Seminar in Medicine , 25.12.2017 , Dr. Murat Acar

Author: KUSOM
Time: 11:00
Location: RF/ SOS B08





Monday, December 25
th, 2017


Speaker           : Dr. Murat Acar / Yale University,Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology  

 Title                :Quantitative real-time characterization of single-cell aging: from phenotypes to lifespan.

Time               : 11:00 (Refresment will served at 10:45)
Place              : RF / SOS B08




Quantitative real-time characterization of single-cell aging: from phenotypes to lifespan.

Cellular aging is the dynamic process of accumulating genetic and molecular changes in cells. Age-associated damage to cellular structures results in the deterioration of physiological functions, leading to cell death. A variety of diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease are linked to cellular aging; yet, our understanding into the mechanisms of cellular aging and how these mechanisms are coupled to the initiation of various disease states is very limited. This situation has been contributed by the fact that cellular aging is a complex phenotype to track, requiring the development of new experimental approaches and technological platforms. Using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an experimental model, we are aiming at understanding and controlling aging and replicative lifespan at the single-cell level. For these aims, we have invented novel technologies in our laboratory, including a custom-designed microfluidic platform to time-dynamically image aging yeast cells until the end of their lifespans and a high-throughput screening platform to discover lifespan-extending compounds. To gather deep mechanistic insights from our data, we also apply quantitative modeling approaches in our research efforts. Our immediate and long-term research goals are to: (i) uncover deterministic and stochastic factors affecting replicative lifespan and survival distributions, (ii) elucidate how gene expression levels and genetic noise are altered by the aging process, (iii) identify the components of the master regulatory network governing aging, (iv) characterize the connectivity among the network components including feedbacks, (v) discover chemical compounds that are able to modulate basic aging process and extend lifespan. Results from these research activities will help broaden the limited understanding on the identity of and interactions among the aging factors controlling the single-cell aging process and lifespan. The results will also help us reprogram young cells for a long and healthy lifespan, and rejuvenate old cells by effectively resetting their aging clock.

Trained as a physicist (PhD, Physics, M.I.T.; B.S., Physics, Bogazici University), Dr. Murat Acar is a systems biologist combining experimental and computational approaches in his research. Being a member of the Yale Systems Biology Institute, Dr. Acar is an Associate Professor at the Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. He also holds an appointment in the Physics Department. Dr. Acar started his tenure-track faculty position at Yale as an Assistant Professor in 2012 after a postdoctoral position at CalTech. His PhD and postdoctoral studies focused on understanding structure-function relationships in gene networks while his current research efforts are focusing on understanding aging at the single-cell level.