We are interested in how unwanted cellular structures are eliminated from the cell. Specifically, we are most interested in autophagy. Autophagy is an intracellular degradation and recycling pathway that removes large, potentially toxic structures - such as damaged organelles or toxic protein aggregates. Defects in autophagy allow for the accumulation of toxic structures and contribute to many human diseases including neurodegeneration, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. A better understanding of autophagy mechanisms will inform our understanding of how autophagy becomes dysregulated in disease and guide therapeutic attempts to ameliorate these deficiencies.