Autophagy: Research Behind the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

In this short course, you’ll learn about autophagy, the fascinating degradation process that occurs within cells. The exciting story of 2016 Nobel Prize winner Yoshinori Ohsumi’s research career, during which he discovered autophagy and uncovered its mechanism in yeast, will also be described. The course is aimed at a non-specialist audience and is divided into three sections (weeks). During the first week, we’ll cover basic cell biology and discuss the fundamentals of autophagy and its role in the cell. In the second week, Professor Ohsumi’s four-decade research career, during which he discovered autophagy in yeast and uncovered its molecular mechanism, will be discussed in detail. The third week’s lecture discusses the role of autophagy in yeast, humans and other organisms, as well as links between autophagy and diseases in humans and the future of autophagy research. These lectures together provide an insight into an exciting and continually evolving field at the cutting-edge of fundamental biology research. The course also provides an example of a world-leading scientist’s unconventional and diligent approach to research, offering inspiration to young and aspiring researchers and laypeople alike.

Created by: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Level: Introductory

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