On Monday, October 7, it was announced that the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to scientists dedicated to understand how the cells detect and adapt when oxygen levels in their environment changes. Peter J. Ratcliffe (Oxford University and director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute in London, in the United Kingdom), Gregg Semenza (Johns Hopkins University, United States) and William Kaelin Jr. (Dana Farber Institute of Harvard University, United States) were awarded for this decisive discovery that could bring new therapeutic targets.
In our Institute two research groups base their work on this discovery. On the one hand, Eduardo Arzt’s group focuses on the mechanisms of VHL regulation whose mission is to degrade the HIF protein responsible for controlling the activation of genes in hypoxia. They study how this gene is regulated in cases of tumor pathologies that alter it. On the other hand, the guest laboratory from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research studies the mechanisms of hypoxia, senescence, inflammation and repair of the cardio-pulmonary system.