Director, Sabri Ülker Center for Nutrient, Genetic and Metabolic Research
Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Nutrition
Associate Member, Broad Institute Harvard/MIT, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
The Hotamışlıgil Lab at the Sabri Ülker Center studies innate adaptive pathways involved in metabolic health and diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For the past 25 years, our lab has made important contributions to the burgeoning field of “immunometabolism” or “metaflammation” studying the interactions between metabolic and immune responses as critical drivers of numerous chronic diseases. In the last decade, we have approached immunometabolism in these two paths: organelle homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Using biochemical, genetic, and physiological studies, we aim to find novel pathways and preventive, therapeutic solutions to today’s greatest threats to global human health.
Organelle Homeostasis in Metabolism
The endoplasmic reticulum is a cellular compartment committed to protein and lipid synthesis, maturation, and trafficking, as well as calcium homeostasis. Our laboratory is particularly interested in the mechanisms by which this organelle integrates nutrient-sensing with metabolic responses and endocrine networks. Under this umbrella, our focus comprises: a) Organelle interactions and functions in cellular homeostasis control b) Nutrient sensing through ER-resident proteins; c) Regulation of calcium homeostasis in the ER; d) Mechanisms regulating proteostasis.
Lipid Binding Partners, Hormones, and Lipokines
Lipid chaperones, called fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs), are critical molecules integrating lipid signals under metabolic stress conditions. FABPs bind to lipids and other endogenous molecules, determining their composition, partitioning, and function in cells. FABP4, also known as aP2, is an essential molecule that integrates adipocyte biology with systemic metabolic regulation. Our lab is interested specifically in the mechanisms by which FABP4 acts as a hormone, as well as how it is secreted.
Ph.D., 1994, Harvard University
M.D., 1986, Ankara University