Prof. Nesrin ÖZÖREN
Professor Nesrin Özören graduated from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Boğaziçi University in 1995 and conducted doctoral studies at University of Pennsylvania, USA between 1996 and 2002. Her doctoral work focused on the basic mechanisms of programmed cell death pathways, and their deregulation in different types of cancer.
Between 2002-2005, Dr. Nesrin Özören completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, USA. During these studies she worked on apoptosis regulation by BCL-2 family proteins and also on pathogen sensing via Nod Like Receptors (NLR)
Dr. Özören was appointed Assist. Prof. at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Boğaziçi University in 2005 and established the Apoptosis and Cancer Immunology Laboratory (AKiL) in 2007. Dr. Özören was promoted to Associate in 2008 and full Professor in 2015. She has pioneered the use of lentiviruses on human primary human melanocytes, keratinocytes and fibroblasts, with the purpose to change their genetic material. During their studies on the functions of NLR proteins, Dr. Özören’s group utilizes shRNAi technology to suppress different genes, in a transient or stable manner. Her current work on NLR proteins and immune tolerance mechanisms incorporates the novel induced pluripotent stem cells and CRISPER/CAS9 technologies. The AKiL group has established many cell death/survival assays using flow cytometry or other kinds of fluorimetric or colorimetric assays and has distributed this knowhow to guest students and researchers from the country. Dr. Özören has lead the establishment of xenograft protocols in nude and SCID mice, followed by in vivo imaging, which are essential for cancer research, while managing the animal facility-Vivarium. She has been the coordinator of the Vivarium and vice-director of the Center for Life Sciences and Technologies at Boğaziçi University between the years 2009-2015.
AKİL is the only laboratory in the country to focus on inflammasome (ASC speck) assembly mechanisms. Based on these studies a novel microsphere delivery method – via ASC specks- has been discovered. ASC specks can be loaded with different antigens and biomolecules and purified microspheres can be used for delivery to cells or animals. This discovery has been patented (TR 2012 04773 B ve PCT/IB2013/053079). Currently, a new project is underway to use this technology and develop novel flu vaccines.
Prof. Nesrin Özören had been awarded the Turkish Academy of Sciences Distinguished Young Scientist Award in 2006. She is also the first recipient of the EMBO Strategic Development and Integration Grant in 2006. In 2007 Oriflame Turkey selected Dr. Özören as the Most Successful Woman Scientist for 2006. Dr. Özören’s work has been supported via EMBO- SDIG, TÜBİTAK (Turkish Research and Technology Council)- Career (3501), TÜBİTAK -1001, TÜBİTAK 1003 Grants, and Boğaziçi University Research Funds (BAP). Dr. Özören has 15 research articles, 1 book section, 1 invited review, 2 short reviews in high profile journals including Nature, Nature Immunology, Cancer Research, Structure, Journal of Immunology, JBC and others. Her papers have received more than 2300 citations.
Prof. Özören is among the founding members of the Molecular Biology Association of Turkey and is the acting president since July 2014.