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Photo: Paul Wilkinson 2019

Prof. Dr.

Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe

Year of election: 2020
Section: Physiology and Pharmacology/Toxicology
City: Oxford
Country: Great Britain
CV Peter J. Ratcliffe - English (PDF)


Research priorities: Oxidation, Oxygen homeostasis, Tumour hypoxia

Peter J. Ratcliffe is a British nephrologist. Ratcliffe discovered how the cells of the human body sense and adapt to oxygen availability. This discovery has provided the basis for developing new strategies to combat anaemia, cancer, and other diseases. For his research, Peter J. Ratcliffe was honoured with the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Maintaining oxygen balance (oxygen homeostasis) is a key challenge for the body. Oxygen deficiency (hypoxia) is a major cause of many diseases. Oxygen availability affects, for example, the growth of cancer cells in certain cases.

Oxygen sensors of cells offer starting points for developing new therapies to treat cancer, anaemia, and lung and cardiovascular diseases. The reason being that in cancer, many of these signaling pathways are dysregulated by either an oncogenic mutation or microenvironmental hypoxia. Peter Ratcliffe's lab investigates the importance of these processes for disease development, particularly the effects of unphysiological switching of massively interconnected signaling pathways in cancer.

Ratcliffe's researchers want to understand how these pathways' potentially anti-oncogenic components are adapted during cancer progression. Lineage marking and genetic and genomic strategies are being used to do so.


  • since 2020 Distinguished Scholar, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR)
  • since 2016 Director of Clinical Research, The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK
  • since 2016 Director, Target Discovery Institute, University of Oxford, UK
  • 2004-2016 Nuffield Professor and Head of Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK
  • 1996-2003 Professor of Renal Medicine and Senior Research Fellow, Jesus College, University of Oxford, UK
  • 1992-1996 University Lecturer in Clinical Medicine (Nephrology), Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford, UK
  • 1990-1992 Wellcome Senior Fellow in Clinical Science, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford, UK
  • 1987-1990 Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford, UK
  • 1983-1987 Research Fellow, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford, UK
  • 1981-1983 Registrar in Renal and General Medicine, Renal Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine and Department of Geriatric Medicine, University of Oxford, UK
  • 1979-1981 Senior House Officer, Hammersmith Hospital, London Chest Hospital, the Brompton Hospital at the National Hospital, Queen’s Square, London, UK
  • 1978-1979 House Officer, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Hackney Hospital, London UK

Honours and Memberships

  • since 2020 Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • 2020 Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • 2020 Capo D’Orlando Prize
  • 2020 Doctor honoris causa, University of Oulu, Finland
  • 2019 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
  • 2018 Massry Prize, Meira and Shaul Massry Foundation
  • 2017 Buchanan Medal, The Royal Society
  • 2017 Doctor honoris causa, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2016 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, Lasker Foundation
  • 2014 Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, Wiley Foundation
  • 2014 Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Clinical Medicine
  • since 2007 Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • sine 2006 Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
  • since 2002 Fellow of the Royal Society, London, UK (2005 Elected Member of Council)
  • since 2002 Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, London, UK
  • since 1996 Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, UK




Emil-Abderhalden-Str. 35
06108 Halle (Saale)

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 122
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 139
E-Mail archiv @leopoldina.org

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