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Zeynep Öztürk

Post-doctoral Fellow

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of anatomic specialization of cell types in skin in health and disease. The same cell type can be found in different anatomic locations. For example, melanocytes can be found in different areas of the skin, but also internally. Previous work has shown that anatomic location can influence susceptibility to different oncogenes and give rise to distinct tumours. I will use a combination of single-cell profiling and zebrafish transgenesis to study this problem. My work will uncover basic mechanisms of cell fate determination in both normal physiology and in cancer.


I received my PhD from the Dept. of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK. My research focused on organisation of axonal endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a neuron within a neuron, in Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a motor neuron disease, mutants in Drosophila. I applied gene editing methods to generate mutants and transgenics and did confocal microscopy imaging. (Öztürk Z, O'Kane CJ and P rez-Moreno JJ (2020) Axonal Endoplasmic Reticulum Dynamics and Its Roles in Neurodegeneration. Front. Neurosci. 14:48. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.00048)

I have a master’s degree from the Dept. of Molecular Biology & Genetics & Biotechnology, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. My project focused on Notch Signalling Pathway Proteins as Potential Biomarkers for Differentiating Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinical Subtypes. I applied immunohistochemistry assay and western blotting to CSF samples of patients to investigate a potential biomarker.

I trained in the Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics in my bachelor’s degree at Istanbul University, Turkey. I received a program designed heavily on genetics and molecular cell biology. I did my final year project in University of Roskilde, Denmark, during my ERASMUS Exchange. My project focused on Identification of miR-29a targets in mitochondrial DNA in Diabetes.