Ratcliffe, Sir Peter John

Ratcliffe, Sir Peter John,

1954–, British cellular and molecular biologist, M.D., Cambridge, 1987. He has been a researcher at Oxford since 1987. Ratcliffe, along with William KaelinKaelin, William George, Jr.,
1957–, American oncologist, b. New York City, M.D. Duke Univ., 1982. He has spent his entire career at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.
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 and Gregg SemenzaSemenza, Gregg Leonard,
1956–, American oncologist and molecular biologist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1984. Semenza has spent his entire career at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
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, won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The three were credited with identifying the molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen, paving the way for new strategies to fight anemia, cancer, and other diseases. Ratcliffe and Semenza separately discovered that all cells can recognize when oxygen levels drop. Semenza identified hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), a protein complex essential to the production of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone involved in the body's ability to respond to low oxygen levels in the blood, and Ratcliffe's research showed that cells constantly produce HIF and also identified the mechanism by which cells regulate HIF levels and, thus, the production of EPO.
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