Professor Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe (Nobel Prize Laureate 2019)

Sir Peter Ratcliffe, Oxford

Prof. Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe MD PhD, was born in Lancashire, England, in 1954.  He attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School from 1965 to 1972. He won an open scholarship to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1972 to study Medicine at the University of Cambridge. Later he completed his MB ChB medical degree at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in 1978. Ratcliffe then trained in renal medicine at Oxford University, focusing on renal oxygenation, before founding the hypoxia biology laboratory at Oxford. His laboratory elucidated mechanisms by which human and animal cells sense oxygen levels and transduce these signals to direct adaptive changes in gene expression. He earned a higher MD degree from the University of Cambridge in 1987. He holds appointments as Director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute, London, Director of the Target Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford and is a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Prof. Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe is best known for his discovery on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability, for which he shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with William Kaelin Jr. and Gregg L. Semenza. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and a recipient of several international awards for his laboratory’s work on oxygen sensing, including the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2009), the Canada Gairdner International Award (2010), the Lasker Award for Basic Biomedical Research (2016), the Buchanan Medal of the Royal Society (2017) and the Massry Prize (2018). He was knighted for his services to medicine in 2014. 

Prof. Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe’s lecture will be about ‘Understanding cellular oxygen sensing mechanisms: implications for medicine’. The lecture will outline advances in the molecular understanding of oxygen sensing mechanisms, including the remarkable finding that all eukaryotic kingdoms use enzymatic protein oxidations coupled to proteostasis to signal oxygen levels in their cells. The physiological implications of these advances will be discussed, together with the opportunities and challenges raised in the therapeutic modulation of human oxygen sensing systems.


You can visit Sir Peter’s lecture on the 5th of June from 16:15 until 17:15!