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Two American Cancer Society Grantees Awarded Nobel Prize

Honor brings number of Society funded Nobel Laureates to 49

William G. Kaelin, M.D. (L) & Gregg L. Semenza, M.D., Ph.D. (R)
William G. Kaelin, M.D. (L) & Gregg L. Semenza, M.D., Ph.D. (R)

Two American Cancer Society grantees are among three recipients of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. William G. Kaelin Jr and Gregg L. Semenza were awarded along with Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.” They identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.

Gregg L. Semenza, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University received his first ACS grant in 2012 to study the role of hypoxia in breast cancer metastasis. He is currently an ACS Research Professor, the most prestigious research grant made by the national program. The title of American Cancer Society Professor can be used throughout the remainder of the scientist’s career.

William G. Kaelin, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Mass., and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Md., received a one-year American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Fellowship in 1987, while at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology brings the number of Nobel Laureates among the American Cancer Society Society’s funded researchers to 49.

“The Nobel Prize, medicine’s highest accolade, recognizes remarkable achievements in medicine, and once again the American Cancer Society is proud to have recognized these investigators’ promising work earlier in their careers,” said Gary M. Reedy, American Cancer Society chief executive officer. “This year’s awardees become the 48th and 49th American Cancer Society grantees to be awarded the Nobel Prize, a track record that is unmatched in the nonprofit world.”

“We are confident that among our new grantees as well as the hundreds of early-career researchers across the nation who currently receive American Cancer Society funding are other scientists whose breakthrough ideas will one day be recognized with this high honor,” added Mr. Reedy.

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