Yoshinori Ohsumi

Yoshinori Ohsumi

2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Yoshinori Ohsumi is a Japanese cell biologist. He is a professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology's Institute of Innovative Research. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2016 for elucidating the molecular mechanisms and physiological significance of autophagy, a cellular adaptive system to environment.

Education and Work Experience

  • 1974, Ph.D. of University of Tokyo
  • 1974-1977, Postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University
  • 1977-1996, Research Associate to Associate Professor, University of Tokyo
  • 1996-2009, Professor. National Institute for Basic Biology in Okazaki City
  • 2010-2016, Professor, Frontier Research Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • 2016 to present, Professor at Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Honors and Awards

    • 2012, Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences
    • 2015, Canada Gairdner International Award
    • 2016, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
    • 2017, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Major Academic Achievements

Professor Ohsumi has achieved world-leading results in his genetic study of autophagy in yeast, a cellular process that degrades proteins in order to adapt to the nutritional environment and other factors. He has made ground-breaking contributions toward elucidating of the molecular mechanisms of autophagy and its physiological significance. Ohsumi’s findings had significant implications for the understanding and treatment of various conditions in which autophagy is disrupted, including cancer, Parkinson disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.