Yoshinori Ohsumi Is 2016 Nobel Prize Physiology Or Medicine Winner

Posted: Oct 3 2016, 4:35am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 3 2016, 6:21am CDT , in Latest Science News


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Yoshinori Ohsumi Is 2016 Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine Winner
Photo Credit: Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize 2016 in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded.

The first Nobel Prize of 2016 has been announcement on Monday. Yoshinori Ohsumi has won the 2016 Medicine Nobel Prize (or Physiology Nobel Prize).

He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy. Mr. Yoshinori Ohsumi is the 6th Medicine Laureate born in Japan. He is the 23th Nobel Laureate born in Japan.

Update: Yoshinori Ohsumi reacts to his won of the Nobel Prize in an phone interview. He was in his lab when he received the surprising news. Listen below.

This year’s Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.

The word autophagy originates from the Greek words auto-, meaning “self”, and phagein, meaning “to eat”. Thus, autophagy denotes “self eating”. This concept emerged during the 1960’s, when researchers first observed that the cell could destroy its own contents by enclosing it in membranes, forming sack-like vesicles that were transported to a recycling compartment, called the lysosome, for degradation. Difficulties in studying the phenomenon meant that little was known until, in a series of brilliant experiments in the early 1990’s, Yoshinori Ohsumi used baker’s yeast to identify genes essential for autophagy. He then went on to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for autophagy in yeast and showed that similar sophisticated machinery is used in our cells.

Ohsumi’s discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content. His discoveries opened the path to understanding the fundamental importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection. Mutations in autophagy genes can cause disease, and the autophagic process is involved in several conditions including cancer and neurological disease.

273 scientists have been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel Assembly with its 50 members choose the 2016 Nobel Prize Medicine through a majority vote this morning.

The Medicine or Physiology Nobel Prize has been awarded to 107 scientists since 1901. The Medicine Nobel Prize 2015 was split. One half of the 2015 Medicine Nobel Prize went to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites. The other half has been awarded to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics is next. The announcement will be made on Tuesday. See below the complete schedule of upcoming Nobel Prize 2016 announcements.

2016 Nobel Prize in Physics:

Tuesday 4 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest

2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry:

Wednesday 5 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest

Peace Nobel Prize 2016:

Friday 7 October, 11:00 a.m.

2016 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences:

Monday 10 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest

2016 Nobel Prize in Literature:

The date will be set later

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