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BE Seminar: “Probing Metabolism Across Scales” (Yihui Shen, Princeton University)

February 9, 2023 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Metabolism supports the biosynthetic and energetic demand of all living creatures. Over decades, we have accumulated knowledge of how individual enzymes work in vitro, but we don’t have a good sense about how they work together in vivo. Thus, fundamental to our understanding of metabolic operation is the ability to measure metabolic activity in vivo. In this talk I will first briefly introduce an optical imaging technique that allows visualization of metabolism at micron scale. And then I will show how we use multi omics to probe metabolism at a systems scale. By quantifying hundreds of molecular components, these systems-level measurements allow us to gain fundamental metabolic design principles. For example, an important metabolic decision is whether to generate energy through fermentation or respiration. Respiration is much more energy efficient. Nevertheless, many fast-growing cells, including the baker’s yeast, activated T cells, and tumor cells, switch to aerobic glycolysis (fermentation in the presence of oxygen). How do they achieve the metabolic switch? Why would they prefer wasteful metabolism?  I hope you will join the journey with me to explore the plasticity of metabolism.

Yihui Shen, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University

I grew up in Jiangsu Province in China, in a city near Shanghai. I got my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Peking University, Beijing. I then went to Columbia University for doctoral training with Dr. Wei Min in the Department of Chemistry. There I focused on developing metabolic imaging techniques with stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy. I then did my postdoctoral training with Dr. Joshua Rabinowitz in the Departments of Chemistry and Institute of Genomics at Princeton University. My current research aims to gain systems level understanding of metabolic regulation using integrative multi-omics.


February 9, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
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Raisler Lounge (Room 225), Towne Building
220 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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