Sabrİ Ülker Center

HotamiŞlıgil Lab


Gökhan Hotamışlıgil




Principal Investigator

James S. Simmons Professor, Department of Molecular Metabolism

Director of the Sabri Ülker Center for Metabolic Research

Associate Member of Harvard-MIT Broad Institute, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Joslin Diabetes Center


Hatoon Baazim

Postdoctoral Fellow


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.


Research Associate


Dr. M. Furkan Burak is a clinical fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Division of Endocrinology, and a research associate 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 the development of new therapeutic strategies for 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.

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Visiting Scientist


Ozgur has a Ph.D. in protein crystallography from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, PAS and a Master's degree in Biochemistry from Middle East Technical University. He originally joined the Sabri Ülker Center as a post-doctoral fellow and visiting scientist from 2015 to 2019 and has recently returned as a visiting scientist as part of the Hotamışlıgil lab’s FABP4 team focusing on structural biology. 


Zhe Cao

Postdoctoral Fellow


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.


Shijun Deng

Postdoctoral Fellow


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.


Research Associate


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. 


Visiting Scientist


Dr. Isabel Graupera is from Barcelona, Catalonia. She received her M.D. degree at UAB University and completed her hepatologist residency at Hospital Sant Pau. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona, where she focused on inflammatory biomarkers and chronic liver diseases. In obtaining a faculty position at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona as a senior hepatologist, Graupera's research focuses on the influence of adipose tissue inflammation in metabolic associated fatty liver disease. Since joining the Hotamisligil lab in 2021, she has been working on the interplay between cellular metabolism and inflammation in the context of metabolic liver disease, more specifically in the role of NrF1 in metabolic fatty liver disease.


Research Scientist


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.


Research Associate


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.


Research Associate


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.


Research Associate


Dr. Prentice is a research associate 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.


Research Associate


Dr. Saksi is a research associate 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. 


Paulina Cedillo

Research Assistant


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.


Nina Min

Research Assistant


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.


Nitsan Garfinkel

Laboratory Manager   ngarfinkel@hsph.harvard.edu


Kayla Gotangco

Executive Assistant



David Hastings

Senior Advisor



Research Scientist


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.


Research Associate


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.