Yoshinori Ohsumi is a Japanese cell biologist specializing in autophagy, the process that cells use to destroy and recycle cellular components. Ohsumi is a professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology's Institute of Innovative Research. He received the Kyoto Prize for Basic Sciences in 2012, the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy. In the lysosomes of our cells its components are processed for reuse. The mechanisms of this process were mostly unknown until the early 1990s, when Yoshinori Ohsumi conducted a series of groundbreaking experiments with yeast, where he detected autophagy and identified genes important for the process. Yoshinori Ohsumi's discoveries laid the foundation for a better understanding of the ability of cells to manage malnutrition and infections, the causes of certain hereditary and neurological diseases, and cancer.