Lab Members

Ozgur Sahin (PI, Professor)

Ozgur Sahin is a Professor and SmartState Endowed Chair in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Hollings Cancer Center at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, SC. He earned his Ph.D. degree (summa cum laude) in cancer systems biology/cell biology at German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Heidelberg in 2008. Previously, he held positions as a research team leader in the Division of Molecular Genome Analysis at DKFZ, as a research faculty in the Department of Molecular & Cellular Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), as an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics at Bilkent University and as an associate professor in the Department of Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences at University of South Carolina (UofSC). Dr. Sahin published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in the field of cancer research in high impact international journals (e.g. PNAS, Cancer Cell, Nature Communications, Cell Research, Molecular Systems Biology, Clinical Cancer Research and Oncogene, etc.) and filed multiple patent applications. To date, he has received multiple funding (as PI) for his research from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), European Union FP7 Program, TUBITAK, American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Sahin has received many awards, including Presidential Coin for Research Excellence from the President of UofSC and TUSEB Aziz Sancar (Nobel Laureate) Science Incentive Award from the Health Institutes of Turkey.

See more at NCBI or Google Scholar or Researchgate.

Metin Cetin (Postdoctoral fellow)

I graduated from the Department of Biology at Istanbul University in 2009. I obtain my Master’s degree in 2013 and PhD degree in 2019 from the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at Gebze Technical University. My PhD project was to develop ROR1 monoclonal antibodies and to determine the functions of ROR1 in hepatocellular carcinoma. I have gained hands-on experience in generation of monoclonal antibodies with hybridoma technology, CrispR/Cas9, ChIP-seq, molecular cloning, generating stable cell lines with lentiviral based shRNA/ORF, exosomes and BioID during post-graduate studies. In addition, I have intensive experience in cell sorting by flow cytometry and imaging in confocal microscopy. I have a long-lasting interest in the mechanisms of drug resistance and metastasis. Since August 2021, I have been working on understanding of the mechanisms of drug resistance in the context of tumor microenvironment and drug development for better cancer treatment as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sahin Lab.

Mustafa Emre Gedik (Postdoctoral fellow)

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Sahin Lab in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). I have a PhD degree in Tumor Biology and Immunology from Hacettepe University Cancer Institute Department of Basic Oncology. I also earned Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System (ORPHEUS) Label based on my PhD performance. My research interests include signaling pathways in cancer, targeted therapies against cancer, tumor immunology and microenvironment. Since June 2022, I have been working on inhibition of metastasis in highly aggressive breast cancer and elucidating the contribution of immune system to targeted therapy resistance in breast cancer.

Ozge Saatci (Graduate student)

I am a senior PhD student working on mechanisms of drug resistance and metastasis in cancer. I graduated from the Department of Chemical Engineering at METU in 2013 (ranked 3rd in university), and earned my MSc degree in cancer cell biology and drug resistance at Bilkent University in 2016. I have extensive training in basic and advanced molecular, cellular and translational cancer research, involving the generation and use of various in vitro cell systems, as well as the use of state-of-the-art mouse models of breast cancer. My PhD studies focus on elucidating the role of key proteins in resistance to chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy in different subtypes of breast cancer.

Rashedul Alam (Research assistant)

I am a Research Assistant at Sahin Lab at MUSC. I obtained my Master’s degree as a top 2 ℅ student from Department of Pharmacology in Jeonbuk National University of Medical School (South Korea) where I studied the role of autophagy in cancer drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma. I have a long-lasting interest in cancer biology, specifically in heterogenicity of cancer cells and drug resistance, and I am motivated personally as my brother died of cancer at young age. In future, I would like to help cancer patients by developing new treatments centered around modulation of autophagy via long noncoding RNAs.

Muhammed Furkan Bayram (Graduate Student)

I graduated as the top student in my class with high honor degree from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Inonu University in 2021. During my undergraduate education, I have also improved myself in programming. With the help of the programming skills, I analyzed over three thousand SARS-CoV-2 genomes to determine the mutation rate of the specific positions in the genome in one of my projects. As a final project, my colleague and I designed a multi-epitope peptide-based vaccine candidate against Burkholderia pseudomallei using immunoinformatics approaches. I received higher education scholarship from the Turkish Educational Foundation in the last two years of my undergraduate education. I had a chance to work at The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) as an intern after graduation from Inonu University. Now, I am a graduate student in Dr. Sahin’s Lab working on the roles of tumor microenvironment in treatment-refractory cancers and developing novel therapeutics approaches to overcome resistance since January 2022.

Ozlem Sener Sahin (Lab manager)

I obtained my bachelor degree in Biology from the Department of Biology at Erciyes University and completed my MSc degree in Teaching Biology at Baskent University. Later on, I started my “Diplomarbeit” at the Department of Biology at University of Heidelberg; however, I had to quit my study due to maternity leave. During my education, I actively participated in biological research, especially in cancer research. I worked as a part-time research assistant at German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) where I mainly focused on functional genomics studies in the identification of novel oncogenes. Then, I worked at Bilkent University and the University of South Carolina as a research lab manager/technician before joining MUSC. I have been actively participated in breast cancer research to identify novel drug targets overcoming resistance to standard chemo- or targeted therapy agents. I have extensive experience in breeding genetically engineered mice, genotyping, xenograft generation, oral, IP and IV injections for drug treatments as well as mice surgery. In addition to bench work, I have long-term experience in ordering lab material, arranging shipments, organizing laboratory and generating and updating animal and biosafety protocols.

Ihsan Alp Uzay (Visiting Student)

I am an MD/PhD Student at Hacettepe University in Ankara/Turkey, and I am currently working as a
visiting student at Ozgur Sahin Lab in MUSC. I have completed my high school education in Kayseri
Science Highschool in 2018 and I was ranked 11th out of 2 million students in the university entrance
examinations. I recently finished the 4th year of medical school and 2nd year of my PhD training at
Hacettepe University. I am mainly interested in cancer immunology, adoptive T-cell therapies,
identification and targeting of pathways involved in metastasis. I am planning to pursue my PhD in
the field of cancer biology and become a medical oncologist after completing my medical training.