Dr. Oktay Ismail Kaplan recently started to work as a Lecturer/Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine in Medeniyet University, Istanbul, Turkey and was previously a Helmholtz fellow at Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), Max Delbrück Center (MDC), Berlin, Germany and Kaplan traveled to Dublin to perform his PhD at University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland under the supervision of Dr. Oliver Blacque and received his Ph.D in Genetics from University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland in 2011. In 2012, he joined the Tursun Lab, Max Delbrück Center (MDC), Berlin, Germany to carry out his postdoctoral studies and was subsequently awarded both an EMBO LongTerm Fellowship and Helmholtz Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2012. His recent scientific activity focuses on the study of molecular mechanisms regulating direct cell reprogramming and cancer immunotherapy treatment. He has teamed up with Dr. Cihan Aydin, Cihan Tastan, Dr. Osman Doluca and Dr. Kaan Yilancioglu to knock out immune checkpoints like Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death 1 (PD-1) in primary T cells employing the recently emerged gene-editing tool known CRISPR/Cas9. He has taken a lead role to organize CRISPR/Cas9 workshops in 2015, 2016, and 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey (http://www.uskudar.edu.tr/crispr-cas9/).
Oktay KAPLAN CV
Cihan Tastan graduated as an undergraduate student of 'High Honor’ in ODTÜ Molecular Biology and Genetics Department in 2011. In the same year, he has earned a full scholarship to do Ph.D. in department of Microbiology-Immunology at New York Medical School. His Ph.D. thesis is on relations between the human immune cells and the species of bacteria naturally found in our bodies. In addition, during his studies, he started to work at The Jackson Laboratory-Genomic Medicine Institute with the title of Pre-Doctoral Associate. In addition to his Ph.D. thesis studies, he has also studied CRISPR genome editing technologies in human immune cells. Moreover, he submitted his additional paper as a shared first-author to PLoS ONE magazine about CRISPR genome modification techniques in human immune T cells for interrogation of immune system and therapeutic advances of the CRISPR techniques in immune cells against cancer and autoimmune deficiencies. As, he has sufficient knowledge and experience on CRISPR genome editing toolbox. "I have been working on genetically manipulating human immune T cells using CRISPR gene editing toolbox for interrogations of immune system and for developing potential therapeutic methods to be utilized against diseases such as cancer and autoimmune deficiency."
Cihan TAŞTAN CV
Assist. Prof. Cihan Aydin was born in 1984 in Bursa, Turkey where conducted his primary, middle and high school education. During high school, he participated in and won a Bronze Medal at the 9th National Chemistry Olympiads, which paved his way for a professional career in science. In 2002, he started his undergraduate education in the Department of Molecular Biology of Genetics at the Bogazici University, one of the top ranking universities in Turkey. In 2005, he enrolled in the Molecular Biology and Genetics/Chemistry Double-Major Program and graduated with honos in 2007. Following graduation, he was accepted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, MA) for doctorate program in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. Here, he conducted his thesis study under the mentorship of Prof. Celia A. Schiffer on elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind drug resistance in HIV-1 and HCV NS3/4A proteases, and also designing and testing novel small molecule protease inhibitors still active against HCV NS3/4A multi-drug resistant mutants. After successfully defending his thesis in August 2012, Dr. Aydin spent a brief post-doc period and returned back to Turkey at April 2013 for familial reasons. Here, he continued his post-doctoral studies Prof. Nesrin Ozoren (Bogazici University) and Prof. I. Halil Kavakli (Koc University) on various projects and improved his theoretical knowledge and technical competencies especially in cell and tissue culture techniques and started working on biological clock. He also pioneered the routine integration of several molecular techniques (lentiviral transduction, CRISPR, shRNA silencing, etc.) in the labs he worked. Finally, he initiated his independent academic career in the Istanbul Medeniyet University and currently holds a faculty position at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics since March 2016.
Cihan AYDIN CV
After completing his MSc and BSc at Molecular Biology and Genetics programmes in Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, Osman Doluca has commenced his PhD study at Massey University, New Zealand. After completion, he has worked in private sector, working on developing diagnostic kits, during which he also took part in organization of two seperate workshops focusing on bioinformatics and in vitro applications of CRISPR. Since September 2016 He has been working as Assist Prof at Izmir University of Economics.
Osman DOLUCA CV