The prize was awarded to three physician-scientists "for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability." Gregg L. Semenza, William G. Kaelin Jr. and Peter J. Ratcliffe hail from the U.S. and Britain. According to the Nobel Committee, the discovery gives detail to “one of life’s most essential adaptive processes." The discovery of how cells respond to oxygen was decades in the making. It has real-world application including cancer treatment and the treatment of strokes. The three scientists were notified of the award by phone. The $900,000 cash award will be split among them equally.