Previous News Stories

Call for papers on “Autophagy in Cancer" – a Special Issue of Biology

Guest editors: Nikolai Engedal and Mario Tschan

Submission deadline: November 30th 2019 December 31st 2019 (extended)

Submission of original articles and review articles are welcome.

Read more and how to submit your work here:

About the Journal:

Biology is an open access MDPI journal.

Rapid review and publication process. Indexed on PubMed.

Scopus cite score: 4.42. 1st Impact factor will be published in 2020 (expected to be similar to the Scopus cite score).


Biology (ISSN 2079-7737)


From May 22nd to May 24th 2019, the 3rd Nordic Autophagy Society (NAS) Conference/8th Nordic Autophagy took place in Utrecht, the heart of the newest NAS country member (The Netherlands).

Held in the historical Bartholomeus Gasthuis, and featuring nearly 100 participants, the conference was opened by a keynote from Felix Randow (Cambridge, UK) on intracellular defense against bacteria, highlighting the latest advances on the ubiquitin-mediated autophagic degradation of cytosolic bacteria. Vojo Deretic (Alburquerque, USA) was also present and gave a keynote on how autophagy, by various ways, plays a crucial and central role in the defense against cytosolic pathogens. Another keynote was given by Carmine Settembre (Naples, Italy), which was focused on the regulation of ER-phagy (degradation of endoplasmic reticulum by autophagy) during cell development and differentiation. The final keynote was presented by Tor-Erik Rusten (Oslo, Norway), who demonstrated how studying the fruit fly taught us much about the intrinsic relationship between tumor growth and autophagy.

The conference also featured 16 shorts talks given by PhD students, post-docs and principal investigators, as well as nearly 60 poster presentations. A broad range of autophagy research topics were covered, including role of autophagy in different neuropathies, immunity or cancer, among others. Insights in the molecular mechanism of this pathway were presented in several models (S. cerevisiae, A. thaliana, mice, human cells…) as well as autophagy-independent functions of the Atg proteins.

Prizes were granted to the best speaker and the two best posters thanks to our sponsors, Dojindo Molecular Technologies and The FEBS Journal. Alexandra Cloherty (Amsterdam University Medical Center, NL) won the Best Speaker prize with her presentation “TRIM5α-mediated autophagy: where HIV-1 restriction and molecular inflammation meet”. The posters prizes went to Kyra Defourny (Utrecht University, NL) and Sólveig Hlín Brynjólfsdóttir (Danish Cancer Society Research Center, DK) for their posters “The leader protein of Encephalomyocarditis virus blocks autophagic flux to promote the release of virions inside extracellular vesicles” and “Uncovering regulation of stress-induced ribosome turnover by RNA-binding proteins”.

Alexandra Cloherty receives the Best Speaker prize sponsored by Dojindo Molecular Technologies from NAS Chair Nikolai Engedal.

Sólveig Hlín Brynjólfsdóttir (left) and Kyra Defourny (right) receive the Best Poster prizes sponsored by The FEBS Journal from NAS Chair Nikolai Engedal.

Besides the science, the Conference included a wonderful social program with a river cruise dinner, museum visits, and a guided city-walk sightseeing of the beautiful city of Utrecht! A special thanks to the local organizers, Fulvio Reggiori, Paul Coffer, and Muriel Mari for arranging such a wonderful meeting!

As usual, the NAS General Assembly, which is open to all NAS members, was held alongside the Conference. New recruitments to the board and task committees were made, which will further strengthen the organization of NAS.

The 4th Nordic Autophagy Society Conference will be held June 10th-12th 2020 in Tromsø, Norway. Save the date!

Co-founder of the Nordic Autophagy Network receives prestigious research award

NAS congratulates Professor Anne Simonsen on receiving the 2019 King Olav V’s cancer research award. On April 9th, his Majesty King Harald V of Norway personally handed over the prize of 1 million NOK at the traditional ceremony held in the University old Ceremony Hall in central Oslo.

The prestigious award was given by the Norwegian Cancer Society in recognition of Professor Simonsen´s outstanding basic research on autophagy and its relation to cancer. This is the second time that the Norwegian Cancer Society recognizes the importance of autophagy research, in that the Norwegian pioneer in autophagy research Professor Per O. Seglen received the same prize in 2017.

In her speech Simonsen thanked the Norwegian Cancer Society for funding long-term basic research throughout the years, and highlighted the importance of basic research for understanding complex diseases such as cancer. Simonsen thanked all her co-workers and stated that: “I have the best job in the world, and I promise that my skillful co-workers and I will do everything we can to make cancer a less scary disease in the future."

Simonsen, who is a University of Oslo Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, is the co-founder of the Nordic Autophagy Network (NAN), on which the Nordic Autophagy Society (NAS) is built. Simonsen coordinated the NAN from 2011-2015, and is currently a NAS Board member.

We congratulate Professor Simonsen and look forward to all the great work to come!

The prize winner Professor Anne Simonsen next to his Majesty King Harald V (left center), Cancer Society Secretary-General Anne-Lise Ryel (left), and Cancer Society Board chairman Gunn-Elin Bjørneboe (right). Photo: Håkon Mosvold

Anne Simonsen with her research group at the prize ceremony

- April 19th, 2019

NEW: NAS Conference and Lab Exchange Grants

NAS is glad to announce the kick-off of the “NAS Conference and Lab Exchange Grants”!

“NAS Conference grants” can provide support of up to EURO 500 for travel/accommodation/registration to international conferences.

“NAS Lab exchange grants” can provide support of up to EURO 2 500 for travel and accommodation in relation to a research stay in any lab in the world for 5 – 90 days.

More information, including on how to apply can be found here:

January 16th, 2019

The Netherlands join NAS ! – September 2018

At the 2018 NAS General Assembly in Riga, Latvia, on August 30th 2018, the Netherlands were officially included as a full country member of NAS. The NAS logo will be updated to include the flag of the Netherlands, and the NAS BY-LAWS will be updated to include the Netherlands as a member country.

In a transition phase, Professor Fulvio Reggiori (Groningen) will act as an interim NAS Board member to represent the Netherlands in the Board until the 2019 General Assembly will take place at next year’s NAS Conference.

The participation of the Netherlands to NAS is supported by a newly acquired grant from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, after an initiative from Professor Reggiori.

Kick-starting the Netherlands’ participation in NAS, the 3rd NAS Conference / 8th Nordic Autophagy Meeting will be held in the Netherlands – most likely end of May 2019 in Utrecht/the vicinity of Utrecht. More information about the meeting will follow.