Yoshinori Ohsumi


Tokyo Institute of Technology


Biomedical Sciences

Ohsumi was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research into autophagy, the process used by cells to break down damaged parts and recycle unused proteins. Since Ohsumi first identified the genes controlling autophagy in the 1990s, it has been established that this cell recycling process is essential for maintaining cell equilibrium. Furthermore, defects in autophagy have been linked to diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer. Also in 2016, Ohsumi received the 2016 Breakthrough Prize, the Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, the 45th Rosentiel Award and the 15th Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

(Photo: Tokyo Institute of Technology)

  • 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine

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