Akkaya Lab

17th Kadir Has Awards

Adapted from The 17th Khadir Has awards website

17th Kadir Has Awards Found Their Owners

Kadir Has Awards, which are given annually by Kadir Has University in order to keep the name of the late Kadir Has, the founder of the university and philanthropist businessman, alive, were presented to their owners with a ceremony held on March 22.

At the 17th Kadir Has Awards, “Outstanding Achievement” and “Promising Scientist” awards were given to our scientists who have achieved great success in the field of Infectious Diseases and Immunology and contributed to research in this field.

The ceremony of Kadir Has Awards, which aims to introduce our country’s valuable scientists who have made significant national and international achievements and institutions that contribute to the development of society, was held on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 this year. On the 15th anniversary of the death of Kadir Has, the founder of Kadir Has University and one of the distinguished philanthropists of our country, the 17th Kadir Has Awards found their owners as part of the commemoration program held at the university’s central campus in Cibali.

This year, “Outstanding Achievement” and “Promising Scientist” awards were presented to our scientists, who contributed to the researches in this field by making significant achievements in the field of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, a multidisciplinary science that develops very rapidly thanks to developing technology and new techniques.

Dr. Bìllur Akkaya researches the working principles of T Cells

After graduating from Hacettepe University, Department of Medicine in English in 2008, Billur Akkaya completed her doctorate at Oxford University (England) in 2013 with a full scholarship. Dr. Akkaya, whose doctoral studies were supported by Oxford University Felix Achievement Scholarship, was also deemed worthy of the Hugh Pilkington Scholarship given by Oxford University. Having completed her postdoctoral studies at the American National Institute of Health (NIH), Dr. Akkaya established her own laboratory as an assistant professor at Ohio State University in 2021.

Dr. Billur Akkaya has been working for more than 10 years on subjects including modulation of PD-1 signaling pathways in T cells, T cell metabolism and suppression mechanisms of regulatory T cells (Treg) immune response. She won the American National Institute of Health Fellows Award for Research Excellence, the American Association of Immunology Thermo Fisher Trainee Achievement Award, and the Sidney & Joan Pestka Post Graduate Award for Excellence in Interferon & Cytokine Research for her work on the immune system. Her project, which is currently ongoing, was awarded the New Innovators Award given by the American National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the project support fund in this context. Dr. Akkaya and her team are investigating the molecular basis of the working principles of regulatory T cells in autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Dr. Münir Akkaya focuses on the biology of B Cells

Münir Akkaya graduated from Hacettepe University, Department of Medicine in English in 2007, and received his doctorate from Oxford University in 2012. Dr. Akkaya, whose doctoral thesis focused on the regulation of immune response during CD200R family interactions of leukocyte surface molecules, conducted studies on B cell biology and immune metabolism at the American National Institute of Health for his postdoctoral education. His research here characterized new mechanisms by which microbial signals can affect the survival and differentiation of B cells. Alongside his work on B cell biology, he worked on host-pathogen interactions in the context of Plasmodium (malaria) infections.

Dr. Münir Akkaya, who was awarded an Honorary Scholarship by TÜBİTAK and a Success Scholarship by Hacettepe University during his undergraduate education, and received his doctoral education with a scholarship given by the British Medical Research Council, received the Milstein Young Investigator Award from International Cytokine and Interferon Society, the Thermofisher Trainee Achievement Award from American Association of Immunologists, The Fellows Award for Research Excellence from the American National Institutes of Health, and FASEB Ben Pernis Memorial Award. He continues his studies as an assistant professor at Ohio State University.

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