Profile picture of Isil Kurnaz


Gebze Technical University
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory (AxanLab)
Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Gebze Technical University (GTU)
Gebze - Kocaeli, Turkey

Research Interests



Research in her laboratory, AxanLab, focuses on two main areas: (1) understanding the survival – apoptosis balance that underlies neurodegeneration or brain tumorigenesis.  To that end, Isil and her team try to pinpoint the role of ETS family transcription factor, Elk-1.  (2) the transcriptional regulation of neuronal differentiation and axonal outgrowth by another ETS family protein, Pea3.  Using various neuronal cell models, including motor neuron, hippocampal neuron, and various brain tumor cell lines, and a range of techniques from cell culture to luciferase, from cell sorting to microarrays, they analyse the transcriptional as well as possible non-transcriptional role of these proteins.  The lab’s latest research, for example, focuses on the role of Elk-1 on survival and proliferation of neural stem cells and brain tumor initiating cells under hypoxia and normoxia, in an attempt to explain overlapping mechanisms. The laboratory is funded by national as well as international grants, and we are looking forward to competitive PhD and postdoc applicants.