Elif received the Aydin Dogan Foundation “Molecular Biology and Genetics Research Award” dedicated to Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin, and met with Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin, General Manager of the Aydin Dogan Foundation Candan Fetvaci and Dogan family members. Spending couple of hours with Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin has been a very inspiring and enriching experience.
Elif presented lab’s research to Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin in a scientific meeting organized by Koc University. Ezgi and Elif attended the award ceremony where Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin received the Vehbi Koc Foundation “Service to Humanity Award”.
Umut and Jovana’s paper entitled “The ciliopathy protein CCDC66 controls mitotic progression and cytokineis by promoting microtubule nucleation and organization” is accepted for publication in “PLOS Biology”.
We are tasked with organization of the next “EMBO Centrosome and Spindle Pole Bodies Workshop” in Istanbul. We had our first meeting with the organizing committee and determined the topics of the sessions and list of potential speakers. We also finalized the date and the venue: 26-29th September 2023 in Istanbul. We cannot wait to host all the centrosome and spindle pole enthusiasts in Istanbul.
Our new paper titled”The ciliopathy protein CCDC66 controls mitotic progression and cytokineis by promoting microtubule nucleation and organization” is now published in BioRxiv and under review. With this paper, we added “cell division” as another cellular process we study at the mechanistic level. Specifically, we are moving towards elucidating the nonciliary functions of proteins mutated in ciliopathies, which will provide new insight into mechanisms that underlie ciliopathies.
Our new paper titled”CCDC66 regulates primary cilium length and signaling competence via multi-site interactions with transition zone and axonemal proteins” is now published in BioRxiv and under review. Fingers crossed for receiving constructive feedback on the mechanistic dissection of CCDC66 functions at the primary cilium. This work was a collaboration between Ezgi, Deniz, Jovana and Umut from CytoLabKoc and Kari-Anne from Sebastian Patzke’s lab.
Excellent news for the imaging community in Turkey! Elif’s project proposal on “Establishment of a Superresolution Imaging Core – KUSIM- for Development of Diagnostic and Therapeutic strategies” is selected for funding by “Innovative Istanbul Financial Support Program” by Istanbul Development Agency. KUSIM will prioritize interdisciplinary collaboration and training, and will be open to researchers in Turkey and elsewhere. While establishing the imaging core, experts in state-of-art imaging technologies including Dr. Erdinc Sezgi from Karolinska Institute will support us in training and implementation. KUSIM project started in February 2022. We have been working on finalizing the configuration we will purchase for the center, which involves demoing the new systems and meeting with experts to get feedback.
Fatmanur’s paper entitled “ENKD1 is a centrosomal and ciliary microtubule-associated protein important for primary cilium content regulation” is published in FEBS Journal. Briefly, we identified ENDK1 as a microtubule-associated protein that localizes to the centrosome and primary cilium. Expansion microscopy revealed its localization at the centriolar/ciliary microtubules and PCM. As a MAP, ENKD1 has strong affinity for microtubules and is involved in microtubule organization and stability. At the cilium, ENKD1 is required for assembling cilia competent for Hedgehog signaling. Following our publication, there are two more publications on ENDK1 that revealed its roles during mitotic progression and primary cilium assembly.
Three new grants for the CytoLabKoc! We are very excited about exploring new research questions that pertain to motile cilia assembly and function as well as nonciliary mechanisms that underlie ciliopathies. We thank the funding agencies and the reviewers for the evaluation and the funding.
TUBITAK 1001 grant to Jovana Deretic: Dissecting the nonciliary mechanisms that underlie CCDC66-linked ciliopathies
TUBITAK-Bosphorus Bilateral grant to Jovana Deretic: Dissecting the mechanisms of de novo centriole amplification across different model systems (in collaboration with Camille Boutin in IBDM Marseilles)
ICGEB (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology grant to Elif Nur Firat Karalar: Elucidating the molecular underpinnings of centrosome amplification and motile cilia assembly using in vitro multiciliated epithelial cells
Elif received the prestigious TUBITAK Incentive Award in the field of Health Sciences for her contributions to uncovering the fundamental biology of the mammalian centrosome/cilium complex as well as the molecular defects that underlie developmental disorders including ciliopathies. She received the award from the President of Turkey, Minister of Industry and Technology and TUBITAK President. Her family also attended the award ceremony.
