Using baker’s yeast as a model, Ohsumi showed the underlying mechanisms for autophagy and explained how a similar process occurred in human cells. His discoveries led to a new understanding of how a cell recycles its content, the Nobel Prize website stated. “His discoveries opened the path to understanding the fundamental importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection,” the institute said in a statement. “Mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease, and the autophagic process is involved in several conditions including cancer and neurological disease.”
Yoshinori Ohsumi was born 1945 in Fukuoka, Japan. He received a Ph.D. from University of Tokyo in 1974. After spending three years at Rockefeller University, New York, USA, he returned to the University of Tokyo where he established his research group in 1988. He is since 2009 a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Professor Ohsumi laboratory is equipped with a Fusion FX7.