Molecular and Cellular Biology

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Mammals, including humans, are equipped with various defense mechanisms both at the organismal and cellular levels. Cellular defenses rely on signal transduction mechanisms and organismal responses depend on immune defense. Cells defend themselves against stressful conditions by activating various intracellular molecular responses. Basaga, Erman and Gozuacik Labs focus on various aspects of these cellular and organismal stress and death responses in health and disease.

Basaga lab focuses on characterization of the biological effects of drug loaded nanoparticles in several cell lines. In one of our projects, we are trying to increase antioxidant defence capacity of cells by using nanosystem.

More recently, we are seeking to design and implement a nanoparticle-porphyrin based theranostic agent to be used in targeted photodynamic therapy.

Another line of research is towards understanding the functioning and regulation of gene expression which is a fundamental question in current thinking in biology, simply because such mechanisms can offer answers to cellular differentiation in molecular terms. A balance between signals that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation and programmed cell death controls normal development of multicellular organisms.

Oxidative stress can cause deregulate any of these cellular processes and can lead to a variety of human diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis. Therefore signal transduction pathways from membrane to nucleus regulate gene expression patterns and determine the fate of a cell.

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Erman Lab is specialized in the development and regulation of acquired immune responses. The Lab investigates signal transduction in the mammalian immune system and the molecular mechanisms of cancer. The lab focuses on tissue specific transcription of cytokine receptor genes, molecular interactions that control the p53 protein and uses advanced genome editing technologies.

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Gozuacik lab is a “molecular and nano medicine laboratory”. The lab focuses on cellular stress and death responses and their contribution to disease mechanisms. In particular, the research areas include, autophagy regulation in mammals, autophagy-cell death connection, role of autophagy abnormalities in human diseases (especially cancer and neurodegenerative diseases: e.g. Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease), nano technology-based innovative drug research (drug discovery and nano drug carriers), and biomedical research (lab-on-a-chip systems for cancer analysis and discovery of novel and patented medical devices).

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