What is autophagy, and why is it important?

Autophagy (cellular self-digestion by lysosomes) is activated in response to starvation in all eukaryotic cells, and ensures survival by recycling dispensable cellular constituents for re-use in synthetic processes. In animals, autophagy has been adopted to serve additional functions beyond starvation survival that include regulation of lifespan, stress responses, cellular homeostasis, cell death, immunity, cancer, neurodegeneration diseases, obesity and lipid metabolism, and more. Thus, the biomedical relevance of autophagy resarch is well-established by now.

Latest news from the lab

6/25/2015. 3 papers published from our lab so far this year: our research article about the role of the HOPS tethering complex in promoting Tor kinase activation (Autophagy), our invited review about autophagy in the Drosophila eye (Ocular autophagy special issue of EER), and our invited guideline paper describing how to choose and use the right tools and assays to study autophagy in Drosophila (Autophagy special issue of Methods). In addition, we co-authored a Nature Communications and another Autophagy research articles.

2/5/2015. Manuela Karpati successfully defended her PhD thesis today - congratulations!

1/1/2015. Our Momentum Research Group is started at Szeged. Agnes Varga re-joins the lab.

15/7/2014. Krisztina Hegedus is selected for a 3-year postdoctoral grant from the National Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) - congratulations!

3/14/2014. Our paper on Atg101 is accepted for publication in the Autophagy Special Issue by Hindawi. A co-author paper is published in Cell Metabolism.

2/10/2014. Our paper on the autophagy-specific interaction of the HOPS tethering complex and Syx17 is accepted for publication in Molecular Biology of the Cell.

12/24/2013. Two papers from our lab have been accepted in FEBS Letters and Autophagy this month, respectively. Another two papers that we co-authored are also in press, at Mol Biol Cell and PLOS Genetics, respectively.

12/19/2013. Peter Nagy successfully defended his PhD thesis today - congratulations!

12/6/2013. Agnes Varga successfully defended her PhD thesis today - congratulations!

12/1/2013. Agi leaves to work at a biotech company - good luck!

11/22/2013. Balazs Erdi successfully defended his PhD thesis today - congratulations!

11/13/2013. Karolina Pircs successfully defended her PhD thesis today - congratulations!

7/22/2013. Our solicited, peer-reviewed commentary/review on the recently published Syntaxin 17 papers is published in Autophagy.

6/28/2013. Three research papers published this year (so far hopefully): the Syntaxin 17 story appeared in Journal of Cell Biology, proteasome inhibition-induced autophagy is available in BMC Cell Biology, and our paper on the role of Myc-induced autophagy and antioxidant responses in supporting cellular overgrowth is in press at PLOS Genetics. Congratulations to Szabi, Agi and Pepe for driving these projects!

5/15/2013. Revealing his natural born Force power, Gabor joins the JEDI guild. See more at www.fly-jedi.org

4/15/2013. Gabor is featured in the recently launched biography series in the journal Autophagy.

8/10/2012. Two more papers published: Karolina's work on p62 assays (coming out in PLoS ONE) and Gabor's commentary regarding autophagic flux experiments and TOR signaling (Autophagy).

3/19/2012. Our first paper is published in the journal Autophagy, describing a microarray analysis of starvation responses and the role of Rack1 in autophagy and glycogen synthesis.

1/15/2012. Zsolt leaves for the US.

9/1/2011. Szabolcs, Manuela and Kata join our lab as PhD students. Balazs leaves for Barry Dickson’s Lab.

7/1/2011. Szabolcs, Manuela and Dori complete their Master’s studies – congratulations! Two postdocs join our lab: Kriszta Hegedus and Zsolt Venkei – Wel(l)come!

12/21/2010. End of the first round of the RNAi screen. Of about 7,300 RNAi lines tested (91% of the conserved genome), roughly 1,000 showed interesting phenotypes. Now we are starting secondary assays to set up different phenotypic categories and to narrow down this enormous list to the most interesting candidates.

03/01/2010. Start of the the whole-genome, in vivo RNAi screen for genes involved in autophagy, carried out by Pepe, Karolina and Agi, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

09/01/2009. Peter Nagy, Karolina Pircs and Agnes Varga join the Juhasz Lab as PhD students. Manuela Karpati, Dora Szendrei and Szabolcs Takats become MSc students.

02/01/2009. After publishing a couple of papers and winning a small postdoctoral grant, Gabor officially became supervisor for the PhD studies of Balazs.

06/01/2006. Gabor returns from Tom Neufeld's lab to finish his projects started in the US. Sarolta Palfia joins him as a technician. His former MSc student, Balazs Erdi also participates in some of the work.