Daniel J. Klionsky is world renowned for his outstanding work at the forefront of autophagy, a research field he helped to establish and develop. He was trained as a cell biologist and holds joint appointments in the Life Sciences Institute and the Department of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Michigan. He is currently the Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences at U.M.

Research, collaboration, distinctions

Prof. Klionsky is a California native, and he spent the first part of his scientific life in his home state. He was a biology major at UCLA and received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1986 for his work on the bacterial ATP synthase in Bob Simoni’s lab. His interest for protein targeting led him to change fields and models: for the next four years he mapped the vacuolar targeting signal in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteinase A in Scott Emr’s lab at the California Institute of Technology. In 1990, he moved to the University of California, Davis, to become a Professor of Microbiology and started his own lab on Aminopeptidase 1 (Ape1), which he discovered to be more than yet another vacuolar hydrolase, but the entry point to his history with autophagy, one of the most important programs triggered when eukaryotic cells are stressed.

Prof. Klionsky moved to Michigan in 2000 where he received various awards for both his scientific career and innovative teaching: he received the Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation in 2003 and was named an Education Mentor by the National Academies in 2006. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009, and was named a Thompson Reuters Citation Laureate in 2013. Daniel Klionsky has contributed to the foundation of the Gordon Research Conference on Autophagy, since 2005 has served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal Autophagy, and set the “Guidelines for monitoring autophagy”, co-authored by more than 200 researchers worldwide.

> The DHC for Prof. Klionsky was proposed by Dr. Muriel Priault, CNRS researcher (Cell Biochemistry and Genetics Laboratory, UMR 5095) and Dr. Amélie Bernard, CNRS researcher (Membrane Biogenesis Laboratory, UMR 5200).

Updated on 18/11/2019