Stichting Honours Biomedische Wetenschappen Utrecht

Stichting Honours Biomedische Wetenschappen Utrecht


Symposium Metabolism

The role of metabolism in both health and disease

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Have you ever thought how metabolism is important in health and a characteristic of almost every disease? To shed more light on the interesting and complex topic of metabolism, the activity committe has organised an online symposium! During the evening three speakers of totally different fields, cancer, immunology, epigenetics in obesity/diabetes, will speak. Despite working in totally different fields, all three have metabolism involved in their research questions.

The symposium will be on the evening of the 31th of March and starts at 5:15 pm (CEST). The symposium will be held online using Zoom. After registration, you will receive the information needed to join the symposium.

The program for the evening is as follows:

5:15 pmBeginning of the symposium and welcoming by Activity committee
5:30 pmFirst speaker: dr. Lewin Small: Environment and metabolic disease
6:15 pmSecond speaker: dr. Juan Garaycoechea: The influence of metabolites on DNA damage and repair
7:00 pmBreak
7:10 pmThird speaker: dr. Zsolt Sebestyén: Immune cells that recognize altered metabolism in tumour cells
7:55 pmEnd of the symposium by the activity committee

Registrations closed! If you have questions about the symposium you can email them to activiteiten[at] Please check your spam folder for our email including the details to join our symposium.

Meet our speakers

Lewin Barkla Small

Lewin Barkla Small is a postdoctoral researcher currently working in the lab of Romain Barrès at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The overarching research objective of his group is to understand how diet and physical exercise influence long term metabolic health, both in present and future generations. In particular, his group is interested in identifying the mechanisms by which lifestyle and environmental factors can influence sperm cells and how these processes could alter the long-term function of metabolic tissues and organs.

Juan Garaycoechea

Juan Garaycoechea is a group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, where he studies the consequences of metabolism on DNA damage and genome stability. Endogenous DNA damage blocks transcription but this is counteracted by transcription-coupled repair (TCR). The human disease Cockayne syndrome (CS), in which TCR is defective, highlights the importance of resolving this transcriptional stress. However, the nature of endogenous of DNA damage and how this leads to striking degenerative features of this disease remain unknown. Juan will show how endogenous formaldehyde, a reactive by-product of metabolism, impedes transcription with dramatic physiological consequences in mice.

Zsolt Sebestyén

Zsolt Sebestyèn is a staff member of Section Applied within the Center for Translational Immunology (CTI) at the UMC. Currently, his group is focussing on altered metabolism in tumor cells, and how immunotherapy could target this altered metabolism as a potential treatment for cancer. Besides intracellular changes in metabolism, tumorcells also express signs of altered metabolism on their cell-surface. T-cells could potentially be trained in laboratories to recognize the changes and therefore specifically target tumorcells. To translate this research and knowledge to clinical applications, Zsolt is involved in the spin-off Gadeta.

© Stichting Honours Biomedische Wetenschappen Utrecht 2020