The 4th Nordic Autophagy Society (NAS) Conference / 9th Nordic Autophagy Meeting was held in Tromsø, Norway November 10th-12th 2021. This was the first Nordic Autophagy Meeting north of the Arctic Circle! Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Conference had been postponed for nearly 1 ½ years. It had originally been scheduled for June 2020.

Held at the Edge Hotel directly at the Tromsø harbor with a great view of the city and the surrounding arctic landscape, the Conference featured a record-breaking 109 participants coming from 15 different countries. Covid-19 measures were in place, with facemasks worn during mingling. The scientific program comprised 4 Invited Keynote Lectures, 14 Selected Short Talks, and 2 Poster Sessions with in total 48 Poster Presentations. See here for the program.

Day 1:

The Conference was opened by a Keynote from Ian Ganley (University of Dundee, UK), who gave an inspiring talk on mitophagy and its links to Parkinson’s disease. This was followed by an introduction from the Silver Sponsor and Exhibitor Nordic BioSite, and thereafter 5 selected short talks, which commonly were focused on molecular mechanisms of mitophagy and selective autophagy in general.

An engaging Poster session 1 (for 1 ½ hours) was held in the afternoon, before dinner at the hotel.

After the dinner, although the sky was generally cloudy, a few fortunate people (no names disclosed) managed to see Northern Lights right outside the hotel!

Day 2

Part 1: The second day of the Conference was kicked off by Nicholas Ktistakis (Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK), who presented beautiful and thought-provoking visual data to compare and contrast the mechanisms of autophagosome formation in nonselective versus selective autophagy. Furthermore, a taste from a new, unpublished project was presented. Thereafter followed 4 selected short talks that covered mechanisms, regulation and coordination of autophagy in mammalian cells and yeast.

Part 2: After lunch it was time for the social program. Some went for a city walk to include sights like the bridge and the famous Arctic Cathedral. Others took a guided tour with the cable car to the top of the Fløya mountain. The toughest (or craziest?) participants bought spikes for their shoes (or not!) and heroically climbed the 1203 Sherpa steps (iced and slippery!) to reach the same destination. From there, both parties could enjoy a stunning view over Tromsø and the surrounding arctic landscape, just in time before sunset. All totally worth it!

Part 3: The next scientific session featured the 3rd Keynote lecture, where Marja Jäättelä (Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Denmark) provided an engaging overview of the multifaceted cellular functions of lysosomes and presented novel data on effects of cationic amphiphilic drugs via lysosomes. Thereafter followed 2 short talks on aspects related to the connection between autophagy, lysosomes and endosomes.

Part 4: Poster session 2 was held in the afternoon (for 1 ½ hours). Thereafter, the NAS General Assembly, which is open to all NAS members, was held by the NAS chair Nikolai Engedal. The history and current status of NAS was presented, the NAS Board was re-elected with a new recruitment for Norway (Helene Knævelsrud) and two new recruitments for the Netherlands (Kasper Rouschop and Mario Mauthe), and the location and tentative dates of next year’s Conference were decided (see the bottom of this page for info on that). Day 2 concluded with the Conference Dinner at the hotel, followed by socializing in the lobby area and/or a refreshing walk outside with failed attempts from some participants (no names disclosed) to see Northern Lights (they tried hard, but eventually had to conclude that it was too cloudy that night).

Day 3

Part 1: The third and final day of the Conference featured the 4th Keynote Lecture, where Patricia Boya (CIB Margarita Salas, Madrid, Spain) presented intriguing data on the relationship between autophagy and age-associated retinal defects. This was followed by a short talk on a novel mechanism of autophagic clearance of amyloid aggregates.