Centrosome and Spindle Pole Bodies meeting 2023 will be in Istanbul! We are looking forward to organizing this meeting and hosting centrosome scientists all over the world in the beautiful city of Istanbul. Following are the results of the poll for choosing the location of the 2023 meeting and the anxious CytoLabKoc members waiting for the poll results.
CytoLabKoc members gave selected / invited talks and presented posters in several international meetings and conferences. We are proud of them!
1- Fatmanur Tiryaki – UK Cilia Meeting / Cell Bio Virtual 2021
2- Ezgi Odabasi – UK Cilia Meeting / Cell Bio Virtual 2021
3- Melis Dilara Arslanhan – UK Cilia Meeting / EMBO Centrosome and Spindle Pole Bodies Meeting / Cell Bio Virtual 2021
4- Elif co-organized the “Staging of the Centrosome-Cilium Complex for Inside-Outside Cellular Signaling” Special Interest subgroup with Susan Dutcher and Moe Mahjoub from University of Washington, St. Louis during Cell Bio Virtual 2021.
5- Elif gave invited talks at the University of Leeds, University of Manchester and Institute of Human Genetics.
CytoLabKoc welcomes four new members: Hande, Seyma, Irem and Ece.
We also said bye to three amazing master students Umut, Fatmanur and Ebru. They all started PhDs in Europe (Geneva, Germany, Zurich).
Fatmanur’s paper entitled “ENKD1 is a centrosomal and ciliary microtubule-associated protein important for primary cilium assembly and Hedgehog signaling” is now published in BioRxiv and under review. Fingers crossed for receiving constructive feedback on the discovery of a new microtubule-associated protein of the centrosome and cilia.
Melis’s paper “Aurora Kianse A proximity map revels centriolar satellites as regulators of its ciliary function” is published in EMBO Reports. This work would not have been possible without our mass spectrometry collaborators John Yates and Navin Rauniyar and also Melis’s dedication on uncovering the non-mitotic functions and regulation of AURKA. This paper not only provides insight into how centriolar satellites regulate ciliogenesis and also provides a powerful resource for researchers interested in AURKA function, regulation and disease links.
Elif received the prestigious Sabri Ulker International Science Award for her research on the biology of cilia and developmental disorders. The award was presented at the Metabolism and Life Symposium organized by Prof. Gokhan Hotamisligil from Harvard University and there was a lot of media coverage and interviews about the award. Sabri Ulker Science Award recognizes rising stars in nutrition and metabolism research and aims to encourage leading-edge basic scientific research and translational studies on nutrition, metabolism and public health.
1- Melis Dilara Arslanhan gave an excellent talk in UK Cilia meeting! Congratulations Melis for an excellent first conference talk. Serendipitously, she gave her talk in the same session as Elif’s postdoc advisor Tim Stearns.
2- Elif was promoted to the Associate Professor rank at Koc University.
3- In recognition of selection of our collaborative project with Dr. Fanni Gergely as one of the shortlisted projects for the Newton Prize 2020, Elif received her certificate in an award ceremony from Prof. Hasan Mandal and British Ambassador to Turkey Sir Dominick Chilcott. The award ceremony was organized by UK Consulate in Ankara.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır and İSTKA general secretary Erkam Tüzgen visited our laboratory. We explained our research projects on centrosomes, cilia and related diseases. It was very motivating to hear about their vision in supporting both fundamental and translational science projects as well as establishing state-of-art infrastructure in Turkey.
Sevket Onur Taflan successfully defended his Ms.C. thesis on functional dissection of centriolar satellite positioning in cells. Onur has recently started a new biotech company and is the Chief Technology Officer at Vitrosens Biotechnology. We wish him all the best in growing his company!
