Daniel J. Klionsky, AB, PhD

Life Sciences Institute and Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Cell biologist Daniel J. Klionsky, Ph.D., is the Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Michigan. Klionsky holds joint appointments as a faculty member at the Life Sciences Institute and in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental.

Working primarily with baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dr. Klionsky’s research focuses on the cellular process known as autophagy, a process by which cells break down cellular components to survive stress conditions such as starvation. The failure of autophagy plays a role in cancer, neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases, and other areas of human health.

Dr. Klionsky received an A.B. in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1980. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1986, which was followed by Helen Hay Whitney and American Cancer Society Senior Postdoctoral Fellowships at the California Institute of Technology. In 1990, Dr. Klionsky joined the faculty of the University of California, Davis. He moved to U-M in 2000, and in 2003, because one of the founding faculty members of the U-M Life Sciences Institute.

Dr. Klionsky was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009, was named a Thompson Reuters Citation Laureate in 2013 and was awarded the van Deenen Medal from the University of Utrecht in 2015. 

Since the journal’s founding in 2005, Klionsky has also served as the editor-in-chief of Autophagy.