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Welcome to this biomedical and life sciences collection lecture
on the latest development in "Translational Autophagy Research".
My name is Vignir Helgason.
And I lead a research team that focuses on leukemia at
the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Center at the University of Glasgow.
In the first part of this lecture,
I aim to introduce the process of autophagy,
an important housekeeping process in the body
that has implications in human health and diseases,
with over 60 papers published per week on this subject,
the autophagy field is rapidly growing
and many great discoveries have been made in recent years.
My intention here is therefore not to review
the ever expanding autophagy literature in details,
but to rather broadly discuss different types of autophagy and the
role of autophagy in cancer prevention, development and treatment.
I will also aim to direct the viewers to recently published reviews
and all the relevant biomedical and life sciences
collection lectures from experts in the field.
In the second part,
I will particularly focus on the role of autophagy in haematopoiesis and leukemia,
and use as an example,
published work from my laboratory where we have been trying to assess,
if autophagy is a relevant target for
selective eradication of leukemic stem cells in chronic myeloid leukemia.
Lysosomes are a membrane bound organelle found in nearly all animal cells.
They were first described in the laboratory of Christian de Duve.
A discovery that significantly contributed to him
being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1974,
for elucidating the structural and functional organisation of the cell.
Christian also coined the term "autophagy" during a lysosomal conference in 1963.
The word autophagy is based on its Greek origin and literally means "self-eating",
that is auto=self and phagy means eating.
Now, since then many key discoveries have been made
that have increased our understanding of the mechanism of autophagy,
from yeast to cultural cells into mice and even
leading to phase I and phase II clinical trials in cancer patients.
Indeed, this has been recognized by the research community.