We had a great start in 2020 in terms of grant funding. We are looking forward to implementing the new projects we proposed and the results related to the biology of the centrosome/cilium complex and ciliopathies.
1- Our project on the biology of a new ciliary sub-comparment and ciliopathies were funded by 2247-A National Leader Researchers Program, which supports 4 PhD students, 1 Postdoctoral Researcher and research funding. This is a new program initiated by TUBITAK to fund high risk, high fund national projects (i.e. Turkish ERC). We are hoping to test our new ideas with this project and build a new ERC proposal with the findings revealed by it.
2- Our joint project with with Krzystof Rogowski’s group in the Institute of Human Genetics were selected for funding by the TUBITAK-Bosphorus Joint Project.
3- Our EMBO Installation Grant was extended for 2 more years (2021-2023)
Elif received the 2020 ODTU Parlar Vakfi Research Encouragement Award.
All lab members attended the Cell Bio Virtual 2020 meeting, which gave us the perfect opportunity to follow latest advances in cell biology. Melis presented a poster on her recent results on the relationship between Aurora kinase and centriolar satellites. Elif and Susan Dutcher (University of Washington, St. Louis) organized a special subgroup on “Centrioles, Basal Bodies and Centrosomes“.
10 November 2020
Elif received the IBG Science Medal Award during the IBG Science Day organized on 10th November for commemoration of Ataturk. IBG (Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center) Science Medal is given annually to a Turkish scientist, who has a pioneer and distinctive reserach record in the field of life sciences. https://www.ibg.edu.tr/science-day-2020
6 November 2020
New paper alert!! Melis’s first author paper on the identification of the proximity interactome of Aurora kinase A and characterization of the functional relationship between centriolar satellites and AURKA is now online in bioRxiv and is also under review. Fingers crossed for the constructive reviewer comments.
12 October 2020
Ezgi received TUBITAK 1002 funding on application of a new proximity-based labeling method to the cilia. Congratulations Ezgi!
8 October 2020
We welcome four new PhD students joining our lab: Erdem Ercan, Basak Turan, Efe Begar, Deniz Ornek.
18 August 2020
Elif gave a talk on our recent work on the biology of satellites in the 9th BSCB GenSoc UK Cilia Network e-symposium. Thank you Pleasantine Mill for organizing these virtual meetings since the beginning of COVID19 pandemic and enhancing the communication among the cilia community through these meetings.
17 August 2020
Elif’s application to Newton Prize together with our UK partner Dr. Fanni Gergely (University of Oxford) is among one of four shortlisted projects. Fingers crossed for receiving funding to dissect the molecular defects underlying the phenotypic heterogeneity of ciliopathis.
30 July 2020
The first PhD student of the Firat-Karalar laboratory successfully defended her thesis. Congratulations to Deniz Conkar for the outstanding virtual defense. Even more, she received the Graduate School of Sciences and Engineering “Academic Excellence Award” and VPRD postdoctoral funding for one more year to continue her project in our lab.
30 June 2020
Ozge, Onur and Can’s paper is now online in PLOS Biology! We used chemical manipulation to target centriolar satellites to the cell periphery or center and then asked what happens. We showed that pericentrosomal satellite clustering is important for cilium assembly, maintenance and disassembly as well as mitosis.
3 June 2020
New review paper from the lab is out in MDPI Cells. We have been meaning to write this review for a while, the self-isolation due to COVID-19 finally gave us the time to write a comprehensive review on the application of proximity-based labeling approaches to the centrosome/cilium complex. BioID has been special for our lab as it paved the way to many different ongoing research projects.
12 May 2020
New paper from the lab is out in Cell Reports! In this paper, we reported CCDC57 as a pleiotropic regulator of centriole duplication, mitosis and cilium assembly. Our cover was not selected for the issue, but we all loved it. Thank you Deniz Conkar for preparing it.
