• Length:
    3 Weeks
  • Effort:
    1–2 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Introductory
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

All learners are welcome; some knowledge of cell biology and molecular biology (genes, proteins, lipids) may help you to better understand the course.

About this course

In this short course, you’ll learn about autophagy, the fascinating degradation process that occurs within cells. The exciting story of 2016 Nobel Prize winner Yoshinori Ohsumi’s research career, during which he discovered autophagy and uncovered its mechanism in yeast, will also be described.

The course is aimed at a non-specialist audience and is divided into three sections (weeks). During the first week, we’ll cover basic cell biology and discuss the fundamentals of autophagy and its role in the cell. In the second week, Professor Ohsumi’s four-decade research career, during which he discovered autophagy in yeast and uncovered its molecular mechanism, will be discussed in detail. The third week’s lecture discusses the role of autophagy in yeast, humans and other organisms, as well as links between autophagy and diseases in humans and the future of autophagy research.

These lectures together provide an insight into an exciting and continually evolving field at the cutting-edge of fundamental biology research. The course also provides an example of a world-leading scientist’s unconventional and diligent approach to research, offering inspiration to young and aspiring researchers and laypeople alike.

What you'll learn

By taking this course, you will be able to: 
  • define the fundamentals of autophagy
  • explain the significant roles that autophagy plays in human bodies, plants, and animals  
  • draw upon the inspiring story of Yoshinori Ohsumi and learn the importance of basic research driven by pure curiosity that leads to breakthroughs in science
  • Week 1: Basic Mechanisms and Roles of Autophagy
  • Week 2: Dr. Ohsumi's Nobel Prize Winning Work
  • Week 3: The Role of Autophagy in Our Bodies, Links to Human Diseases, and the Future of Autophagy Research

Meet your instructors

Yoshinori Ohsumi
Honorary Professor, Cell Biology Center, Institute of Innovative Research
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Hitoshi Nakatogawa
Associate Professor, School of Life Science and Technology
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Alexander May
Specially Appointed Assistant Professor, Cell Biology Center, Institute of Innovative Research
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Noboru Mizushima
Professor, Graduate School of Medicine
The University of Tokyo

Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain $49.00

View a PDF of a sample edX certificate
  • Official and Verified

    Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects

  • Easily Shareable

    Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn

  • Proven Motivator

    Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course

  • Support our Mission

    EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally

Learner testimonials

"This course is very comprehensible. Also it helped me to expand my knowledge about not only autophagy, but also cell processes." - Previous Student