- Title: Japanese scientist wins Nobel medicine prize
- Date: 3rd October 2016
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** NEWS CONFERENCE FOR 2016 NOBEL PRIZE FOR MEDICINE WINNER, YOSHINORI OHSUMI, IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 2016 NOBEL PRIZE FOR MEDICINE WINNER, YOSHINORI OHSUMI, SAYING: "In recent years I've unexpectedly received many awards, but the weight of the Nobel Prize is on another level." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 2016 NOBEL PRIZE FOR MEDICINE WINNER, YOSHINORI OHSUMI, SAYING: "When I was a child I remember the Nobel Prize being a dream, but since I began my research, the Nobel Prize wasn't something I was concerned about." OHSUMI RECEIVING A CALL FROM JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER, SHINZO ABE, DURING HIS NEWS CONFERENCE OHSUMI ON THE PHONE WITH ABE NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS VARIOUS OF (FROM LEFT) PRESIDENT OF TOKYO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, YOSHINAO MISHIMA, 2016 NOBEL PRIZE FOR MEDICINE WINNER, YOSHINORI OHSUMI, AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH OF TOKYO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, MAKOTO ANDO, SHAKING HANDS AND POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS
- Embargoed: 18th October 2016 14:48
- Keywords: Nobel medicine prize 'self-eating' cell mechanism Yoshinori Ohsumi yeast autophagy
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA00152GBI2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Japan's Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday (October 3) for ground-breaking experiments with yeast which exposed a key mechanism in the body's defenses where cells degrade and recycle their components.
Understanding the science behind the process, called "autophagy" or "self-eating", has led to a better understanding of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes, the Prize committee said in its statement on Monday.
"Ohsumi's discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content," it said.
The Physiology or Medicine prize, the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year, is worth 8 million Swedish crowns ($933,000).
Ohsumi, born in 1945 in Fukuoka, Japan, has been a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2009.
"In recent years I've unexpectedly received many awards, but the weight of the Nobel Prize is on another level," he said at a news conference at the university.
"When I was a child I remember the Nobel Prize being a dream, but since I began my research, the Nobel Prize wasn't something I was concerned about."
Ohsumi's work - carried out in the 1990s and described by commentators as "paradigm-shifting" and "pioneering" - included locating the genes that regulate autophagy. This is important for medicine because it helps show why errors in these genes can contribute to a range of diseases.
David Rubinsztein, deputy director of Cambridge University's Institute for Medical Research, said Ohsumi had provided scientists around the world with "critical tools" to help them understand how disrupted autophagy can contribute to illnesses including infectious diseases, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's.
Chister Hogg, a professor at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, told Reuters the work helped explain crucial processes in human development, from growing up, to aging to succumbing to disease.
This year, the Karolinska Institute, which awards the Nobel medicine prize, has been immersed in a scandal over the hiring of a controversial surgeon. The Swedish government dismissed several members of the board in September.
Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.
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