September 25, 2018–Ludwig Oxford’s Sir Peter Ratcliffe was awarded the Massry Prize for his elucidation of cellular oxygen sensing pathways and the medical implications of his work.
A nephrologist by training, Peter has made seminal contributions to our understanding of how cells gauge and respond to the availability of oxygen—a capability that affects almost every aspect of cellular life as well as many disease processes, not least cancer. Large swaths of advanced tumors are often starved of oxygen, a phenomenon associated with resistance to therapy and adverse outcomes for patients. Peter is especially recognized for deciphering how hypoxia inducible factor-1, a master regulator of gene expression that plays a central role in oxygen sensing, is uniquely activated and for unraveling the complex and mechanistically unique biochemical signaling that orchestrates oxygen-sensing within cells.
In addition to his position as a Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Peter serves as Director of the Target Discovery Institute at Oxford University and is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is also an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Meira and Shaul G. Massry Foundation established the Massry Prize in 1996 to recognise outstanding contributions to the biomedical sciences and the advancement of health. A dozen recipients of this award have gone on to with the Nobel Prize Sir Peter received the Massry Prize on September 21.