About the Symposium

The Sabri Ülker Symposium, “Metabolism and Life,” organized by the Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was a scientific and cultural celebration. The virtual event was held on May 25-26, 2021 in İstanbul, Turkey and drew audiences from across the world. The program featured highly innovative research on metabolism, which is the most fundamental process of life. Continuing with the symposium’s long-running theme of merging art and science, the event featured two performances by Burcu Soysev of the İstanbul State Opera. The symposium’s scientific panels began with the younger generation of researchers, the “Rising Stars,” and continued with talks by leaders in the field of metabolism. Speakers discussed cutting-edge research on metabolism in the context of cancer, immunity, brain function, obesity, and evolution. Following a keynote address by Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg of Stanford University on the roles of nucleosomes and chromosomes in the fundamental operations of gene machinery, Dr. Elif Firat-Karalar was announced as the 2021 Sabri Ülker Science Award winner. Dr. Firat-Karalar gave an exciting research talk on cellular diversity, and then discussed the crucial roles that mentors, family, and society play in the lives of women leaders in science. The event ended with closing remarks by Sabri Ülker Center Director Dr. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, who reminded the audience that encouraging young scientists today is essential for the long-term victory of truth over ignorance, and science over misinformation.