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Three Nobel Laureates in Hypoxia Share Insights with Keystone Symposia

Talking Science, Medicine & Their Upcoming Presentations at Our Hypoxia Meeting

On October 7th, 2019,  Drs. Gregg Semenza, Peter Ratcliffe, and William Kaelin, Jr. were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work uncovering the role of hypoxic response in health and disease.

Decades ago, each sought to answer the question of how kidney cells sense and respond to low oxygen levels, in the hopes that these now laureates could ultimately stimulate the production of red blood cells and enhance oxygen delivery throughout the body.  At the time, the nature and mechanism of this hypoxic response was unknown, and thought to be limited to a small subset of kidney cells.

Exploring this basic science question, Drs. Semenza, Ratcliffe and Kaelin discovered that the hypoxic response is far more widespread than originally thought. This response is universally underlying core cellular processes across tissues and cell types. The transcription factor that regulates it all, called Hypoxia Inducible Factor, plays central roles in diseases from kidney disease to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even immune regulation. These discoveries have opened up entirely new fields of research and medicine, with HIF-targeted treatments now yielding promising clinical trial results across a spectrum of diseases.

We at Keystone Symposia are particularly vested in this story, as we have watched this emerging field unfold over the last two decades from a basic scientific exploration, into a translational arena. Since 2004, our Hypoxia meetings have provided a venue for these thought-leaders to share their ideas and showcase their latest research, coming together with diverse academic, clinical and industry audiences to discuss and direct the state of the field.

It's only fitting that this year’s meeting in January, which marks the 10th Keystone Symposia on Hypoxia, features all three of these Nobel Prize winners on the meeting program.

We are honored to host Nobel Laureates, Drs. Semenza, Ratcliffe and Kaelin, along with their colleagues for this historic meeting of the minds as the field of hypoxia takes center stage around the world.

Register now to join us for this landmark event, January 19-23, 2020, in Keystone, Colorado:



Here we catch up with each of these research leaders, to discuss this journey from obscurity into the limelight and the future of this exciting field.






Shannon Weiman
Shannon Weiman earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in microbiology and immunology. Prior to joining the Keystone Symposia team, she worked as a freelance writer for leaders in academic, industry and government research, including Stanford University’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative, the University of Colorado’s Biofrontiers Program, UCSF, the FDA and the American Society for Microbiology.