For his ground-breaking work on yeast cells Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi bagged the prestigious 2016 Nobel prize for medicine, announced Nobel prize committee on Monday.
Yoshinori Ohsumi’s discoveries have great significance to medicine field for a better understanding of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and type 2 diabetes observed the Nobel prize committee.
“Ohsumi’s discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content,” said Nobel prize Committee, declaring his name as the winner.
His discoveries unraveled a key mechanism in human body’s defenses system on how our cell’s degrade and recycle their components, which has been called “autophagy” or “self-eating”.
Ohsumi will receive Medicine prize of 8 million Swedish crowns ($933,000), added the Committee in a statement. Ohsumi was born in 1945 in Fukuoka, Japan.
He is currently working as a professor at Japan’s prestigious Tokyo Institute of Technology where he joined in 2009.
He said Japanese media that he is “extremely honored” to receive the prestigious prize. In a chat with Japanese broadcaster NHK, the scientist said, he “always wanted to do something that other people wouldn’t do”.
“I thought the breakdown (of cells) would be interesting, and that was my start,” he added in the interview. He began his work during the 1990s and his work has been termed as “paradigm-shifting” and path breaking in medicine by experts.
His discoveries are called “pioneering” in the field of finding out genes that regulate autophagy. They could help us to reveal why errors in these genes could lead to a wide variety of diseases.
David Rubinsztein, deputy director of Cambridge University’s Institute for Medical Research, observed that Ohsumi had helped the scientific community across the world to have “critical tools” to unravel mystery behind how disrupted autophagy could cause illnesses such as infectious diseases, cancers and even memory loss like Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.