Sir Peter Ratcliffe grew up in north Lancashire and won an open scholarship to study medicine at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He undertook clinical training at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and after series of posts at the London postgraduate hospitals, moved to Oxford to train in nephrology. In 1990 he obtained a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship to work on cellular responses to hypoxia, retrained in molecular biology and founded a new laboratory working on hypoxia biology in cancer and circulatory diseases. He was appointed Nuffield Professor and Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine in 2003. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences and is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the 2014 New Year’s Honours List, he was knighted for services to clinical medicine.