Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan on Monday won theNobel Medicine Prize for his work on autophagy — a process whereby cells “eat themselves” which when disrupted can cause Parkinson’s and diabetes. Autophagy is a fundamental process in cell physiology with major implications for human health and disease. The process is essential for the orderly degradation and recycling of damaged cell parts and its failure is believed to be responsible for ageing and cell damage.
Ohsumi, 71, received a PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1974. He is currently a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.Last year, Irish-born William Campbell of the US, Satoshi Omura of Japan and China’s Tu Youyou won the prestigious award for their discoveries of treatments against parasites.