The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two Americans and a British scientist on Monday for their discoveries on how body cells perceive and react to oxygen levels.
His work has paved the way for new strategies to combat anemia, cancer and other diseases, said the Nobel Committee of the Karolinska Institute in awarding the award.
The winners are Dr. William G Kaelin Jr of Harvard University, Dr. Gregg L Semenza of Johns Hopkins University and Peter J Ratcliffe at the Francis Crick Institute in Great Britain.
They will also share the cash prize of 9 million crowns ($ 918,000). It is the 110th prize in the category awarded since 1901.
In announcing the award, the Nobel Committee said that the work of the three winners "has greatly expanded our knowledge of how the physiological response makes life possible." He said that Semenza, Ratcliffe and Kaelin found "the molecular switch of how to adapt" when oxygen levels in the body vary, noting that the most fundamental job for cells is to convert oxygen into food and that cells and tissues constantly experience Changes in oxygen availability. .
Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee at the Karolinska Institute, said he was able to contact the three laureates by phone on Monday. But he only got Kaelin through his sister, who gave him two phone numbers, and the first one was a wrong number.
"I was really happy," Perlmann said at a press conference.
The announcement started the Nobel week. The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded on Tuesday and the next day is the chemistry prize.
This year's double-headed Literature Awards, one for 2018 and 2019, will be awarded on Thursday and the Peace Prize will be announced on Friday.
The economics prize will be awarded on October 14.
The 2018 literature prize was suspended after a scandal shook the Swedish Academy. The agency plans to grant it this year, along with the announcement of the 2019 award.
The founder of the award, Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, decided that the prizes for physics, chemistry, medicine and literature should be awarded in Stockholm, and the peace prize in Oslo.
He specifically designated the institutions responsible for the awards: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry; The Karolinska Institute is responsible for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; the Swedish Academy chooses the Nobel Prize for literature; and a committee of five people elected by the Norwegian Parliament decides who wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
The economics prize, officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel, was not created by Nobel, but by Riksbanken, the central bank of Sweden, in 1968. It is the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden which was commissioned with the selection of the winner.
This year's Nobel glory comes with a cash prize of 9 million crowns ($ 918,000), a gold medal and a diploma. The winners receive them in elegant ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.