The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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'Understanding human oxygen sensing: adventures of a physician in science'

30 November 2022

The recent Academy Discourse by Nobel laureate Sir Peter Ratcliffe is available to watch back until Wednesday, 6 December 2022.

The maintenance of oxygen homeostasis is a fundamental physiological challenge, inadequate oxygen (hypoxia) being a major component of most human diseases. In this Discourse, Sir Peter Ratcliffe traces insights into human oxygen homeostasis from the founding work of William Harvey on the circulation of the blood to the molecular elucidation of a system of oxygen sensing that functions to measure oxygen levels in cells and control multiple adaptive responses to hypoxia. The lecture attempts to illustrate and rationalize the unexpected in biological discovery and discuss the interface of discovery science with the development of medical therapeutics.

Peter J. Ratcliffe, M.D. is a physician scientist who trained as a nephrologist, before founding the hypoxia biology laboratory at Oxford. His laboratory elucidated mechanisms by which human and animal cells sense oxygen levels and transduce these signals to direct adaptive changes in gene expression. For this work he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2019. He holds appointments as Director of Clinical Research at the Francis Crick Institute, London, Director of the Target Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford and is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Cormac Taylor MRIA, Professor of Cellular Physiology at the School of Medicine and Medical Science and the Conway Institute, University College Dublin is the Respondent for this Discourse.

Please Note: This recording will be available until Wednesday, 6 December 2022.

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