Autophagy is a catabolic transport route conserved among all eukaryotes that allows the degradation of large portions of the cytoplasm, protein aggregates, excess or damaged organelles and invading pathogens. Autophagy participates in a multitude of cellular processes including adaptation to stress conditions such as nutrient deprivation, cell differentiation and development, degradation of aberrant structures, lifespan extension, type II programmed cell death, innate and adaptive immunity. As a result, this pathway plays a relevant role in the pathophysiology of numerous diseases including neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, chronic inflammatory, muscular and autoimmune diseases, and some malignancies. Conversely, a deficiency in this protective transport route leads to diseases such as cancers, chronic infections, cardiomyopathies and neurodegeneration. The elucidation of the molecular mechanism of autophagy is therefore vital to understand the regulation and contribution of this pathway in all these physiological and pathological situations, and it is the main objective of the research performed in the laboratory of Fulvio Reggiori.