Part 2: The scientific part of the Conference was wrapped up by short talks on autophagy-related proteins in virus infection, and virus-induced escape of xenophagy. Thereafter, all participants could vote for the best short talk (one prize sponsored by the NAS-affiliated MDPI journal “Cells”) and the best posters (3 prizes sponsored by the journal “Traffic” and 1 prize sponsored by the newly established journal “Autophagy Reports”). The prize ceremony saw Simona Migliano (Oslo University Hospital, Norway) win the best short talk award, whereas the best poster awards where won by Lauren Johnson and Rodriguez de la Ballina (University of Oslo, Norway), Aida Rodríguez López (The Danish Cancer Society), Nikoline Lander Rasmussen (UiT – the Arctic University of Norway), and Thorbjørn Marciniak Nielsen (The Danish Cancer Society).

Best Short Talk and Best Posters Awards!

From left to right: Nikolai Engedal, Terje Johansen, Best Short Talk winner Simona Migliano (Oslo University Hospital, Norway), and the best poster award winners Thorbjørn Marciniak Nielsen (The Danish Cancer Society), Nikoline Lander Rasmussen (UiT – the Arctic University of Norway), Aida Rodríguez López (The Danish Cancer Society), and Lauren Johnson and Rodriguez de la Ballina (University of Oslo, Norway).

Part 3: The Conference ended with concluding remarks and a thank you to all the people who made the Meeting happen: Nikolai Engedal (Organizer, Conference and NAS chair), Terje Johansen (Local organizer and Conference chair), Gry Evjen (Local organizer committee leader), Eva Sjøttem and Trond Lamark (Local organizing committee), Terje Johnsen’s group members for technical and practical assistance, the NAS Board for scientific advice, the NAS web masters Behzad Khoshnood and Rubén Gómez-Sánchez for web and registration help, the NAS treasurer Anu Kauppinen, the NAS sponsorship team (Nikolai Engedal, Daniel Hofius, Chara Charsou, Karolina Pircs, Merve Kacal), the invited Speakers (Ian Ganley, Nick Ktistakis, Marja Jäättelä, Patricia Boya), and the Sponsors (UiT – the Arctic University of Norway, Silver Sponsor Nordic Biosite, The Dutch Research Council (NWO), Dojindo, Cells, Traffic, and Autophagy Reports)…

…and finally, a great thanks to all the participants for their good spirits and active participation!

Thanks to all 109 participants at the 4th NAS Conference in Tromsø !

NOTE: The 5th Nordic Autophagy Society Conference / 10th Nordic Autophagy Meeting will be held in Denmark, with tentative dates September 14.-16. 2022.

Open Webinar with two talks on autophagy, immunity, and mitophagy!

Please join the NO-AD and NO-AD seminar on 15th Oct 2021 (Friday) 14-16 CET with the two speakers:

Dr. Alexander Clarke (a PI at Oxford and was trained with Anna Katharina (Katja) A Simon): autophagy and immunity

Prof. Jo Poulton/Oxford: a pioneer on mitochondrial disease with a focus on mitophagy.

The meeting is hosted by Evandro F. Fang (UiO), Jon Storm-Mathisen (UiO), Menno P. Witter (NTNU), Lene Juel Rasmussen (KU), W.Y. Chan (CUHK)

See flyer for more info and to register!

Sample Text

The MDPI journal Cells is preparing a special issue on Autophagy and RNA. Send in your contributions and get a 50% discount as a NAS member.

More information at:

CFATG virtual conference

Dear colleagues,

Save the date!!

We are pleased to announce the first edition of the CFATG virtual conference organized by the Club Francophone de l’AuTophaGie, which will be held on two half-days, on the 23rd and the 24th of June 2021. The meeting will consist of four consecutive sessions: Autophagy regulation, Infection and immunity, Physiopathology and Cancer, featuring both a keynote lecture and short talks selected from abstracts. We especially encourage young scientists to present their work to our community. The deadline for the submission is May 31th 2021. Best presentation prizes will be awarded!

You can now register on the conference website:

Registration is free of charge but mandatory. The meeting program and more information are also available on the CFATG website:

We are looking forward to seeing you online!!

The organizing committee of CFATG Online

LS2 Prestige Webinar – Prof. Terje Johanssen (University of Tromsø, Norway)

Dear all,

Next 11th of May at 15:00, Prof. Terje Johanssen (University of Tromso, Norway) is going to give a talk titled “CALCOCO1: A novel soluble ER-phagy and Golgiphagy receptor“, within the LS2 Prestige Webinar organized by the LS2 Section Autophagy. 

