Zehra Sayers

Zehra Sayers
Tel: 0 - 216 - 4839509
E- Mail: zehra@sabanciuniv.edu

Cirriculum Vitae


Zehra Sayers


Sabancı University                         
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Orhanlı, 81474 Tuzla-Istanbul, Turkey
Tel No.: ++90-216 483 9509
Fax No.: ++90-216 483 9550
e-mail: zehra@sabanciuniv.edu.tr

Born        September 25, 1953


Turkish and British


1970-1974    B.Sc. in Physics. Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey.
1974-1978    Ph.D. in Biophysics. Guy's Hospital Medical School, University of London, UK.
                   Title of Ph.D. thesis "Random Walk Behaviour of Amoeba proteus in Response to Electric Fields                                and Other Stimuli."
1983            "Doçent" (Associate professor) in Biophysics. Istanbul University, Turkey.
1996            "Habilitation", qualification for full professorship in Germany. Faculty of Chemistry, Institute of                                Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany. Title of
                   Habilitationsschrift, "Strukturuntersuchungen von Makromolekularen Biologischen


1978-1982     Post-doctoral research fellow at the Open University Oxford Research Unit,
                    Biophysics Group, UK.
1982-1984     Post doctoral research fellow at the Cell Motility Group, Wallenberg Laboratory, University of
                    Uppsala, Sweden.
1984-1993     Staff scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Hamburg Outstation,
1993- 2000    Consultant to the Director at Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TUBITAK)
                    Marmara Research Center (MRC) Gebze, Turkey.
1993-1995     Scientist, GKSS Forschungszentrum Geesthacht, Gemany.
                    Visiting scientist at the EMBL Hamburg Outstation, Germany
1996-1998     Scientist at the EMBL Hamburg Outstation, Germany.
                    Faculty, Sabancı University, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences,  Istanbul, Turkey.


1985-1989    Consultant to establish a Biophysics Department in the Faculty of Medicine of Marmara
                   University, Istanbul, Turkey. Visiting professor, Marmara University Medical Faculty, Istanbul,
1993-1998    Teaching at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Chemistry,
                   University of Hamburg.
1995- 2000   Delegate to the International Centre for Cooperation in Bioinformatics (ICCB), Weizmann
                   Institute, Israel.
1993- 2000   Coordinator for National Bioinformatics activities at TUBITAK MAM Research Center, Gebze,
                   Turkey. Chair, Scientific Committee of  the Synchrotron-light for Expeerimental Science and
                   Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) Project.


1982-1984    Post-doctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences Research Council, Sweden.
1982-1983    Travel fellowship, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).
1985-1989    "Transfer of Know-How Through Expatriate Nationals" (TOKTEN) grant from the United Nations.
                    This grant was received to establish a Biophysics Department in the Faculty of Medicine, Marmara
                    University, Istanbul and to give biophysics lectures until permanent staff were appointed.
1996.1998     Grant from the Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TUBITAK) to organize an
                    international summer school at Bilkent University, Ankara: "Structural Investigation of Biological
                    Macromolecules and New Perspectives in Biotechnology" .
1997             UNESCO grant for cooperation between Israel and Turkey in Bioinformatics.
1996.1999     TUBITAK UNISTAR grant for organization of  “International Bioinformatics  Training Course” at
                    TÜBİTAK, MRC, Gebze, Turkey.
1998             -Jülich Research Center – TUBITAK Bilateral Grant for research on G-protein subunit structure.
2001             UNESCO and TÜBİTAK grants for organization 'Bioinformatics and Structural Modeling Workshop' at
                    Sabanci University, September 3-9, 2001
2002             Jülich Research Center – TUBITAK Bilateral Grant for research on wheat metallothionein structure.


American Association for the Advancement of Science, Turkish Biophysical Society, Biophysical Society, American Society for Cell Biology.


The unifying theme of my research concerns probing the relationship between the 3D structure and function of biological macromolecules. These studies provide clues to fundamental processes in biological systems, help to predict function from 3D structure and provide insights for engineering new systems.
I am specialised in various molecular biology techniques for overexpression of recombinant proteins, protein purification and characterization methods and X-ray scattering and diffraction techniques for 3D structure determination.
Our current projects focus on metal binding proteins, G-proteins from plants and development of novel systems for immobilization of biological molecules for functional assays.
Our collaborations include EMBL Outstaion in Hamburg Germany, Department of Biological Sciences at Imperial College London, Biophysics Department at Marmara University, Istanbul.

Over the years I have been contributed to establishing new areas of research in Turkey such as bioinformatics and structural studies. Although I spent all of my profesional life abroad,
since 1998 have been a foundig member of the Sabanci University. I helped to establish the Biological Sciences and Bioengineering program and designed and set up the laboratories there.


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