Coordinator: Dr. P. K. Joshi, Prof. Savita Ladage, Prof. Sugra Chunawala and Dr. Anisha Malhotra-Dalvi
Coordinator: Prof. G. Nagarjuna
Coordinator: Dr. Aniket Sule
Coordinator: Prof. Jyotsna Vijapurkar
Dr. Rohini Karandikar
Oxygen does much more than merely allow us to ‘respire’. It plays an important role in converting food into usable energy. It is also required in the body’s defenses against harmful microorganisms and in keeping diseases like cancer in check. This is possible when oxygen is adequately available. In certain conditions, such as at high altitudes or during strenuous exercise, the body falls short of oxygen. In such conditions, the body can sense the change in oxygen level and cope with it while continuing its normal processes. “How does the body sense low oxygen levels?” was the question asked by this years’ Nobel laureates in physiology or medicine- Peter Ratcliffe, Gregg Semenza, and William Kaelin. Gregg Semenza discovered a key protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) which acts as a ‘switch’ and turns on several genes that help cells adapt to the changes in oxygen levels.
In my presentation, I will be talking about various roles that oxygen plays in human physiology, how HIF operates when there is a low level of oxygen and what the discovery means to the future of humankind.