Gregg Semenza
  • 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology


Professor of Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He serves as the director of the vascular program at the Institute for Cell Engineering. He shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability" with William Kaelin Jr. and Peter Ratcliffe.

Education and Work Experience

1978-1984, M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania
1984-1986, Completed residency in pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center
1986-1990, Postdoctoral research in medical genetics at Johns Hopkins
1990-Present, Professor of Genetic Medicine,Johns Hopkins

Honors and Awards

2008, Member of the National Academy of Sciences
2012, Member of the National Academy of Medicine
2016, Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
2019, Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology

Major Academic Achievements

In 1992, Semenza and his co-collaborators announced their ground-breaking discovery of hypoxia inducible factor 1 or HIF-1, which helps cells cope with low oxygen levels. The discovery has far-reaching implications in for understanding low oxygen health conditions like coronary artery disease and tumor growth. Since then Semenza has identified genes turned on by HIF-1 that control energy production, the making of red blood cells and the growth of blood vessels. He currently is studying the role of HIF-1 in cancer, ischemia and chronic lung disease, the most common causes of mortality in the U.S. population.