The 2012 Laureates / Basic Sciences / Life Sciences (Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Neurobiology)

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Yoshinori Ohsumi

Japan / February 9, 1945
Molecular Cell Biologist
Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology

“Outstanding Contribution to Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms and Physiological Significance of Autophagy, a Cellular Adaptive System to Environment”
Dr. 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.

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

1945
Born in Fukuoka, Japan
1967
B.Sc., The University of Tokyo
1974
D.Sc., The University of Tokyo
1974-1977
Post Doctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University
1977-1986
Research Associate, Faculty of Science, The University of Tokyo
1986-1988
Lecturer, Faculty of Science, The University of Tokyo
1988-1996
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
1996-2009
Professor, National Institute for Basic Biology
2004-2009
Professor, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies
2009-present
Professor Emeritus, National Institute for Basic Biology
2009-present
Professor Emeritus, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies
2009-present
Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology

SELECTED AWARDS AND HONORS

2005
Fujihara Award, The Fujihara Foundation of Science
2006
Japan Academy Prize, The Japan Academy
2009
2008 Asahi Prize, The Asahi Shimbun

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

1992
Autophagy in Yeast Demonstrated with Proteinase-Deficient Mutants and Conditions for its Induction (Takeshige, K. et al.), J. Cell Biol. 119: 301-311.
1993
Isolation and Characterization of Autophagy-Defective Mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Tsukada, M. and Ohsumi, Y.), FEBS Lett. 333: 169-174.
1998
A Protein Conjugation System Essential for Autophagy (Mizushima, N. et al.), Nature 395: 395-398.
2000
A Ubiquitin-like System Mediates Protein Lipidation (Ichimura, Y. et al.), Nature 408: 488-492.
2001
The Pre-Autophagosomal Structure Organized by Concerted Functions of APG Genes Is Essential for Autophagosome Formation (Suzuki, K. et al.), EMBO J. 20: 5971-5981.
2007
Atg8, a Ubiquitin-like Protein Required for Autophagosome Formation, Mediates Membrane Tethering and Hemifusion (Nakatogawa, H., Ichimura, Y. and Ohsumi, Y.), Cell 130: 165-178.
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