashire, England and studied medicine at Cambridge University. In 1996, Ratcliffe established an independent research group at Oxford University, becoming a full professor.