2019-10-07 17:39:36 BdST
Three scientists win Nobel in medicine
US researchers William Kaelin and Gregg
Semenza and Britain’s Peter Ratcliffe on Monday shared the Nobel Medicine
Prize for discoveries on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability,
the Nobel Assembly said.
“They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels
affect cellular metabolism and physiological function,” the jury said.
Their research has “paved the way for promising new strategies to fight
anemia, cancer and many other diseases.”
The jury said the trio had identified molecular machinery that regulates
the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen, which is
central to a large number of diseases.
“Intense ongoing efforts in academic laboratories and pharmaceutical
companies are now focused on developing drugs that can interfere with
different disease states by either activating, or blocking, the oxygen-
sensing machinery,” the jury said.
Kaelin works at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US, while
Semenza is director of the Vascular Research Program at the John Hopkins
Institute for Cell Engineering.
Ratcliffe is director of clinical research at the Francis Crick Institute
in London, and director of the Target Discovery Institute in Oxford.
The three will share the Nobel prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor
(about $914,000 or 833,000 euros).
They will receive their prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal
ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of
scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.
Last year, the honour went to immunologists James Allison of the US and
Tasuku Honjo of Japan, for figuring out how to release the immune system’s
brakes to allow it to attack cancer cells more efficiently.
The winners of this year’s Physics Prize will be revealed on Tuesday,
followed by the Chemistry Prize on Wednesday.
The Literature Prize will be announced on Thursday, with two laureates to
be crowned after a sexual harassment scandal forced the Swedish Academy to
postpone the 2018 award, for the first time in 70 years.
The Peace Prize will follow on Friday, with bookies predicting a win for
Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on betting sites such as
The Economics Prize will wrap up the Nobel prize season on Monday, October
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