Ali Ertürk is director of the Institute of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (iTERM) at Helmholtz Zentrum München (Germany). He is leading the NOMIS Human Heart Atlas project.
Ertürk studied molecular biology and genetics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and obtained his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Munich, Germany. After five years of postdoctoral work at Genentech, South San Francisco, US, he returned to Munich as a principal investigator at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 2014. In 2019, he was appointed director of a new institute, the Institute of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (iTERM), at Helmholtz Zentrum München.
His research aims to develop novel technologies based on tissue clearance and artificial intelligence (AI) to image and analyze intact rodent bodies, human organs, engineered tissues and organoids at cellular resolution. In contrast to the traditional histological methods relying on tissue sectioning and imaging of selected small regions, this new approach enables 3D imaging of the entire biological specimens at the cellular level at unprecedented speed and accuracy. Combined with molecular profiling, this hypothesis-free approach can substantially accelerate the understanding of complex and heterogenous biological systems.