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Kadir Ozkan, Ph.D.

Image of Kadir Ozkan, Ph.D.

Bogazici University, Ph.D. (Molecular Biology and Genetics)

I joined the Macklis Lab in November 2010 as a visiting graduate student from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Working in close collaboration with Hari Padmanabhan, we developed an array of molecular, viral, and genetic toolset to engineer new upper motor neurons from resident progenitor cells; relevant for cellular repair of diseased neurons in ALS and spinal cord injury. During my time in the lab as a transitioning post-doc, I teamed up with Alex Poulopoulos and discovered the subcellular localization of mTOR complex and TOP-motif RNAs in axonal growth cones, as well as mTOR’s essential role in brain circuitry wiring. Currently, I am interested in the development, connectivity, and diversity of corticostriatal neurons, the major cortical efferent neurons connecting the cerebral cortex to the striatum of the basal ganglia; relevant for selective vulnerability, disease modeling, and diagnostic marker discovery for Huntington’s Disease.

Before joining the Macklis lab, I received my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, and master’s degree from Bogazici University in Istanbul.  During my master’s thesis, under the supervision of Prof. A. Nazli Basak, I studied angiogenesis-related genes playing a role in brain vascular development. After graduating from college, I worked in a clinical setting, teamed up with neurosurgery residents, and contributed to the research focused on understanding clinical risk factors and biological mechanisms for high rate recurrence of malignant brain tumors and vascular malformations.

Outside of the lab, I love spending time with my family, going camping, hiking, and biking. I also enjoy photography, volleyball, and watching football (not soccer!).

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