Why Metabolism?

On behalf of the Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research at Harvard University, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, I am delighted to announce the fourth Sabri Ülker “Metabolism and Life” Symposium scheduled for May 9-10th, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. This will be an exciting year for our Symposium as we return to an in-person program after a long break and as the year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Republic. 

The “Metabolism and Life” Symposium brings together a spectacular array of global experts exploring broad aspects of metabolism in health and disease states and during the aging process. Since its inception in 2016, the symposium focuses on metabolism which encompasses all the reactions that generate and use energy and is the most fundamental process of life, starting from the synthesis of the very first macromolecule. At the cellular and organismal levels, metabolic flux and balance are requisite to move, replicate, repair damage, and sustain life, and indeed disruptions to this delicate balance are a major contributor to disease and aging. Thus, in some sense metabolism is life. It is the molecular explanation of how we interact with the internal and external environment and operate as living organisms. Proper metabolism ensures robust function and health, and metabolic disturbances set the stage for chronic disease and the greatest threats to global public health. The Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research is committed to investigating the fundamental mechanisms controlling metabolism at the molecular, cellular and organismic levels, explore their relevance for chronic metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases as well as during aging, with the ultimate goal of translation to humans with new preventive and therapeutic strategies to prolong health span. 

The biennial Sabri Ülker Symposium is an unparalleled opportunity for attendees to engage with and learn from the globally recognized leading scholars in the field of metabolism from around the world. Sessions will feature presentations from renowned experts describing their innovative work to unravel the molecular details of metabolic pathways and translate these findings into real-world approaches to treat or prevent metabolic disease. The symposium will also be a great platform for young and emerging scientists to interact with established experts and for local and international scholars to build new networks. We are confident that this event will lead to new perspectives, stimulate new collaborations, and inspire future scholarly efforts.

We are most grateful to the Sabri Ülker Foundation and its staff for supporting the symposium, the speakers who have kindly accepted to participate, and personally welcome all of you to Istanbul for this scientific and cultural celebration. 

Gökhan S. Hotamışlıgil, MD, Ph.D., Conference Organizer
James S. Simmons Professor of Genetics & Metabolism
Director, Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research
Associate Member, Harvard-MIT Broad Institute, Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Place; Kadir Has University

Schedule 2023

Place Kadir Has University
Turkey Local Time Schedule
Day 1: Tuesday, May 9, 2023
17:00 Reception

Performance: Güldiyar Tanrıdağlı, Pianist

Performance: Cengiz Özkan, Musician

17:45 Welcoming Remarks 
Rising Stars
1. Tuğçe Aktaş, Max Planck Institute
“Taming the Repetitive Transcriptome with RNA Binding Proteins”
2. Sinem Saka, EMBL Heidelberg
3. Baran Ersoy, Weill Cornell Medicine
“Metabolic Aberrations in Subcellular Protein Localization”
4. Elvan Böke, Centre for Genomic Regulation
19:00 Sabri Ülker Science Award Ceremony
19:20 Keynote Lecture
Randy W. Schekman, PhD, University of California Berkeley
20:20 Closing Remarks
Day 2: Wednesday, May 10, 2023
8:00 – 9:00

Guest Arrival 

Session I: Metabolic Integration
Chaired By: Elvan Böke 
9:00 – 9:30

Daniel Drucker
University of Toronto
“Rethinking Cardiometabolic Mechanisms of GLP-1 Action”


Barbara Kahn
Harvard Medical School 


Mitch Lazar
University of Pennsylvania
“Nuclear Receptors, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism”

10:30-11:00 BREAK

Session II: Metabolic Control and Tumorigenesis 
Chaired By: Sinem Saka 


Kathryn Wellen
University of Pennsylvania
“Acetyl-CoA Metabolism in the Interplay Between Skin and Systemic Lipid Homeostasis”


Brendan Manning
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
“The PI3K-mTOR Signaling Network in the Cellular and Systemic Control of Metabolism”


Matthew Vander Heiden
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“How Metabolism Influences Cancer Progression”

12:30-13:45 LUNCH


Chaired By: Baran Ersoy


Rui-Ping Xiao
Peking University
“Role of MG53 in Cardiometabolic Disease”


Helen Hobbs, MD,

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Kathryn Moore, PhD,

New York University

15:30:16:00 BREAK

Session IV: Metabolism, Immunity, & Infection
Chaired By: Tugce Aktas


James Ntambi
University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Regulation of Lipogenesis, Inflammation, & Systemic Metabolism”


Erika Pearce
John Hopkins University


Akiko Iwasaki
Yale University
“Immunology of Long Covid”

18:00 Closing Remarks

Symposium Faculty

Ruı-Ping Xiao

Peking University

Randy Schekman

University of California, Berkeley

Erika Pearce

Johns hopkins University

James Ntambi

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kathryn Moore

New York University

Daniel Drucker

University of Toronto

Helen Hobbs

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Branden Manning

Harvard University

Elvan Böke

CRG, Barcelona

Mitchell Lazar

University of Pennsylvania

Akiko Iwasaki

Yale University

Barbara Kahn

Harvard University

Kathryn Wellen

University of Pennsylvania

Baran Ersoy

Weill Cornell Medicine

Sinem Saka

EMBL Heidelberg

Tuğçe Aktaş

Max Planck Institute, Berlin