My undergraduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering where I studied for science and engineering courses and later specialized in computational fluid and solid mechanics. Subsequently I moved to the US where I completed Master of Science at MIT under the invaluable supervision of department head of mechanical engineering; Prof. Mary C. Boyce who is currently the Dean of SEAS at Columbia University. Mechanics and materials had intrigued me since undergraduate level so I started with a project designing light weight-high strength vests where I collaborated with experimentalists who built the materials I designed. This challenging material design project led to a discovery that triggered my interest in biology. I discovered that red blood cell membrane which permits blood circulation as a result of its elasticity has a very similar nanostructure to the material that I was designing. Eventually I published this discovery where I computationally modeled red blood cells.


After my Master’s, I obtained a grant from the French government to continue working on computational science in collaboration with MIT. I received my Ph.D. from Ecole des Mines de Paris where my thesis advisor was Prof. Mary C. Boyce and my committee was comprised of members from MIT and les grandes ecoles. As a result of the funding I had received, I wrote my own Ph.D. proposal and worked on the computational modeling of the protein; microtubules in our bodies that aid cell division. Microtubules also have a hierarchical structure like red blood cells, which enables bottom-up modeling techniques. An additional motivation behind this project was to understand and be able to suggest which factors can inhibit uncontrollable cell division in the hope of shedding light on topics such as the spread of cancer cells.


Having developed this interest for computational biology-material modeling, I wanted to explore computation at an even smaller scale. That led me to my next challenge, back to MIT, where I worked with a different group and explored and simulated many other hierarchical materials; such as: bone, collagen and spider silk. I learned to use new and exciting computational tools for molecular dynamics that use statistical techniques to monitor proteins. At this nano-level, it was obvious how computational costs of simulations play a role in research.


My enthusiasm for working on these inter-disciplinary topics has motivated me to publish in top tier journals in addition to giving conference presentations and attending seminars in a range of fields. Moreover I have been fortunate to collaborate with European and American universities in the projects that I have been involved in. During my postdoctoral work I also had an opportunity to advise undergraduate and graduate students on projects that I had personally designed and we published our work in peer reviewed journals. In addition I also managed group meetings and wrote reports on the general progress of our research group.

In my current position as an Assistant Professor at TED University in Ankara, Turkey, I continue doing research on multi-disciplinary topics involving the molecular mechanics of red blood cells, investigating hereditary blood diseases and their effects on the structure and functions of the red blood cell at different scales from the atomistic to microscopic level.

In addition to my research activities I teach on multi-disciplinary topics such as Calculus, Solid Mechanics and Mechanics through Movement. Thanks to the Pilates training I obtained, I have been teaching Pilates classes since 2012. In addition to that, I study and employ “mechanics through movement” where anatomy and body weight training is used as a base for understanding mechanics with the added benefit of getting a workout and also feeling healthier!