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The University of Oxford's Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe has won one of the most prestigious prizes in medicine. Since 1945, the Lasker Awards has recognised the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease. Many past Lasker winners have gone on to be awarded Nobel prizes.

Peter Ratcliffe, alongside Oxford University logo and the text "In clinical medicine, if one doesn't know what do to, one would be better to do nothing. In the lab, precisely the reserve is true: if you don't know what to do, you would be better off doing something." Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe FRS, University of Oxford, Winner, 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award

Now, Professor Ratcliffe, is to receive the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, for his work understanding the mechanisms by which cells sense and signal hypoxia (low oxygen levels). Hypoxia is an important component of many human diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, and anaemia.

A key success was defining the oxygen sensing and signalling pathways that link the essential transcription factor, hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) to the availability of oxygen.

The award has been jointly awarded to William G. Kaelin of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, and Gregg L. Semenza, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who worked with Professor Ratcliffe to understand the processes.

The full story is available on the University of Oxford website

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