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Autophagy is a quality control mechanism that plays an important role in health and disease, including neurodegeneration, cancer, infection and inflammation. The core autophagy machinery has been identified and studied in detail. In addition, integration and cross-talk with other cellular pathways is becoming clearer, providing a rationale for why autophagy is linked to so many diverse physiological functions. Future challenges are focused on integrative structural, molecular and system approaches that are able to provide a much more refined understanding of autophagy regulatory networks. This meeting will highlight basic molecular and network insights in the autophagy system that are critical in life processes and multiple disease areas, and will examine the prospects for therapeutic targeting of the autophagy system. The meeting will bring together a variety of investigators exploring different facets of autophagy, and their interactions will expand our knowledge of fundamental autophagic mechanisms in different physiological and pathological settings.