The cellular regulation of oxygen and metabolite sensing

Year of award: 2019


  • Dr James Nathan

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

The ability of cells to sense and respond to changes in oxygen and nutrients is essential. When this ability is disrupted, it leads to diseases such as cancer, impaired immunity or metabolic disorders. 

We have used genome editing to discover new genes that influence the cell’s ability to sense both oxygen and nutrients. Our goal is to determine how they work, understanding how oxygen and nutrient sensing are linked and how this influences human health. We are particularly interested in how mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, respond to changes in nutrient availability and relay this information to the DNA genome in the nucleus. 

Understanding these basic aspects of cell function will lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets that can combat diseases where oxygen sensing or energy metabolism is impaired.