Oncotarget editorial board members William G Kaelin Jr. and Gregg L Semenza win 2019 Nobel Prize

The 2019 Nobel Prize 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

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to Oncotarget Editorial Board Members William G. Kaelin Jr. and Gregg L. Semenza for their discoveries of “how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability”, said the Nobel Committee. The pair was named alongside the UK physician-scientist Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe.

The Nobel Committee made the announcement Monday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and the discoveries have implications for how we understand and potentially treat a range of conditions like cancer, heart attack, stroke and anemia. The Nobel Laureates identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.

Gregg L. Semenza is a professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Vascular Research Program at Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. Semenza received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), protein, which controls genes in response to changes in oxygen availability.

William G. Kaelin Jr., a Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, earned his share of the Nobel Prize for his work investigating a genetic syndrome called Von Hippel-Lindau’s (VHL) disease. Kaelin discovered that the VHL protein prevents the onset of cancer and is involved in the oxygen sensing mechanism through its interaction with HIF-1.

The awarded mechanism has a fundamental importance in physiology, and has far-reaching implications for the treatment of lw-oxygen health conditions such as coronary artery disease and tumor growth.


Both William G. Kaelin and Gregg L. Semenza are founding members of Oncotarget, launched in 2010. Oncotarget is a weekly peer-reviewed open access bio-medical journal covering research on all aspects of oncology. The editors-in-chief are Mikhail (Misha) Blagosklonny and Andrei V. Gudkov.

About Oncotarget

Oncotarget is a weekly, peer-reviewed, open access biomedical journal covering research on all aspects of oncology.

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