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The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi, for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.

(October 3, 2016/ Revised October 28)

Autophagy – A fundamental process in living organisms

Autophagy is a process that disassembles proteins in the cell.

Dr. Ohsumi and his research group have focused on autophagy since the 1990s and have been making steady progress in revealing the mechanism and significance of this phenomenon. In particular, their research has advanced significantly since 2000. Today, it is well-known that autophagy is a common phenomenon in eukaryotes, indicating that it plays a pivotal role in the well-being of living organisms and may be implicated in the progression of many diseases. 
Autophagy is important for maintaining cellular homeostasis. Its functions are:
•    To prevent the accumulation of abnormal proteins
•    To recycle unused proteins as a nutrient for the cell when resources are scarce
•    To annihilate pathogenic microorganisms in the cell
Autophagy has garnered substantial attention because research in this field is expected to lead to effective preventive measures or new medical treatments for various diseases, such as cancer and neurological disorders. However, many aspects of autophagy are still a mystery. Researchers still have much uncharted territory to cover in the grand journey that is autophagy research. As a pioneer in this field, Dr. Ohsumi’s accomplishments are immeasurable.

See also:
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Yoshinori Ohsumi

2015  Selected as a Person of Cultural Merit
2015  Awarded the International Prize for Biology
2015  Received the Gairdner Foundation International Award
2014  Promoted to the rank of Honorary Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology
2013     Selected as a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate
2009  Appointed as a Professor at the Advanced Research Organization, Integrated Research Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology
2009  Promoted to the rank of Professor Emeritus at the National Institute for Basic Biology and at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies
2008  Awarded the Asahi Prize
2005  Received the Fujiwara Award
2004  Appointed as a Professor at the Graduate University for Advanced Studies
1996  Appointed as a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology
1988  Appointed as an Associate Professor of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo
1986 Appointed as a Lecturer of the School of Science, the University of Tokyo
1977 Appointed as a research associate of the School of Science, the University of Tokyo
1974 Joined the laboratory of Prof. Gerald M. Edelman at Rockefeller University as a postdoctoral fellow
1972 Completed the Ph.D. course and training at the Graduated School of Science, the University of Tokyo but did not obtain a Ph.D. degree
1967    Graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo
1963 Graduated from Fukuoka High School in the Fukuoka Prefecture
Feb 1945  Born in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture