Dr. William Kaelin, Member of SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, Recognized for Discovering How Cells Sense and Adapt to Oxygen Levels
LOS ANGELES – Oct. 7, 2019 — Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) today congratulated William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, member of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee (SU2C SAC), on receiving the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for his discovery of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.
“Bill Kaelin’s work is critically important to our understanding of cancer cell metabolism,” said Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, chairman of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee and himself a Nobel laureate for his research in genetics. “His findings are foundational to much of Stand Up To Cancer’s research portfolio involving cancer cell microbiome and metabolism. We congratulate him on the great tribute of a Nobel Prize.”
Kaelin shares the prize with colleagues Sir Peter Ratcliffe of the University of Oxford and London’s Francis Crick Institute, and Dr. Gregg Semenza of Johns Hopkins University. The trio were also honored with the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.
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 cancer among a wide range of disorders such as anemia, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration.
“These basic discoveries fuel the engine of progress that brings new treatments to cancer patients,” stated Nobel Laureate Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD, vice-chair of the SU2C SAC.
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.
Added Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, Chief Executive Officer of SU2C, “Not only has Dr. Kaelin’s discovery informed so much cancer research by SU2C and others, helping cancer patients to become long-term survivors, we are incredibly grateful to his contributions as a scientific leader of SU2C helping to identify the next generation of cancer researchers.”
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of June 2019, more than 1,600 scientists representing more than 180 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.
Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C operates rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s CEO. For more information, visit StandUpToCancer.org.
Jane E. Rubinstein
Sr. VP Communications
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