Image by National Cancer Institute



To my dearest Scientist,

The last time we talked, I wrote a letter to you and said goodbye.

But since, then, I am thinking.

How do I leave you behind?

and why do I need to leave you behind?

After leaving my career as a scientist, I thought I have to leave you behind, too.

Yet, I can't.  I love you so much. 

You deserve to be remembered and cherished. Not to be pushed around.

You make me unique. And I will carry you forward, with me.

I promise I will never try to leave you behind, again.

This page is dedicated to you, my scientist, and your hard work, for all those years.

I am grateful to have you by my side, as I become a social worker.

Let's do this together.

Meet with
The Scientist

BSc. Bioengineering

Ph.D. Cell biology

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Stockholm - 2009
Stockholm - 2009

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PhD - 1
PhD - 1

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Goodbye Cuervo Lab - 2020
Goodbye Cuervo Lab - 2020

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Stockholm - 2009
Stockholm - 2009

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You can read my scimom story here, how I decided to change my career from a scientist to a social worker after having my daughter 

Image by ThisisEngineering RAEng


BSc. Biology and Bioengineering 2010

Ph.D. Cell Biology


Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Image by Tamara Gak


Author of eight journal articles in scientific journals, including the first author on two research articles, five review articles, and one book chapter.

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  • researchgate


Cell Biology Researcher


Roche Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Advocacy Team Chair

Advisory Board Member

Committee Liaison

Community Service Volunteer

Teaching & Mentoring

Graduate Teaching Assistant




Vice President of Public Relations

Vice President of Education



Ph.D. Thesis

MicroRNA dependent control and regulation mechanisms of autophagy in health and disease

Pioneered discovery of novel microRNAs that regulate autophagy,

published several research and review articles that were cited ~500 times

Autophagy is a cellular survival pathway that can be activated via different stresses and dysregulation of autophagy might result in pathological states. Therefore, the discovery of novel pathways regulating autophagy is crucial. miRNAs as non-protein-coding RNAs control cellular levels of genes and an unbiased screen carried out in Gozuacik laboratory revealed novel microRNAs regulating autophagy. During my PhD thesis, regulation of stress-induced autophagy through MIR376 family members and MIR181A were shown to be via targeting crucial autophagy genes: ATG4C, BECN1 and ATG5, respectively. Analysis of these miRNAs in terms their of i) effect on autophagic activity, ii) target prediction, and iii) target validation through various in vitro tests in different cancer cell lines were carried out during my PhD. Besides, the role of MIR376B in tumorigenesis has been under investigation to enlighten the role of MIR376B in the early stages of cancer formation in vivo. Altogether, the outcomes of my thesis are:1)Introduction of novel autophagy regulating miRNAs 2) Functional characterization of these miRNAs in the control of autophagic responses of cells and 3) Study of the role of autophagy regulating miRNAs in tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, the discovery of miRNA-mediated regulation of autophagy which provides a dynamic mechanism under various stress conditions adds another layer of regulation for critical cell death and survival decisions in health and disease.


Modulation of Chaperone Mediated Autophagy in Parkinson's Disease Mouse Model


Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Genetic and chemical modulation of CMA in PD mice model as a therapeutic approach to improve age-related proteolysis decline (supported by Michael J.Fox Foundation and JPB Foundation)


Understanding physiological role of LRRK2 in lysosomal regulation


Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Investigating the lysosomal role of LRRK2 by performing lysosomal assays, immunofluorescence, lipidomics and proteomics analysis in a LRRK2 knockout mice model (in collaboration with a biotech company)


Understanding biology and trafficking of antisense oligonucleotides


Albert Einstein College of Medicine &


Effect of different autophagy pathways and modulation on locked nucleic acid trafficking and discovering a novel way to improve LNA efficiency in vitro (in collaboration with Roche)


microRNA dependent regulation of autophagy in health and disease


Sabanci University

Identify and characterize roles of miR-181a and miR-376 family in regulation of autophagy in cancer settings


Characterization of human natural killer cells with flow cytometry analysis


Karolinska Institute

Optimized novel protocols for immunophenotyping of human natural killer cells to analyze and predict possible natural killer cell mediated anti‐tumor responses

Image by National Cancer Institute

Chaperone-mediated autophagy and endosomal microautophagy: Jointed by a chaperone

Selected Review Article

A variety of mechanisms deliver cytosolic materials to the lysosomal compartment for degradation through autophagy. Here, we focus on two autophagic pathways, the chaperone-mediated autophagy and the endosomal microautophagy that rely on the cytosolic chaperone hsc70 for substrate targeting. Although hsc70 participates in the triage of proteins for degradation by different proteolytic systems, the common characteristic shared by these two forms of autophagy is that hsc70 binds directly to a specific five-amino acid motif in the cargo protein for its autophagic targeting. We summarize the current understanding of the molecular machinery behind each of these types of autophagy.

Keywords: autophagy, chaperone, lysosome, membrane protein, protein targeting, selective degradation

Selected Honors & Awards

Roche Postdoctoral Fellowship


Molecular Biology Association of Turkey

Ph.D. Tuition Waiver & BIDEB Scholarship


Sabanci University

Advanced Leadership &

Competent Communicator Awards

Toastmasters International

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
― Albert Einstein