Yıldız Holding Chairman of the Board Ali Ülker: An Independent YÖK Scientific Institute Should Be Established

Ali Ülker, one of the second generation representatives of the Ülker family, held his first science-oriented press conference after becoming chairman of Yıldız Holding. Besides Ülker, director of the Harvard Sabri Ülker Center, Prof. Dr. Gökhan Hotamışlıgil was also present.

Hotamışlıgil and his team of 25 scientists made four significant discoveries in 2021, attracting worldwide attention. The most important of these was the discovery of the hormone FABKIN, which turned out to be the main cause of diabetes. In their speeches, Ali Ülker and Gökhan Hotamışlıgil drew attention to the fact that scientific production can only succeed if it takes place in a free environment. They attributed the success of producing at the Harvard Sabri Ülker Center and the success of being cited in international publications to this free environment.

“My first meeting with the press”

Ali Ülker started his speech by saying that they gathered together with Gökhan Hotamışlıgil and the leadership of the Sabri Ülker Foundation for a celebration. “This is my first meeting with the press after taking office. It’s a party. We are happy that Gökhan Hoca has come here and that his work with his team has yielded good results.

Emphasizing that the Ülker family’s faith in science has endured since Sabri Ülker, he continued: “The impact of science on society is absolute. Sabri Bey noticed it first. He made the difference by bringing in experts from abroad and from within. Later, during the reign of Murat Bey, the Sabri Ülker Center was established in the heart of Harvard. Here we go deep into the science with a certain flow of funds.

This journey will continue

Claiming to have started with a 10-year contract with Harvard in 2014 to support science, Ali Ülker also stressed that they intended to continue on this path. As work at the Harvard Sabri Ülker Center continues with the contract extension, Ali Ülker’s plans include starting the same trip to Turkey. Their goals are clear: “The Harvard team has been very successful, but there are also scientifically successful and registered studies in Turkey. It is important that these continue in a more methodological way. Science is a profession that requires patience. Sometimes results are obtained, sometimes not. Therefore, there should be no pressure on scientists. Our next mission is to establish an infrastructure similar to that abroad in Turkey. We want to establish a scientific institute here. Our goal is both to open a working space for scientists in Turkey and to bring our scientific values ​​abroad. An autonomous institute structure will facilitate the execution of certain decisions. We want to show the world the talent of Turkish scientists. Science develops more easily in free environments.

It is Ali Ülker’s dream to create a scientific institute free from commercial concerns. However, it is not possible as the Sabri Ülker Foundation to act, as there is currently no legislation on this in Turkey. Ali Ulker is determined. And that; “I’m sure if we establish this, many organizations will support it. From now on, we will try to set up this infrastructure. We think it is important to create an independent institute from YÖK”.

Business leaders have fallen asleep at the wheel!

Conducting his work with 25 people, including three Turks, at the Harvard Sabri Ülker Center, Prof. Dr. 2021 has been a very productive year for Gökhan Hotamışlıgil. “Our greatest chance was to work within the centre. During the pandemic, there were problems in many funds. We did not find any consumables. To weather this storm; This was possible due to the insurance and protection environment provided by the center,” Hotamışlıgil said and pointed out that the traditional university structure is the biggest crack in science in a universal sense. Hotamışlıgil said: “Traditional universities are not enough to meet the main needs of science; The system is cracking, both in terms of education and research. MIT, Stanford, whoever. The administrative staff is bloated. Business executives have fallen asleep at the wheel. Young scientists don’t want to waste time with taxes and costs. New structures have emerged in the pandemic. Alternative research centers to the state and academia have emerged. No exit waiting. Alternative structures like this need to multiply,” he said.

Getting rid of diabetes completely isn’t a billion dollar deal

The discovery of the hormone FABKIN, which plays an important role in curing diabetes, was one of the important scientific events of 2021. prof. Dr. The project, which Gökhan Hotamışlıgil and his team have been working on for 20 years, has made a strong impression around the world. Hotamışlıgil said that if the FABKIN hormone is blocked, the factors responsible for diabetes can also be eliminated, and said, “We have taken all necessary measures for the drug in connection with the discovery of this hormone. Now we need time and budget. It is not a large sum of money. In other words, billions of dollars are not needed for diabetes to end completely.

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