Dietary Control of Stem Cells in Physiology and Disease


Event details

Date 19.12.2019 14:1515:15  
Speaker Professor Ömer H. Yilmaz, MD, PhD, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, United States
Category Conferences - Seminars
Organismal diet has a profound impact on tissue homeostasis and health in mammals. Adult stem cells are a keystone of tissue adaptation that alter tissue composition by balancing self-renewal and differentiation divisions. Because somatic stem cells may respond to organismal physiology to orchestrate tissue remodeling and some cancers are understood to arise from transformed stem cells, these findings raise the possibility that organismal diet, stem cell function, and cancer initiation are interconnected. Here I will present work from my group that describes our emerging view of how diet, metabolites and nutrient-sensing pathways instruct mammalian intestinal stem cell fate in homeostasis, adaptation to diet and diseases such as cancer.

Ömer Yilmaz is the Eisen and Chang Career Development Associate Professor of Biology at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and a gastrointestinal pathologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, where he performed his thesis work under the guidance of Professor Sean Morrison. He has also spent three years as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Professor David M. Sabatini, a member of the Whitehead and Koch Institutes. In 2014 he established his lab, which focuses on understanding how intestinal stem cells and their microenvironment adapt to diverse diets in the context of tissue regeneration, aging, and cancer initiation/progression. His achievements, to date, have been recognized with a Harold Weintraub Award (2007), a V Scholar Award (2015), a Pew-Stewart Trust Fellowship (2016), a Sidney Kimmel Fellowship (2016), a Sabri Ulker International Science Prize (2018), and AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Prize (2018). 

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • Dr. Omid Mashinchian, Prof. Matthias Lutolf