- Ancient Greek ????????? autóphagos = "self-devouring"
- ????? kýtos = "hollow"
- Natural, regulated
- Destructive/protective mechanism of the cell
- Disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional components
- Molecular recyclation
- Recycling of cellular components
- Adaptive response to stress, which promotes survival
- Can promote cell death and morbidity
- 1962 first observed by Keith R. Porter and his student Thomas Ashford at the Rockefeller Institute
- Reported an increased number of lysosomes in rat liver cells after the addition of glucagon
- Some displaced lysosomes contained mitochondria
- Called this autolysis after Christian de Duve and Alex B. Novikoff
- Wrongly interpreted their data as lysosome formation 
- 1963 detailed ultrastructural description of "focal cytoplasmic degradation "
- 1955 German study of injury-induced sequestration
- Reutilization of cellular materials,"
- "disposal of organelles" during differentiation 
- Duve christened the phenomena "autophagy"
- Established that lysosomes are responsible for glucagon-induced autophagy 
- 1990s - identification of autophagy-related genes in yeast
- 1990s several groups of scientists independently discovered autophagy-related genes using the budding yeast
- Starvation-induced non-selective autophagy
- Cytoplasm-to-Vacuole Targeting (CVT) pathway - form of selective autophagy 
- 2003 unified nomenclature by the yeast researchers to use ATG to denote autophagy genes
- Dissect functions of autophagy in human health and disease
- 1999, a landmark discovery connecting autophagy with cancer was published by Beth Levine’s group
- Roles of autophagy in neurodegeneration and immune defense
- 2003, the first Gordon conference on autophagy was held at Waterville
- 2005, Daniel J Klionsky launched “Autophagy”, a scientific journal dedicated to this field
- First Keystone Symposia on autophagy was held in 2007 at Monterey 
- 2016 - Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Japanese autophagy researcher Yoshinori Ohsumi