$24M gift to HSPH for new research center

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Murat Ülker, a leading entrepreneur in Istanbul, Turkey, has contributed $24 million on behalf of the Ülker family to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) to establish the Sabri Ülker Center for Nutrient, Genetic, and Metabolic Research. The gift will address what many scientists consider to be one of the greatest public health threats of the twenty-first century: chronic and complex diseases of a metabolic nature such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The incidence of these diseases has been increasing at an alarming rate in Turkey and around the globe while solutions have failed to emerge, having a devastating impact on health systems.

The gift is being made in honor of the late Sabri Ülker, who started what is now Yıldız Holding, a multinational corporation based in Turkey. The gift will support work being led by Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, M.D./Ph.D. , who is the J.S. Simmons Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the School of Public Health. The gift will establish the Sabri Ülker Center to integrate advanced molecular and mechanistic research exploring how the body regulates metabolism and processes and uses nutrients. This work is believed to be an important scientific frontier for slowing the worldwide epidemic of metabolic diseases.