Elif Nur Fırat Karalar, Ph.D.

Starting with my undergraduate education at Bilkent University, I have been involved in biomedical research. I completed my PhD in the laboratory of Matthew Welch at UC Berkeley, where I focused on the characterization of actin polymerization pathways in cells. During my postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Tim Stearns at Stanford University, I took a multidisciplinary approach to identify the centriole proteome and address the interactions among centrosome proteins. Since June 2014, I have joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Koç University where my laboratory focuses on the biology of centrosomes, cilia and microtubules.

Lab Members

Özge Zelal Aydın, Postdoctoral Researcher

Özge was graduated from Middle East Technical University in 2004. After receiving her master degree also from Middle East Technical University in 2009, she started her PhD at ErasmusMC Rotterdam. She studied the role of chromatin remodelers in the UV DNA damage response during her PhD. Then, she did 1 year of post-doctoral research at LUMC. Currently, she is a post-doctoral researcher in Karalar Lab. She is focused mainly on the centriolar satellites and their role in different cancer types such as NCI60.

Jovana Deretic


Deniz Conkar, PhD Candidate

After graduating from Bilkent University with B.S in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2013, I have joined Firat-Karalar laboratory as a Ph.D. student. My project focuses on understanding how centriolar satellites, microtubules and motor proteins work together to regulate dynamics of centrosome/cilium complex proteins.

Ezgi Odabaşı, PhD Candidate

I was graduated from department of molecular biology and genetics at Bilkent University in 2015. Then, I joined to Firat-Karalar group as Ph.D. student. I am interested in cellular role of centriolar satellites and regulation of satellites on centrosome/cilium complex.


Melis Dilara Arslanhan, PhD Candidate

Kubra Hazal Zirhlioglu, Masters Student

Hazal Kübra Zırhlıoğlu was graduated from Molecular Biology and Genetics department of Bogazici University. As a bachelor, she worked in Molecular Toxicology and Cancer Research Laboratory in her university for 2.5 years. She has been working in Centrosome and Cilia lab since January 2017. She is recently working on a specific centrosome protein, and her main project is based on functional characterization of this protein. Also, she has been working in a Project which is understanding the role of PCM1. She has been working in Firat-Karalar Lab for 2 years and she has learnt lots of different techniques and scientific approach. She is very happy to be a member of Firat-Karalar Lab.


Şevket Onur Taflan, Master Student

I graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Molecular Biology and Genetic Department. After graduation, I joined the centrosome and cilia laboratory for master degree. My projects focuses on the centrosome aberrations in leukemia and role of centriolar satellites.

  Ebru Topçu, Master Student

Bsc. from Middle East Technical University



Fatmanur Tiryaki, Master Student 

Bsc. from Boğaziçi University

 Umut Batman, Master Student

I graduated from Boğaziçi University in 2018 with a double degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics and Chemistry. During my undergraduate studies, I have worked in different research labs in Molecular Biology and Genetics. I have joined Fırat-Karalar Research Group at Koç University as a graduate researcher. My current research interests include characterization of centriolar satellite proteins and their effects on cilium formation, cell cycle progression and microtubule organization.


Dila Gülensoy, Master Student

I am a master student in the University of Koç in the Molecular Biology and Genetics department. I am currently working in Cytoskeleton Research Laboratory by assisting help in several projects. When I started working here I immediately fascinated by the centrosome research and the possibilities of the subject that offers. As a future goal I want to keep continue taking part in the cytoskeleton based research.

Jovana Deretic


Efraim Culfa, Msc

Teacher at Usküdar Amerikan University

Ahmet Aktaş, Undergraduate Researcher



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