10/04/2016, 09.11
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Scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2016

He studied autophagy, the process by which cells are renewed. A decrease of this process leads to diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes, cancer. He is the fourth Japanese to receive the Nobel Prize for medicine.


Tokyo (AsiaNews) - 71 year old scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi, has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in medicine for his studies on the way in which cells destroy and rebuild some components.

In making the announcement the Swedish Nobel Committee, praised "the brilliant experiments" conducted in the 90s on so-called "autophagy" (or "self-eating") that enables cells to renew themselves. A drastic decrease in this process can lead to diseases, infections, tumors. These include Parkinson's, diabetes, cancer.

Born in 1945 in Fukuoka, Ohsumi is at present professor at the Institute of Technology in Tokyo. In an interview on national television, he said he would "be extremely honored as a scientist" for the prize which consists of 8 million Swedish kronor (about 933mila dollars).

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated Ohsumi, by expressing "pride in his being Japanese."

This is the second consecutive year that a Japanese scientist has won the Nobel Prize in medicine. In 2015 Satoshi Omura, Kitasato emeritus professor of Tokyo University, won the award for his work on how to defeat diseases derived from parasites.

Ohsumi is the fourth Japanese to receive the Nobel Prize in medicine. In 1987 it went to Susumu Tonegawa, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); in 2012 Shinya Yamanaka, a professor at Kyoto University was awarded for his pioneer work in the study of stem cells; in 2015 Satoshi Omura.

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