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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.

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.

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2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award

William Kaelin, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza are honored for the discovery of the pathway by which cells from humans and most animals sense and adapt to changes in oxygen availability – a process essential for survival.

2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: Oxygen sensing – an essential process for survival