Tolga Sutlu, Ph.D., Group Leader

Tolga received a B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering from Sabancı University in 2004. He worked as a Molecular Biologist in Acibadem Genetic Diagnosis and Cell Therapy Center Istanbul for a year before moving to Sweden to attend Stockholm Research School in Molecular Life Sciences in 2005. He received his Ph.D. in Medical Sciences from Karolinska Institutet in 2012. After a further 1.5 years of postdoctoral research at the Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine of Karolinska Institutet, he joined Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center in February 2014. He joined Boğaziçi University Molecular Biology and Genetics department as a Asst. Prof. in September 2019.

He is a founding partner of Vycellix, Inc. and serves as a board member for the Turkish Society of Immunology and the Molecular Biology Association of Turkey.

Mertkaya Aras, M.Sc., Ph.D. Student

Mertkaya graduated from Ege University with a B.Sc. degree in Bioengineering in 2010. He received his M.Sc. degree in Medical Biology at Ege University in 2013 focusing on complementary medicine in cancer treatment. His thesis investigated the therapeutic effects of a candidate extract called Fucoidan on androgen sensitive and insensitive prostate cancer cells. He started his Ph. D. studies in our lab in February 2016 and mainly focuses on biosimilar drug development and genetically modified NK cells.


Cevriye Pamukçu, M.Sc., Ph.D. student

Cevriye graduated from Istanbul University with a B.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2009. She received her M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology at Yeditepe University in 2011. Her thesis was about the relationship between stem cells and cancer cells. She demonstrated that human tooth germ stem cells (hTGSCs) play a role in the growth of tumor cells by decreasing the effect of anti-cancer drugs but genetically modified hTGSCs expressing TRAIL and DKK-1 (apoptotic factors) might be a potential gene and cell therapy approach to treat certain types of cancer. She started her Ph.D. in our lab in February 2016 and currently focuses on biosimilar drug development and cancer immunotherapy.

Pegah Zahedimaram, M.Sc., Ph.D. student

Pegah received her B.Sc. in Pure Chemistry from Shahid Beheshti University (Iran) in 2012. She got her M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the same University in 2014 working on liquid -phase microextraction methods and separation techniqes including HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromotography) and GC (Gas Chromotography). She also worked as a research assistant in Chemistry Research Center at Shahid Beheshti University in 2014. She has joined our lab in February 2016 and currently works towards her Ph.D. degree. Her research interests include antibody purification methods and biosimilar drug development.


Elif Çelik, M.Sc. Ph.D. Student

Elif graduated from İzmir Karşıyaka Anatolian High School in 2013 and received her B.Sc. degree in Bioengineering from Ege University in 2017. She had internship experiences at Dokuz Eylül Oncology Institute and at Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research Center (SUNUM) with us. During her undergraduate studies, she worked at Ege University Department of Bioengineering BioTherapeutics and BioDiagnostics Lab.,  she has led a project on “Formation of in vitro Skin Melanoma Model with 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional Co-culture and Anti-Cancer Efficacy of β-Carotene Tested in This Model” supported with a TÜBİTAK 2209-B Industry Oriented Undergraduate Research Project Grant. She joined our lab in 2017 for her M.Sc. degree, which she received in July 2019 and continues her Ph.D. studies with us. Elif currently focuses on chimeric antigen receptors designs for retargeting of NK Cells againts tumor antigens.

Ebru Zeynep Ergün, B.Sc. M.Sc. Student

Zeynep received her B.Sc. degree in Genetics and Bioengineering department from Yeditepe University and graduated in 2019 with honors. She had done her internship at Kocaeli University Stem Cell and Gene Therapies Research and Application Center (KÖGEM). In her B.Sc. thesis she focused on “Potential of PSMA recognizing peptides to target prostate cancer cell lines”. She has started her M.Sc. studies in our lab in January 2020. She is currently working on COVID-19 vaccine project supported by TUBITAK 1004 grant.


Zeynep Sena Karahan, B.Sc. M.Sc. Student

Zeynep graduated from Yeditepe University with a B.Sc. degree in Genetics and Bioengineering in 2019. She had done her internship at Exeter University in the evolutionary biology field and contributed a study about the biology of inequality, working with D.melanogaster. Her thesis was about the role of a polymorphism in prostate cancer. She joined our lab in 2020 January for her M.Sc. degree and currently working on COVID-19 vaccine project supported by TUBITAK 1004 grant.

Hasan Güneş Diridiri, B.Sc. M.Sc. Student

Hasan graduated from FMV Işık private school in 2015, then he commenced his undergraduate education in Bahçeşehir University, Molecular Biology & Genetics. During his undergraduate years, he completed a Internship program (2018) about  'ACE gene polymorphisms and It's relationship with Obesity' in (DESAM), Near East University/Northern Cyprus under the supervision of Mahmut Çerkez Ergören (Ph.D). In his last year of undergraduate school, he participated in a graduation project; 'Checking ERG Gene Expression in H358 Lung Cancer Cell Line’ by Dr. Gülay BULUT (Ph.D). Hasan received his B.Sc. degree in 2019. After his graduation, he was accepted to Boğaziçi University, Molecular Biology & Genetics Department's M.Sc. program. Currently, he pursues his graduate studies with us.


Gözde Özcan, M.Sc., Lab Manager

Gözde graduated from İstanbul University, Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2018 with honors. Her B.Sc.  thesis was about "Investigation of DIRAS1 Gene Polymorphism in Patients with Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy".  She received her M.Sc. degree from Yeditepe University, Molecular Medicine in September 2020. In her thesis, she investigated "Genetic Variation in the EGFR Gene and the Relation with Glioma in Turkish Population". She has joined as our Lab manager  in September 2020.



Didem Özkazanç Ünsal

Received her Ph.D. degree at #sutlulab in September 2020



Ece Canan Sayitoglu, Ph.D.

Received her Ph.D. degree at #sutlulab in Jan. 2017

(Sep. 2019) Works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Standford Unıversity, CA, US.


Alp Ertunga Eyüpoğlu

Received his M.Sc. Degree at #sutlulab in 2019

(Dec. 2019) Works as a Quality Control Junior Specialist at Turgut Pharmaceuticals.


Aydan Saraç Derdiyok

Received his M.Sc. Degree at #sutlulab in 2017.

(Dec. 2019) Works as a Support Scientist - NGS Expert at 10x Genomics


Ayhan Parlar

Received his M.Sc. Degree at #sutlulab in January 2017

Ph.D. Student at Sabanci University


Lolai Ikromzoda

Ph.D. student at #sutlulab in 2016-2020

(Feb.2020) Works as a Quality Control Analyst at MESO SCALE DIAGNOSTICS, LLC.


Başak Özata

Postdoctoral Researcher at #sutlulab in 2016-2019

(June 2020) Works as a Chief of Cell Bank and Bioanalytical Method Development at ATABAY Biotechnology


Esen Dogan, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Researcher at #sutlulab (2015-2016)

(Sep. 2019) Works as a Downstream Process Manager at Shanghai Jinwei Biotechnology Co., Lt


Gizem Hazal Senturk

Undergraduate Student at #sutlulab in 2014-2015

(May.2019) Works as a Jr. Product Manager at Gen Era Diagnostics