Registration is free but required here:

NAS affiliated with the MDPI Journal Cells

NAS recently signed an affiliation agreement with the MDPI Journal Cells.
Cells is published in open access model, which means:
• everyone has free and unlimited access to the full‐text of all articles published in the journal.
• everyone is free to re‐use the published material if proper accreditation/citation of the original
publication is given.
• the authors retain the copyright of their work instead of transferring it to the publisher.
• open access publications are supported by article processing charges paid by the authors

MDPI journals, including Cells, have very reasonable article processing charges (APCs) compared with other journals in the field (see where MDPI is placed in terms of mean value of APC in 2019 here).
Advantages for NAS members:
– All NAS members will receive a 15% discount* on the article processing charges. The APC for Cells in 2020 is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs), i.e. as a NAS member, you will get a 300 CHF discount (thus the APC will be 1700 CHF for NAS members).
* If authors’ institutions are part of the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program and already enjoy a discount, the highest discount will apply.
– NAS will be granted 2 waivers per year that may be used for any of the regular papers submitted by members of the society. The waivers will preferentially be given to papers authored by NAS members from at least two different NAS membership countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands) resulting from collaborative efforts. To apply for a waiver, please contact the NAS Board. platform for organizing society conferences and conference organizing services at preferential rates. The NAS as well as each of its members will be able to use the platform free of charge if self‐managed.

-February 19th, 2020

NEW! For Companies: Do you want to advertise on our home page?

The NAS has decided to open its home page to companies or private sponsors to advertise their products and services, targeting directly the Nordic Autophagy Society members and our visitors. Advertisements will be published on a first come first served basis. Advertisement banners are available at two locations on the home page as follow:

Sponsor I (top right location – currently the autophagosome)
Top location is a stationary advertisement containing a hyperlink to the company’s webpage of choice. Banner maximum size: 500 (h) x 500 (w)
€100 per week

Sponsor II (bottom left location) and Sponsor III (bottom right location) – currently Logos
Those ads are shown as slide show: 8 seconds per show, containing a hyperlink to the company’s webpage of choice. The slide shows starts at random in the series of advertisements, ensuring that all advertisements have an equal chance of being shown. Banner maximum size: 200 (h) x 500 (w)
€50 per week

NAS Conference Grant awardees presented their work at the 2019 EMBO Workshop on Autophagy

The EMBO Autophagy conference was held this year in Crieff, Scotland (UK) and lasted 5 days starting the 26th of August 2019. The EMBO is the biggest autophagy conference in Europe and is held every second year. This conference gathers all researchers working on autophagy from various fields: from molecular mechanisms in yeast to immunity and translational research on cancer or ageing, making it the ideal conference to discuss novel research with young and experienced researchers alike.

This year, the Nordic Autophagic Society awarded two NAS Conference Grants to two young researchers attending the EMBO conference: PhD student Marisa Di Monaco and post-doc Karolina Pircs. Marisa presented her thesis work focusing on the characterization of the molecular mechanisms driving the induction of autophagy in the nucleus during a short talk. Karolina presented her poster on the link between autophagy impairments in neurons and Huntington’s disease.

Both praised the length of the conference, which allowed them ample time for discussions with their peers and expanding their connections with researchers from all over the world. They greatly appreciated the various keynotes from prominent researchers and the thematic organization of the sessions that painted “stories being told chronologically across the field” and thus “integrate[d] diverse perspectives on the function of autophagy”.

If you are also planning to attend an autophagy-related international conference to present your work and take part in enriching discussions with your peers, you can apply for a NAS Conference Grant here.

PhD student Marisa Di Monaco presents her short talk “Self-regulation of autophagy genes by Atg8a and its interacting partners YL-1, Sequoia, Sir2 and DOR in Drosophila”

Post-doc Karolina Pircs presented her poster “Modelling autophagy impairments in Huntington’s disease using directly reprogrammed patient-derived neurons”