- Title: Nobel Medicine Prize winner says research is 'fundamental' to cell survival
- Date: 7th October 2019
- Summary: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 7, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** GENERAL VIEW OF DR. GREGG SEMENZA (ONE OF THE THREE DOCTORS WHO WON THE 2019 NOBEL MEDICINE PRIZE) SHAKING HANDS WITH DR. PETER AGRE, WHO WON THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR CHEMISTRY IN 2003 (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. GREGG SEMENZA, ONE OF THREE DOCTORS WHO WON THE 2019 NOBEL MEDICINE PRIZE) SAYING: "No, I don't think anybody can expect to receive a Nobel Prize. There are so many deserving researchers - there's no way that you would consider that as something that's definitely going to happen. Obviously, it's a great honor. I'm very pleased that it's happened. We're going to continue to do our research and continue to try to translate what we learned in the lab to new patient therapies." SEMENZA TALKING TO HIS TEAM OF RESEARCHERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. GREGG SEMENZA, ONE OF THREE DOCTORS WHO WON THE 2019 NOBEL MEDICINE PRIZE) SAYING: "It's sort of fundamental. How does the body ensure that it gets enough oxygen for every cell to survive? It's sort of the most fundamental requirement there is. You can just hold your breath and you'll know there's nothing you can do without for a shorter period of time than oxygen. And this sort of fundamental system that ensures that the body is able to do that and so every cell can respond to the low oxygen conditions and make the hypoxy inducible factors and that will lead to a response that will either increase the delivery of oxygen to the cell or allow the cell to operate under lower oxygen conditions." SEMENZA WATCHING TEAM IN LAB (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. GREGG SEMENZA, ONE OF THREE DOCTORS WHO WON THE 2019 NOBEL MEDICINE PRIZE) SAYING: "When the phone rings before 4 am, you're kind of - at least for me - woken out of a deep sleep. It was quite a shock to get the call. And to hear that I'd been chosen to receive the award. And I've been kind of in a daze ever since." VARIOUS OF SEMENZA LOOKING THROUGH MICROSCOPE IN LAB
- Embargoed: 21st October 2019 17:21
- Keywords: Johns Hopkins University Gregg Semenza 2019 Nobel Medicine Prize
- Location: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES
- City: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA001B03NBD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Two Americans and a Briton won the 2019 Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday (October 7) for discovering a molecular switch that regulates how cells adapt to fluctuating oxygen levels, opening up new approaches to treating heart failure, anaemia and cancer.
William Kaelin at the U.S. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Gregg Semenza of Johns Hopkins University and Peter Ratcliffe of Oxford University, received the early morning phone call saying they had won the 9-million Swedish-crown ($913,000) prize.
Semenza told Reuters he was shocked, honored and pleased to win the award. "I don't think anybody can expect to receive a Nobel Prize," he said.
The scientists' work established the basis for understanding of how oxygen levels are sensed by cells - a discovery that is being explored by medical researchers seeking to develop treatments for various diseases that work by either activating or blocking the body's oxygen-sensing machinery.
"It's sort of fundamental. How does the body ensure that it gets enough oxygen for every cell to survive? It's sort of the most fundamental requirement there is," Semenza said.
Their work centres on the hypoxic response - the way the body reacts to oxygen flux - and "revealed the elegant mechanisms by which our cells sense oxygen levels and respond" said Andrew Murray, an expert at Britain's University of Cambridge who congratulated the three.
Medicine is the first of the Nobel Prizes given each year. The prizes for achievements in science, peace and literature have been awarded since 1901 and were created in the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.
Nobel medicine laureates have included scientific greats such as Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, and Karl Landsteiner, who identified separate blood types and so enabled safe transfusions to be widely introduced.
(Production: Gershon Peaks. Kia Johnson)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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