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 Kaelin and Gregg Semenza, 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Medicine: Biographies