September 13, 2016 – We are very excited to share with you the news that William G. Kaelin, Jr., M.D., member of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee was awarded the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award. Dr. Kaelin, (professor, Dana Farber Cancer Institute / Medicine, Harvard Medical School), together with colleagues Peter J. Ratcliffe (University of Oxford/Francis Crick Institute) and Gregg L. Semenza (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) were honored with the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their discovery of the pathway by which cells from humans and most animals sense and adapt to changes in oxygen availability, a process that is essential for survival.
Animals require oxygen to extract energy from food, but too much of the chemical creates peril, as certain oxygen-containing compounds wreak molecular havoc. To handle this challenge, organisms have evolved elaborate systems to furnish optimal supplies.
Kaelin, Ratcliffe, and Semenza deciphered the core molecular events that explain how almost all multicellular animals tune their physiology to cope with varying quantities of life-sustaining oxygen, thus exposing a unique signaling scheme. The biological processes that these findings revealed have unearthed possible strategies to rev up or reign in the body’s response to oxygen, possibly leading toward new therapeutics for a wide range of disorders such as anemia, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.
As a member of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, Dr. Kaelin provides particular oversight for the Innovative Research Grants, early career researchers pursuing high-risk/high-reward research
The full news release from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation is here. The awards are reported in the New York Times, and coverage focused on Dr. Kaelin in the Boston Globe.