Biyoteknoloji Enstitüsü – Bahar Semineri: Molecular Mechanisms and Applications of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Thursday, March 15, 2018


MBG Conference Hall


Asst. Prof. Tamer Önder


Head, Stem Cell Laboratory

Tamer Önder is an assistant professor at KoçUniversity, Schoolof Medicine. His research focuses on molecular mechanism of reprogramming and generation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Dr. Önder received his Bachelor's degree from CornellUniversityand a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working under the supervision of Prof. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Önder was a postdoctoral research fellow in Prof. George Daley's group at the HarvardMedicalSchooland Children's Hospital Boston where he studied somatic cell reprogramming and induced pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Önder's work on cancer and stem cells has been published in journals such as PNAS, Cell and Nature. Since 2012,. Dr. Önder's group atKocUniversity is supported by FP7 Marie Curie CIG, EMBO, TUBITAK and the Advanced Newton fellowship of the Royal society.  



Somatic cell reprogramming has enabled the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from any individual. Genetically matched rejection-free mature cell types can be derived form iPSCs for potential cell-replacement therapies to treat a wide range of diseases such as diabetes, neruodegenerative diseases and hematological malignancies.  Despite their immense potential, technical obstacles remain in the generation of iPSCs for clinical purposes.  Our research is aimed at generating tools to overcome these obstacles by elucidating the molecular mechanisms of reprogramming and identifying genes that play important roles in iPSC generation. To discover such genes we are utilizing a combination of candidate-based and high-throughput molecular approaches such as screening of chemical inhibitor collections and CRISPR/Cas-based loss of function screens.  Patient-derived stem cells also offer the possibility of creating limitless number of disease-specific cells to study in vitro. Such iPSC-based disease models offers significant potential in drug discovery. In addition to mechanistic studies, I will also touch upon several stem cell-derived genetic disease models we are currently developing in our laboratory.