William Kaelin, Peter Radcliffe, Gregg Semenza

Trio wins No­bel Prize for Med­i­cine for 'fun­da­men­tal' dis­cov­ery

The No­bel Prize for Med­i­cine was award­ed to William Kaelin, Pe­ter Rat­cliffe and Gregg Se­men­za for a dis­cov­ery on how cells re­spond to oxy­gen that could have a wide-rang­ing im­pact on treat­ments for ane­mia and can­cer, among oth­er ail­ments.

The re­searchers earned No­bel sta­tus for their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the HIF, or hy­pox­ia-in­duc­ing fac­tor, pro­tein that con­trols how the body re­sponds and adapts to oxy­gen lev­els, and a host of re­lat­ed dis­cov­er­ies. The find­ings have yet to pro­duce ac­tion­able ther­a­pies, but HIF has been shown to im­pact tu­mor pro­duc­tion — help­ing can­cer cells com­pen­sate for an oxy­gen-low en­vi­ron­ment — and red blood cells.

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