Dr. Semenza received an A.B. in Biology, magna cum laude, from Harvard College; M.D. and Ph.D. (in Genetics) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania; pediatrics residency training at Duke University; and postdoctoral training in medical genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he has spent his entire faculty career. He is currently an American Cancer Society Research Professor and the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins with appointments in Pediatrics, Medicine, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Biological Chemistry; since 2003, he has served as founding Director of the Vascular Program in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering.
Dr. Semenza is an elected member of the Society for Pediatric Research, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Sciences. He has received the Canada-Gairdner International Award, Lefoulon-Delalande Grand Prix from the Institut de France, Wiley Prize for Biomedical Sciences, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Massry Prize, and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He has published more than 400 papers, which have been cited over 140,000 times.
Dr. Semenza’s laboratory discovered, cloned, and characterized hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), which is the founding member of a family of master regulators that direct transcriptional responses to decreased oxygen availability in virtually all metazoan species. His lab has shown that HIFs play important roles in cardiovascular disorders, cancer, COPD, diabetes, sleep apnea, transplant rejection, ocular neovascularization and hematologic disorders. Evolutionary selection of genetic variants at loci that encode HIF pathway components have been identified in Tibetan populations living at high altitude. HIF stabilizers and HIF inhibitors are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of anemia and cancer, respectively.