News

 
  • Hunting for miRNA's for cancer therapy 

Two recent papers from Özgür Şahin Lab at MBG show that small RNAs, called microRNAs, can block tumor growth and metastasis by regulating several protein coding genes in breast cancer cells. The first paper reports that depending on the p53 status, miR-644a induces G1 arrest or apoptosis by targeting a transcriptional co-repressor protein CTBP1 leading to inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis (Raza et al, Oncotarget, 2016). The second paper shows that miR-564 blocks two major signaling pathways (PI3K and MAPK pathways) simultaneously by targeting a network proteins leading to blockage of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and proliferation in breast cancer cells (Mutlu et al, Scientific Reports, 2016).

  • Breakthrough in Atherosclerosis Research 

Fats are known for their bad health effects, but not all fats. Certain lipids that your body makes can be good for you. A new study that is published in Science Translational Medicine from the laboratory of Ebru Erbay at Bilkent University shows that a lipid with unusual physiological effects and made by our bodies can prevent atherosclerosis, when supplied long term via orally. More Information

  • Molecular Medicine and Immunology Seminars

Bilkent Genetics Society presents Molecular Medicine and Immunology Seminar to gain an insight on ongoing researches in Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of Bilkent University. Researchers of Bilkent MBG Department will be presenting their latest researches. As Bilkent Genetics Society, we think it is important for everyone to know about our professors' efforts to contribute to science. We believe that the seminar will improve our perspective and lead to new questions and ideas. So take a seat to learn what is going on behind the Science Faculty walls!The event will be held on 9-10 April 2016 in Bilkent University at Mithat Çoruh Amfi. More Information

  • IKKepsilon promotes an inflammatory tumor microenvironment

Dr. Göktuna’s recent paper describes the pro-survival kinase IKKepsilon as a key factor in promoting tumor elicited inflammation in intestinal tumorigenesis. The study published on Cancer Research shows that TLR and IL17R signaling pathways converge on IKKepsilon to create a pro-inflammatory loop in which both tumor cells and inflammatory cells interact in a mutual way to establish a microenvironment favoring tumor growth. More information

  • Purines: From primaeval seas to immune cell regulation

Dr. Cekic’s recent review article summarizes how the building blocks of life, purines, regulate the immune system and discusses how purinergic signaling can be targeted for the treatment of several immune-related conditions such as ischemia, transplant rejection, autoimmunity and cancer. More information

  • A New Gene-Based Diagnostic Kit for Breast Cancers

Faculty Members Dr. Özgür Şahin and Dr. Ali Güre, of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, will develop a new gene-based diagnostic kit that predicts treatment response of the most aggressive breast cancers.

With high mortality and incidence rates, breast cancer is one of the most important health problems worldwide including Turkey. In the year 2012, 1.7 million people were diagnosed with breast cancer. And again in the year of 2012, 521,000 people died of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancers and it is highly metastatic compared to other subtypes. Currently, in the clinics chemotherapy is the only treatment option for TNBC; however, most of the patients develop primary or acquired resistance. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop a gene-based prototype theranostic kit (PTK) that classifies subgroups of TNBC patients according to chemotherapy response, and to guide the clinicians with the most suitable chemotherapy options for these subgroups. This theranostic kit is based on the analysis of no more than 15 genes from fresh-frozen or paraffin embedded TNBC tumor tissues with fluorescent labeled beads. Thus, it will be possible to determine which patient groups will respond to which chemotherapeutic drug(s).

With this large scale project supported in the scope of SAN-TEZ program funded by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, it is aimed to enhance the university-industry collaboration and training of young scientists. The prototype diagnostic kit will be produced with a new technology by the partner company Onkogen. Members of Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine are also part of this research team.

  • Dr. Özçelik to attend Nobel Week 2015

Our faculty member, Dean of Faculty of Sciences, Prof. Dr. Tayfun Özçelik is invited to 2015 Nobel Week in Stockholm. Last month, Dr. Özçelik gave a special seminar at Turkish Academy of Sciences on the sentimental contributions of Dr. Sancar’s work to molecular biology field, which was awarded by a Nobel Prize in chemistry. More Information

  • Dr. Çağlar Çekiç received the prestigious EMBO installation grant

Our MBG faculty Dr. Çekiç received an installation grant to establish his laboratory at Bilkent University and conduct state-of-the-art research on immune cell regulation. After  Dr. Erbay and Dr. Şahin, Dr. Çekiç became the third EMBO installation grantee in our department.    More Information

  • Patrolling monocytes to prevent cancer metastasis

A research co-authored by Dr. Çağlar Çekiç identified a monocyte subset as guardians against lung metastasis. The study, published on Science, showed that patrolling monocytes closely interact with metastatic tumors and prevent their colonization in the lung. More Information

  • Discovery of a high-tech vaccine by Gursel group

Dr. Mayda Gursel and our faculty, Dr. Ihsan Gursel developed a novel nanoring structures of adjuvant/peptide conjugates strongly inducing immune responses and inhibiting tumour growth. This sentimental finding is authored only by local researchers from Bilkent University and Middle East Technical University was published in Science Translational Medicine. The study was also the cover subject! More Information