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 groundbreaking 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.