6 May 2020
Elif was one of the recipients of the Bilim Kahramanlari Dernegi Young Scientist Award 2019. This award rpogram is for young scientists under 38 years of age who have contributed to basic sciences and engineering fields. Due to COVID-19, the award ceremony was done over Instagram.
22 April 2020
Kubra, Melis and Efraim’s paper that we submitted back in November is accepted for publication after 4 months of extensive revisions. We acknowledge Mariana from Monica Bettencourt-Dias’s lab for help with the super resolution microscopy. Stay tuned for the revised publication that will be out in couple of weeks!
14 April 2020
Our perspective article on new advances on centriolar satellite functions and mechanisms is published in this month’s issue in MBOC! Congratulations to Umut and Ezgi for the already very well-received perspective article, especially for the amazing figures they put together! Check out the figure below where we analyzed the context-dependent cellular distribution of satellites.
15 March 2020
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Koc University and therefore my lab closed down! We switched to online teaching. All lab members are self-isolating at home. We are having weekly zoom meetings in the format of JC, data meetings, coffee hours and even fitness! These meetings help us to deal with the anxiety and uncertainty by discussing what we all love, science! Me and all lab members are busy writing grants and papers, analyzing data and reading papers. Firat-Karalar lab will come back with full pace once our lab opens.
13 March 2020
Melis spent two weeks in Paul Guichard’s lab in University of Geneva to learn U-ExM expansion microscopy. Not only application of this method to her protein of interest confirmed her hypothesis, she also came back with a great tool that we will adapt in the lab. We thank Paul and Virginie for hosting Melis and EMBO YIP network for funding the institute visit.
8 March 2020
Elif was featured as one of the inspiring and successful Turkish women in the Elele magazine, as part of a series prepared for the World Women’s Day on 8th March.
26 February 2020
Elif attended the female leadership course offered by EMBO and after coming back, she shared the ideas and tools shared in the course with lab members.
12 February 2020
New preprint form the lab! Congratulations to Ozge, Onur and Can on submission of their paper on development of an inducible satellite trafficking assay and using it to dissect acute functions of satellites. We are impatiently waiting for the reviews!
10 February 2020
Jovana Deretic is awarded the Marie Curie Reintegration Individual Fellowship with a perfect score. MSCA actions fellowships are very competitive and this is a huge success! We are very excited about the projects Jovana will pursue related to cilium assembly and maintenance.
1 February 2020
Lab’s instagram account is active now. You can find us on Instagram as “CytoLabKoc”. Dila is actively sharing instants on our research, science and lab activities.
1 February 2020
Our technician for the last year, Can Gurkaslar, left the lab to start a PhD program in Germany.
5 January 2020
Kubra visited Monica Bettencourt-Dias’s laboratory in IGC Gulbenkian to use the OMX Super Resolution microscope. This helped her determine the precise spatial localization of her protein of interest at the centrosome. We thank Monica for hosting her and EMBO for funding her visit.
18 December 2019
Elif was selected as one of the early career investigators to the Journal of Cell Science editorial advisory board.
7 December 2019
Ezgi represented our lab in the ASCB/EMBO 2019 meeting in Washington and presented a poster on her project aimed at dissecting centriolar satellite functions and mechanisms. Big shoutout for the ASCB/EMBO and Koc University travel funds that made this trip possible.
27 November 2019
Elif, Melis and Fatmanur attended the International Conference on Cilia, Flagella and Centrosomes in Paris. Elif presented exciting results from Ozge and Onur’s project on studying the relationship between satellite localization and function. Melis and Fatmanur presented posters on their projects related to motile cilia assembly and mitotic regulation of centrosomes.
13 November 2019
Elif was selected as one of the 27 EMBO Young Investigators, which offers a wide range of networking opportunities for the lab.
Elif is the first scientist to be selected to the EMBO YIP program from Turkey, which we hope will inspire the many great young scientists who moved to Turkey. Therefore, the news of Elif’s selection to EMBO was widely covered by many different media resources.
