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Autophagy in health and disease

Lab web page:

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic process that involves the degradation of cytoplasmic material through the lysosomal pathway. It is a cellular response in nutrient starvation but it is also responsible for the removal of aggregated proteins, damaged organelles and developmental remodeling. Dysfunction in autophagy has been implicated in an increasing number of diseases from bacterial and viral infections to cancer and more recently in neurodegeneration and other ageing-related diseases. Although it was initially believed that autophagy occurs randomly inside the cell, during the last years there is growing evidence that sequestration and degradation of cytoplasmic material by autophagy can be selective through receptor and adaptor proteins. We are using mammalian cells in vitro and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, as a genetically modifiable model organism to investigate the mechanisms of autophagy and selective autophagy in the context of the physiology of the cell, the system and the living organism. We are particularly interested to study selective autophagy in the context of ageing, neurodegeneration, obesity, infections and tumorigenesis.



Autophagy journal interview October 2013

As a member of the Autophagy research community, Ioannis Nezis was interviewed by the Autophagy Journal. To find out why Ioannis studies this topic and where he thinks the field is heading read his journal interview (PDF Document)



Group Members:

Prof Ioannis P Nezis, Professor, Principal Investigator

Panos Tsapras, PhD student

Laurie Prisco, PhD student

Ashrafur Rahman, PhD student

Raksha Gohel, PhD student

Mamas Louca, PhD student

Selina Chan, PhD student

Marta Geborys, PhD student


Former members:

Dr Stavroula Petridi, Post-doc (Research associate, University of Cambridge)

Dr Anne-Claire Jacomin, Post-doc (Scientist, Goethe University, Germany)

Dr Yan Zhang, Visiting Associate Professor (State Key Lab of Silkworm Genome Biology, Southwest University, China)

Bhavini Patel, PhD student

Marisa Di Monaco, PhD student (Post doc, University of Edinburgh)

Lauren Johnson, Master student (PhD student, University of Oslo, Norway)

Athanasios Kournoutis, Erasmus student (PhD student at University of Tromso, Norway)

Mamas Louca, UG summer student (PhD student at University of Warwick)

Joseph Davies, Master student

Radu Tusco, PhD student (Indirect Tax Associate at PwC UK)

Zunoon Hussain, Master student

Nitha Charles Mulakkal, PhD student (Scientist at Immunocore, Oxford)

Richard Osgood, URSS summer student (PhD student at University of Sussex)

Emma Powell, Master student (PhD student at Francis Crick Institute)

Anthimi Palara, Erasmus student (PhD student at University of Tromso, Norway)

Ilias Dervenagas, Erasmus student (PhD student at University of Athens, Greece)

Rachel Barton, Wellcome Trust summer student (PhD student at Imperial College London)

Koorosh Fatemian, Master student (PhD student at University of Warwick)

Bonita Chung, Master student

Shifquat Ullah, Master student



Leverhulme Trust

Wellcome Trust

University of Warwick

News / Web links

Life Science Alliance paper 2021

Cell Reports paper press release

Autophagy/pathogenic bacteria paper press release

Nature Communications paper press release

Ioannis Nezis comments on 2016 Nobel Prize for Medicine

New book on 'Oogenesis' edited by Ioannis Nezis recently published

iLIR database press release

iLIR database

Citations Google Scholar


Researchgate profile


First UK Autophagy Network Meeting


Warwick-Monash Alliance funds Autophagy Workshop

Autophagy research collaboration seeks answers to cell mystery