NEWS | November 15, 2017

Nelson lecturer to speak on the genetics of hypoxia


Medical geneticist Gregg Semenza of Johns Hopkins Medicine will speak in Davis and Sacramento as the 2017 Nelson Scientific Lecturer for the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Gregg Semenza will speak in Sacramento and Davis as the 2017 Nelson Scientific Lecturer Gregg Semenza will speak in Sacramento and Davis as the 2017 Nelson Scientific Lecturer

Semenza is known for discovering hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a protein linked with oxygen depletion in cells — a condition called hypoxia — and diseases that affect millions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, COPD and diabetes.  Currently, he is investigating drugs that inhibit HIF-1 and reduce the impact of those diseases.

His HIF-1 discovery led to his recognition in 2016 with the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.

There are two opportunities to hear Semenza speak on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

At noon in Davis, he will lecture on “The Discovery of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1: Before and After” in the UC Davis Genome and Biomedical Sciences Facility Auditorium at 451 Health Sciences Drive.

At 5 p.m. in Sacramento, he will lecture on “Oxygen Homeostasis: An Organizing Principle for Understanding Evolution, Development, Physiology and Disease” in the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Auditorium at 4501 X Street.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Reservations are requested by e-mail to

Semenza was educated at Harvard College, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, where he has spent his entire faculty career. He currently is an American Cancer Society Research Professor and the C. Michael Armstrong Professor with appointments in genetic medicine, pediatrics, medicine, oncology, radiation oncology and biological chemistry. He also is founding director of the vascular program in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering and has published more than 400 papers that have been cited over 100,000 times.

The Nelson Lectureship was established to honor the legacy of Camillus and Elizabeth Nelson, Woodland, Calif., pioneers who were dedicated to bringing thought-provoking speakers to the Sacramento-Yolo region.

More information about the UC Davis School of Medicine is at