On December 10, 2019, the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony is taking place in Stockholm. This year, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to doctor and cancer research scientist, Dr William G. Kaelin, Jr. (Harvard University and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, USA), Sir Peter Ratcliffe (University of Oxford, UK) and Dr Gregg Semenza (Johns Hopkins University, USA), “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”, one of life’s most essential adaptive processes.
The Nobel honour was the result, in part, of ground-breaking research Kaelin had done 15 years before. It was dedicated to the understanding of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene mutations, which cause VHL syndrome that makes patients more likely to develop kidney cancer.
Kaelin’s work allowed for better understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function, and subsequently, of the causes of abnormal cell or cancer growth which provided insights into tumour development and growth prevention. VHL patients battle a series of tumours throughout their lives, and curing VHL is one step closer to curing many other forms of cancer.
A summary of the laureates’ discoveries can be found here.
The live stream of the ceremony in Stockholm starts at 4:30pm and is available here.
Source: The Nobel Prize
Image credit: The
Nobel Prize Twitter