5 November 2019
Firat-Karalar lab hosted Dr. Helen May-Simera from IMB Mainz (https://www.imb.de/students-postdocs/international-phd-programme/ipp-groups/helen-may-simera/). She gave a very inspiring talk on the relationship between retinal epithelial cells and photoreceptor degeneration and development.
28 October 2019
As a one of the ERC holders in Turkey, Asst. Prof. Elif Nur Fırat Karalar was interviewed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey on her ERC success story.
14 October 2019
Elif attended the Cold Spring Harbor Asia “Centrosomes&Cilia” Meeting in Suzhou as an invited speaker and gave a talk on dissecting the function and regulation of centriolar satellites and their relationship to centrosomes and cilia.
9 October 2019
Kubra attended the “Seeing is Believing – Imaging the Molecular Processes of Life in EMBL Heidelberg and presented her work on identification and characterization of a new regulator of centriole duplication and mitosis.
1 October 2019
An interview with Asst. Prof. Elif Nur Fırat Karalar from Koç University Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics was published on the Journal of Cell Science. Please click to read the interview in the article series of “Cell Scientist to Watch”
Deniz’s paper on the molecular mechanism of centrosomal and ciliary targeting of the retinal degeneration gene product CCDC66 was accepted to Scientific reports. With our collaborator Halil Bayraktar at ITU, we also showed that majority of satellites had diffusive motility while a minority exhibited long-range transport.
Firat-Karalar lab received TUBITAK 1001 research grant on characterization of new regulators of multi-centriologenesis using the in vitro multiciliated tracheal epithelial cell cultures.
New masters student Dila Gulensoy joined our laboratory! She was an amazing undegraduate student in the last year and we are very excited to have her in our lab as a graduate student.
15 August -15 September 2019
Dr. Moe Mahjoub from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (https://nephrology.wustl.edu/research/labs/mahjoub-lab/) visited our lab this summer as part of the KU incoming scholar program. During his one month stay, we celebrated three birthdays in the lab and generated very exciting preliminary data for a grant we will submit next year.
4-9 August 2019
Elif gave a talk on Ezgi, Ozge and Onur’s work in the “Biology of Cilia and Flagella” meeting in Snowmass, USA.
4 July 2019
Elif visited the laboratory of Laurent Kodjabachian and gave a seminar in IBDM Marseilles
27 May 2019
The first conference of Organelle Biogenesis and Function in Health and in Disease in Istanbul
#orgbio2019 was organized by Fırat-Karalar Laboratory. Tim Stearns, Ketan J. Patel, Fanni Gergely and David Mick were the keynote speakers. You can check the website https://orgbio2019.ku.edu.tr/
15 April 2019
Jovana Deretic joins our lab as a postdoctoral researcher. She completed her PhD work in Julie Welburn’s lab at University of Edinburgh, where her studies focused on identification and characterization of new Aurora A substrates, in particular SPICE.
7 April 2019
Umut and Onur attended the BSCB meeting in Warwick in UK and presented a poster on their work in studying centrosome aberrations in leukemia.
6 April 2019
Elif attended student congresses in Gebze Technical University (GEN3 meeting) and Bilkent University (9th Horizons meeting) and gave seminars on how to choose graduate school and ongoing research in our laboratory.
20 February 2019
The founder of Cytoskeleton Research Laboratory Dr. Elif Nur Fırat Karalar talks about her Newton-Katip Çelebi project on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The founder of Cytoskeleton Research Laboratory Dr. Elif Nur Fırat Karalar talks about her Newton-Katip Çelebi project on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. #WomenInScienceDay @NewtonFund #NewtonFund pic.twitter.com/fmMfoE0dsN
— British Embassy Ankara 🇬🇧🇹🇷 (@UKinTurkey) February 11, 2019
12 December 2018
Elif, Deniz and Kubra attended the ASCB/EMBO 2018 meeting.
Elif gave a talk in the “Cytokeleton and Disease” symposium. Kubra and Deniz presented great posters.
26 November 2018
First preprint from our lab is out!
