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The Beth Levine, M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research recognizes pioneers in the field of autophagy – a housekeeping mechanism that cells use to dispose of damaged components and maintain cellular health.

Dr. Levine was an internationally revered investigator best known for discovering the first mammalian autophagy gene, which she named BECN1. Her groundbreaking work demonstrated that autophagy plays a critical role in the determination of human health and as a driving mechanism in a broad range of human diseases. She is considered the founder of the field of mammalian autophagy.

“Dr. Levine was an exemplar of excellence in research. She has left a legacy through her fundamental discoveries as well as her trainees who were steeped in science through her mentorship. This prize honors her work and career that led to novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying autophagy and their broad implications for basic cellular biology and many prevalent diseases.”

Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern

Inaugural Prize Winner

UT Southwestern Medical Center is pleased to announce the inaugural Beth Levine, M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research has been awarded to Japanese biochemist and molecular biologist Noboru Mizushima, M.D., Ph.D.

Noboru Mizushima, M.D., Ph.D.

“Autophagy represents a fundamental cellular process with immense implications for human health and disease. Our research not only deepens our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms but also opens up new possibilities for developing targeted therapies that harness the power of autophagy to combat a wide range of diseases.”


Read more about Dr. Mizushima in the Beth Levine, M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research 2023 formal announcement.

About the Prize

Introduced by UT Southwestern in 2023, the Beth Levine, M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research is awarded to exceptional researchers and scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of autophagy. The prize acknowledges Dr. Levine’s legacy as a world-renowned scientific investigator, a dedicated and caring mentor, and respected colleague and friend, and recognizes those who, like Dr. Levine, have made significant contributions to the field of autophagy.

This biennial $20,000 international prize ensures Dr. Levine's groundbreaking discoveries will be remembered by future generations of researchers. UT Southwestern recognizes and thanks the generous donors who have made the establishment of this prize possible.

Nomination Form