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Semir Beyaz

Semir Beyaz

CSHL Fellow
Donaldson Translational Fellow

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2017

beyaz@cshl.edu | (516) 367-4128

Are you really what you eat? Our goal is to uncover the precise mechanisms that link nutrition to organismal health and disease states at the cellular and molecular level. A particular focus in our lab is to understand how dietary perturbations affect the immune system and contribute to the risk of diseases that are associated with immune dysfunction such as cancer.

Cells respond and adapt to the signals that they receive from their environment. Environmental factors such as nutrients affect cellular states by altering cell state-specific gene expression or metabolic programs. My research group investigates the causal cellular and molecular mechanisms that link nutrition to organismal health and disease. For example, diets that lead to obesity, such as high fat diets are significant environmental risk factors that influence cancer incidence and progression in several tissues. Although the interactions between tumor cells and the immune system play a significant role in tumorigenesis, little is known about how dietary perturbations impact immunity against cancer. Our studies interrogate the functional consequences of diets on immune recognition and response pathways that play critical role in cancer immunity. By identifying the altered gene expression and metabolic programs in the immune system in response to dietary perturbations, our goal is to uncover mechanistic links that can be therapeutically exploited for the treatment of diseases associated with immune dysfunction such as cancer.

The Janeway Award, New England Immunology Conference
Trainee Award, American Association of Immunologists
Outstanding Poster Award, International Society for Stem Cell Research
Zhongmei Chen Yong Travel Award for Scientific Excellence, International Society for Stem Cell Research
Merit Award, International Society for Stem Cell Research
Thermo-Fisher Trainee Achievement Award, American Association of Immunologists

Study: High-Fat Diets May Raise Cancer Risk
High-fat diets increase risk of tumors forming in the gut, say scientists
How A High-Fat Diet Can Increase Cancer Risk

Building publication list.