Assistant Professor Pelin Telkoparan Akıllılar

I graduated from Hacettepe University, Biology Department in, 2006. Then I got my Ph.D. degree in Cell biology from University of Bilkent under supervision of Dr. Uygar Tazebay Laboratory in 2013. During second year of my PhD I won EMBO Short Term Scholarship and I worked as a Visitor Scientist at Utrecht Medical Center in Netherlands on Proteomics Analysis. I have started my Post-doctoral research at the end of 2013 to August 2015 on Unfolded Protein Response in Metabolic Diseases with Dr. Ebru Erbay . During this period I also worked as Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCSF in research laboratory of Prof. Dr. Peter Walter for 6 months.

I have been working in Yuksek Ihtisas University Faculty of Medicine as a Assistant Professor since September 2015.


I obtained my B.S. degree in Department of Biology from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey in 2003, and Master degree from the Department of Medical Genetics at Eskişehir Osmangazi University in 2007. I received my PhD degrees in Department of Biology from Middle East Technical University in 2012. Since 2013, I have been working as postdoctoral fellow in Erbay Lab group.

I have mainly focused on the impact of palmitolate (bioactive lipokines) on atherosclerosis. Palmitolate (PAO), a lipokine, can be generated from the adipose tissue trough de novo lipogenesis. Recent studies have shown that PAO can prevent lipotoxic ER stress in macrophage cells vitro. However, very little is known about PAO’s mechanism of action in vivo. My hypothesis is in this study that PAO treatment can prevent atherogenesis through the reduction of lipotoxic ER stress and inflammation in lesions.


I graduated from Biology Department of Tabriz University in 2004. I got my masters degree Biology Department of Ankara University in 2008. In the same year I started Ph.D at the Biology Department of Ankara University and I graduated in the 2014. I done my Post-doctoral research at the end of 2014 to March 2016 on The Role of Protein Kinase R in the Lipotoxicity with Dr. Ebru Erbay.

Şeyma Demirsoy,MSc.

Büşra Yağbasan ,MSc.

I graduated from Molecular Biology and Genetics Department in Bilkent University in 2011. During my senior year, I worked under supervision of Ebru Erbay, for my graduation project. My project was entitled as “Identifying ER-stress related substrates of PERK with chemical genetics”. After I graduated, I started my M.Sc studies in the same lab where I started to study the role of Protein Kinase R (PKR) in lipotoxicity. Since September 2013, I am PhD student in Molecular and Translational Biomedicine Program, in Dr. Markus Stoffel’s lab studying on low-expressed miRNAs’ heterogeneity and role in liver in diabetes and obesity.

Erdem Murat Terzi, MSc.

Seda Koyuncu, MSc.

I graduated from Middle East Technical University (METU) Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at 2012. During my bachelor studies, I was a member of International Genetically Engineered Machine (IGEM) team and I worked at Dr. Tulin Yanik’s laboratory as special project student. Moreover, in 2010, I did my internship at Institute of Molecular Biosciences at University of Graz, Austria. In 2012, I joined to Assist. Prof. Dr. Ebru Erbay’S lab at Bilkent University as a master student. I worked about the effect of a bioactive lipokine on free fatty acid induced inflammasome and the relation of unfolded protein response and inflammasome formation under lipotoxicity. My master thesis was ‘Prevention of Fatty Acid-Induced Inflammasome Activation by a Bioactive Lipokine’. Now, I am continuing my academic life as a PhD student at CECAD Cluster of Excellence: Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases, University of Cologne, Germany since 2014.

Mevlüt Çıtır

I received my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey in 2014. During my bachelor studies, I performed two research internships. In the summer of 2012 (2 months), I worked on translational regulation in mouse embryonic stem cells at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. In the summer of 2013 (4 months), at EMBL-Heidelberg, I worked on biosensor development on enzyme secretion and development of a chemical dimerizer strategy using a novel fluorogen activating protein. I performed my senior project in Ebru Erbay’s lab by working on proteomics analysis of the binding partners of modified Ire1 and Perk receptors upon unfolded protein response activation. In 2014 I was admitted to the EMBL International PhD Program in EMBL-Heidelberg, where I’m currently pursuing my PhD degree in the field of chemical cell biology.

Aybike Çağla Cömert

I have been an undergraduate research scientist in Ebru Erbay's group between January 2013-June 2015. Over a period of 2.5 years, I have actively worked with c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Even though I have joined to group as an undergraduate student, I was able to performing the experiments independently by myself, providing weekly reports and attending weekly personal data meetings. In the beginning of the project, I have introduced a mutation in ATP binding cavity and then started to perform kinase assay with specific ATPgS analogs in order to discover new substrates of JNK1. I have also written a project to TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) under supervision of Dr. Erbay. In this time period, I have had two summer internships in Molecular Medicine Research Center, Aarhus University under supervision of Assoc. Prof. Peter Bross. After my graduation in January 2016, I joined Prof. Helmut Kettenmann’s Lab in Max Delbrück Center, Germany as a guest scientist for three months. Later, I got accepted to Molecular Biology programe of Aarhus University, Denmark with Danish state scholarship and I will continue my studies in Denmark. Erbay Lab was a great opportunity for me and my future in science.

Selin Kenet, MSc.

I received my Bachelor's degree in molecular biology and genetics from Bilkent University, in 2013. During my senior year, I had a chance to work in Erbay Lab and main focus of my project was the generation of kinase switch mutants for the human protein kinase R (PKR). After my graduation, I moved to Germany to continue my Master's studies in molecular and cellular neuroscience, in University of Tübingen. I worked in Prof. Robert Feil's lab for my master thesis project and investigated the cGMP and calcium signaling during nervous system development. Currently, I am a PhD student in the lab of Prof. Thomas Misgeld in the Institute of Neuronal Cell Biology, TU München and working on in vivo imaging of the spinal cord for injury and disease models.

Nesli Ece Şen

I received my B.Sc. degree on Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bilkent University in 2012. During my Bachelor’s, I did a summer internship in 2011 at the Pathology Department of New York University Langone Medical Center, working on T-cell activation and immunodeficiency in Feske lab. Then, I joined Erbay Lab as a Senior Project student, where I worked on the generation of an RNase-dead mutant hIRE plasmid construct, and its validation in cell culture. Later, I received my Master’s degree on Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2015 from the Neurodegeneration Research Laboratory (NDAL) at Bogazici University.  There, I studied ATXN2 mutations in two neurological diseases: Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2 (SCA2) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and investigated blood biomarkers for disease prognostics in collaboration with Prof. Georg Auburger’s lab at the Experimental Neurology Department of Goethe University Medical School, Frankfurt. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in the International Max Planck Research School for Neural Circuits program at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt. Over the next years, I will be working on the functional characterization of ATXN2 protein, also delineating the selective vulnerability of certain neuronal types to ATXN2 mutations for the identification of potential therapeutic targets eventually.


I received my B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Bilkent University in 2012. I contributed to a project on unfolded protein response (UPR) element, hIRE1, and its mutations in Erbay Lab as a senior undergraduate student. In 2015, I got my M.Sc. degree in Tumor Biology and Immunology at Hacettepe University Cancer Institute. I recently started my Ph.D. studies on molecular targets in cancer immunotherapy in Tolga Sütlü's lab at Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center (SUNUM).