Sabrİ Ülker Center
James S. Simmons Professor, Department of Molecular Metabolism
Director of the Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research
Dr. Ana Paula Arruda was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She joined the Sabri Ülker Center and Hotamışlıgil lab in July 2010. Dr. Arruda's research examines organelle dynamics and calcium homeostasis in physiology and disease context such as obesity.
Dr. Hatoon Baazim was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she received a BCs degree in Biochemistry at King Saud University. She then moved to Thuwal, to King Abdulla University for Science and Technology (KAUST), where she received her MSc degree in Bioscience. For her PhD, Hatoon worked with Prof. Andreas Bergthaler, at the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), Vienna, Austria, studying Immune-metabolic regulation during chronic virus infection. Hatoon’s research interest focuses on the influence of adipose tissue biology on pathophysiology and disease outcome.
Dr. M. Furkan Burak is a clinical fellow in Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Division of Endocrinology and research fellow in the Sabri Ülker Center. He graduated from Kocaeli University School of Medicine. Following his initial postdoctoral fellowship at the Sabri Ülker Center, Dr. Burak completed an internal medicine residency at Mount Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School and clinical Endocrinology Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. His research is focused on the role of fatty acid binding proteins in diabetes and obesity and development of new therapeutic strategies in obesity related metabolic diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver disease and asthma. His clinical practice is focused on immune-metabolic endocrine diseases in Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.
Dr. Zhe Cao grew up in Anhui, China. He completed his PhD with Dr. Ho Yi Mak in Life Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Using the nematode C. elegans, Dr. Cao investigated conserved mechanisms of lipid droplet expansion and is intrigued by the subcellular plasticity of organelle architecture and functions. In the Hotamışlıgil lab, Dr. Cao will continue to invest his passion in organelle biology and study how organelles are remodelled in adaptation to metabolic stresses.
Dr. Shijun Deng grew up in Guangdong, a province in southern China. He recently received his PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Alberta in Canada, where he investigated the molecular mechanism of PCSK9-mediated cholesterol metabolism. As part of the Hotamışlıgil lab, Dr. Deng will continue to further develop his research interests in the interplay between cellular metabolism and inflammation in the context of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Dr. Garfinkel grew up in the city of Rehovot in Israel. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he also completed his PhD research on bone development and maternal behavior. He is now now studying the way crosstalk between the ER and the nucleus regulates inflammation, and how cholesterol can get in the way.
Dr Gonçalves grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She completed her PhD on mitochondrial metabolism of blood-sucking mosquitoes at joint program from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and NIH/NIAID, USA. During her postdoctoral training she focused on the mechanism of mitochondrial oxidant species production working with Dr. Martin Brand at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Now, Dr. Gonçalves is a Research Associate at the Sabri Ülker center working with Dr. Hotamışlıgil to understand the regulation of energy metabolism in metabolic diseases.
Dr. Karen Inouye grew up in a suburb of Montreal, Quebec and then moved to Oakville, Ontario during high school. She did her undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and then her PhD in Physiology at the University of Toronto, in the lab of Dr. Mladen Vranic, one of the last fellows in the lab of Dr. George Best, co-discoverer of insulin. She specializes in in vivo metabolic physiology studies, particularly the glucose clamp technique, which she learned in Dr. Vranic’s lab. In the Hotamışlıgil lab, she is studying the role of non-adipose sources of FABP4 in physiology.
Dr. Grace Lee received her PhD in Chemistry at State University of New York at Binghamton. She did her postdoctoral training in atherosclerosis pathophysiology with Dr. Ira Tabas at Columbia University, followed by a 5-year stint in drug discovery research targeting cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Dr. Lee joined the Hotamışlıgil lab in 2012. Her main interest is to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of metabolic diseases as well as facilitating the streamlining of validated targets into drug discovery pipeline. Currently she is involved in the development of blocking antibodies for circulating FABP4.
Ülker Center Fellow
Dr. Güneş Parlakgül was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He received his MD degree at Istanbul University in 2014 and joined the lab as the first Sabri Ülker Postdoctoral Research Fellow in January 2015. Dr. Parlakgül is working on the organelle dynamics and homeostasis in physiology and disease context such as obesity.
Dr. Prentice is a postdoctoral fellow who joined the Hotamışlıgil lab in 2015. Originally from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, she obtained both her hBSc and PhD at the University of Toronto. Kacey is interested in understanding the molecular basis for how circulating factors influence insulin secretion, and how these may contribute to beta cell dysfunction and the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She is currently working on defining how the circulating protein aP2 may influence these pathways.
Dr. Saksi is a postdoctoral fellow who joined the Hotamışlıgil lab in 2016. Originally from Tornio, Finland, he obtained both his MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Helsinki. The major focus of his research has been on the molecular mechanisms that contribute to symptom generation in human atherosclerosis, and specifically the role of aP2 protein in lipid metabolism and cardiometabolic diseases.
Dr. Tsaousidou comes from Thessaloniki, Greece, where she also obtained her degree in Biology/Genetics from Aristotle University. She then moved to Cologne, Germany, and under the supervision of Jens Brüning, director of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, she received her MSc and PhD with a scholarship from the International Graduate School in Development Health and Disease of the University of Cologne. She is currently working on metaflammation.
Dr. Gürol Tunçman is a Research Scientist in Hotamışlıgil Lab. He obtained his MD and PhD in Ankara University, Turkey, and joined the lab in 2001. He is interested in how metabolic state of a cell/tissue is translated to an immune response, and in this context is currently trying to understand the role of aP2 (Fatty Acid Binding Protein 4) in allergic and obesity related airway disease.
Paulina is from Los Angeles, CA. She recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where she received a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology and a minor in Nutritional Sciences. She plans to pursue a career in health care and, in her free time, enjoys painting and finding new coffee shops.
Mu Xian Chen
Mu was born in Guangdong, China and migrated to Boston at age 11. She graduated from Northeastern University in May 2020 with a Bachelor and a Master of Science in Bioengineering and a minor in Mathematics. She plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. In her free time, enjoys taking street photography, hiking, rock climbing, solving Sudoku and learning Japanese.
Nina Min has a a degree in Statistics from Williams College. During her time at Williams, Nina was a coxswain, traveled to Liberia, and studied abroad at the University of Oxford.
Skylar is from Rockland County, New York, and graduated from Boston University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering in May 2020. She plans to pursue a career that combines her interests in biomedical engineering and public health. She enjoys playing bass guitar, experimenting in the kitchen, and hiking.