Autophagy in cells

Sharon Tooze : Molecular Cell Biology of Autophagy Laboratory

We study a cell recycling system called autophagy to help guide future research on human disease.

Autophagy is the body’s way of keeping cells in top condition. It’s a self-eating process cells use to breakdown and recycle worn-out or unhealthy cell parts.

This self-eating is important in overall body development, in protection from infection and in many other body processes. We know it is also involved in human diseases including cancer and brain conditions like neurodegeneration.

The exact role of autophagy in many health conditions still isn’t completely understood.

Our lab is looking closely at how autophagy works and is controlled to learn more about the overall process.

We focus on finding and understanding the essential building blocks, the molecules required to create the structures involved in autophagy.

In the short term we want to understand how autophagy works at a molecular level. In the long-term we hope to translate the molecular details to guide research on the role of autophagy in human disease.