Our first preprint on the phenotypic and molecular consequences of centriolar satellite loss in kidney and retinal epithelial cells is out. We cannot wait to see the accepted article (hopefully soon).
19 October 2018
First EMBO Koc and Bogazici University Joint Meeting took place in NG Sapanca in Istanbul.
Firat-Karalar, Ozoren, Emre and Sahin labs had a joint lab meeting for two days at a great spot in Sapanca with financial support from EMBO. We had fruitful discussions among all lab members, new project ideas and new collaborations along with bonus great food and a great spa.
17 September 2018
Three new graduate students joined Fırat Karalar Lab as of September 2018: Ebru Topçu, Fatmanur Tiryaki and Umut Batman.
11 June 2018
Elif was awarded the EMBO Installation Grant, we are very excited to be part of the EMBO network for the next five years.
8 March 2018
Elif appeared as one of the women faculty in the social media activities as part of 8th March International Women’s Day
16 February 2018
Elif gave a seminar in the Biology Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
25 December 2017
Firat-Karalar lab attended the 10th EMBO Young Investigator Forum in Istanbul at Bogazici University and Elif gave a talk in the meeting.
27 November 2017
Elif gave a seminar in the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit at EMBL Heidelberg
21 November 2017
Elif received the 2017 TUBA-GEBIP award at the Presidential Palace
Elif was selected as one of the nation’s promising young scientists in life sciences.
15 October 2017
Elif received the “Outstanding Faculty Award” for the College of Sciences
24-27 September 2017
Elif, Ozge and Kubra went to the EMBO Centrosomes and Spindle Pole Bodies Meeting in Heidelberg. Ozge and Kubra presented posters.
14 September 2017
Ozge Aydin received the Koc University Seed Grant to study centriolar satellite abnormalities in disease.
10 September 2017
Ezgi Odabasi received the “Best Poster Award” in the 5th International Congress of Molecular Biology Association of Turkey
3 September 2017
Firat-Karalar lab welcomes three new graduate students as of September 2017: Melis Dilara Arslanhan, Şevket Onur Taflan and Ege Çığırgan
5 July 2017
Elif gave a seminar in the IGC Gulbenian in Portugal and visited Monica Bettencourt-Dias’s lab
17 April 2017
Our paper on CCDC66 was highlighted in the FEBS Journal
First paper from our laboratory on CCDC66 was accepted to Journal of Cell Science and selected as the cover!! http://jcs.biologists.org/content/130/8.cover-expansion
4-7 October 2016
The Firat-Karalar lab was at the EMBO-CILIA meeting 2016
Elif gave a talk on characterization of CCDC66 and Deniz, Efraim and Ezgi had poster presentations.
23 June 2016
Our Leica SP8 Scanning Confocal and DMi8 Fluorescent Scope are both up and running.
9th April 2016
Elif’s family welcomed their third son “Mert Tufan Karalar”. Mert is the first Firat-Karalar lab baby.
17 March 2016
The Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship to the Firat-Karalar and Gergely Labs
Our project on dissecting the function of centriolar satellites during centriole duplication was funded 110.000 GBP by the Royal Society, for which we will collaborate with the laboratory of Fanni Gergely at the CRUK Cambridge between 2016-2019.
13 September 2015
Elif receives the ERC Starting Grant 2015
Our project on “Dissecting the function and regulation of centriolar satellites: key regulators of the centrosome/cilium complex receives 1.500.000 euros from European Reserach Council.
Elif’s ERC Success Story is covered in media
11 May 2015
Elif receives the TUBITAK 3501 and 1001 grants
Our projects on characterization of novel satellites proteins linked to ciliophathies will be funded by TUBITAK between 2015-2018
17 April 2015
Elif was awarded the LOREAL-UNESCO Women in Science Award 2015
Elif gave an interview on her project funded by LOREAL-UNESCO. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo5gfuPZghE
Elif’s LOREAL-UNESCO award was covered by several newspapers, here are the links: