Japanese scientist bags Nobel Prize in medicine

Oct 03, 2016, 6:58 AM EDT
(Source: PROAdam Baker/flickr)
(Source: PROAdam Baker/flickr)

Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi’s pioneering work on how cells disintegrate and recycle their content has earned him the 2016 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology. The discovery opens up new possibilities in understanding and treating diseases like cancer, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes. Ohsumi, who was awarded the prize of 8 million Swedish crowns by the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, said he felt “extremely honored” by the recognition.

Ohsumi, born in 1945 in Fukuoka, Japan, has been working in the field of autophagy and is credited for a number of discoveries that explain what goes wrong in a range of conditions, including cancer and neurological disease, reports Reuters.

Ohsumi’s discoveries related to “self-eating cells” provide valuable insight into many physiological processes such as adaptation to starvation or response to infection. Last year’s Nobel Prize for medicine was won by three scientists, who developed treatments for malaria and tropical diseases, notes ABC News.

On the question that why he chose autophagy as his subject of research, Ohsumi said, "I wanted to do something different from other people. I thought auto-decomposition was going to be an interesting topic,” writes Bloomberg