At the Department of Molecular Parasitology at Humboldt University Berlin, Dr. Özlem Günay Eşiyok, continuing his work as a faculty member, aims to find a vaccine against the “Toxoplasma parasite” in Turkey. Preparing to continue his studies at the Center for Vaccine Development, Application and Research at Ege University, Dr. Günay Eşiyok hopes that these studies will open the door to international collaborations.
After graduating from Hacettepe University, Department of Biology, Dr. Günay Eşiyok obtained his master’s degree from the Institute of Biotechnology, Ankara University. Interested in parasites in the field of microbiology, Dr. Eşiyok, after completing his PhD at the Department of Molecular Parasitology, Humboldt University with the Elsa Neumann Excellence Fellowship, he worked with Dr. He started working as a lecturer. Working on toxoplasmosis, the disease caused by the “toxoplasma parasite,” which is an opportunistic parasite that infects warm-blooded animals as well as the human population, Dr. Eşiyok described his work as follows:
“There is no vaccine of this type yet”
“In fact, 30% of the world’s population is infected with this parasite, but the infection is not noticed in people with strong immune systems. As the parasite is opportunistic, it waits by taking up residence in our nervous system or our muscle cells.When the immune system drops,it gets activated and enters disease phase.It is a very serious danger.It can cause miscarriage in pregnant women or trigger neurodegenerative diseases.There is no no vaccine yet that can be applied to humans against this parasite.This parasite also produces farm animals are sick and can cause their death.Currently there is a vaccine used in animals, but it is not available in our country. However, since it is an attenuated microbe, it is not possible to transmit it to humans. Our first thought is to create a mutant vaccine by modifying the genetics of this vaccine. We have We mainly focused our research on vaccines for farm animals against this parasite, which is transmitted through the droppings of stray cats, which is common in our country. We will try, and then we will expand our working areas.”
Contribution to scientific development
Telling himself that the reverse brain drain project excites him, Dr. Günay Eşiyok said, “I wanted to create my own working group and transfer the technology to Turkey. I will continue my studies in Turkey from the year next. After gaining education and experience abroad, we always had the idea of returning to Turkey and transferring our knowledge and achievements here. The ties we established there have always been there. Moving to Turkey is also very important, it will open the door for us to international cooperation,” he said. Advice especially to young people to improve their foreign languages, Dr. Eşiyok said: “They should not be afraid to speak up. I can’t do it, they shouldn’t have negative thoughts like they think I’m inadequate. If you have a goal, don’t put yourself down, you can do it. “
They come for Turkey…
Turkish and foreign scientists, who pursue their studies in the most respected universities and research institutes in the world, bring their studies to our country for the development of the scientific climate and for Turkey to become a country of science. Known as Reverse Brain Drain Projects, TÜBİTAK’s “International Leading Scholars Program”, 27 scholars, 19 of whom are Turkish, will continue their studies in Turkey. Again, under the International Young Researchers Program 2232 B, 36 scientists, including 28 from Turkey, declared “we are here for the future”. Explaining that they will do their best to train the scientists of the future and to ensure that Turkey has a say in the scientific arena around the world, the researchers spoke to Milliyet about their return plans, goals and decisions.
“I went back one day”
Korkut Kaan Tokgöz, who continues his studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and has signed many scientific studies, articles and inventions, became one of the scientists of the time to contribute to the scientific climate in Turkey. Tokgöz, a member of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences of Sabancı University, will continue his studies on advanced communication technologies in our country.
A graduate of METU’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tokgöz also earned his master’s degree here. Tokgöz, who received his second master’s degree from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2014 and his doctorate from the Department of Physical Electronics in 2018, worked for an international company for a time. However, he explained that his academic side predominates and he started working as an assistant professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and since January he has continued his studies in Turkey. Explaining that he worked on radio wave micro-electro-mechanical systems during his master’s degree at METU, Tokgöz said, “With the influence of the papers I read during my studies; I became interested in radio wave, millimeter wave and terahertz systems and integrated circuit designs. I went to Tokyo Institute of Technology to work in this field,” he said. While working at NEC Company, Tokgöz received a patent with the title of “Principal Inventor” and received more than 20 awards and grants.
Advice for young people
Giving an update on his work in Turkey, Tokgöz said, “We will work on wireless communication systems and chip designs for advanced communication technologies such as 5G and beyond, 6G. While trying to realize these systems, I want to give Turkey experience in the field of advanced communication technologies, train people and get things done so that our country has a voice. Tokgöz also gave advice to young people who want to study science and said, “My most important advice is to research the subject you are passionate about, read a lot and develop ideas. Our young friends should contact our teachers who are very valuable in their fields in Turkey, without hesitation. I believe and believe in the need to increase and strengthen communication with national and international researchers through national and international congresses and symposia.
Korkut Kaan Tokgöz, who has authored numerous scientific studies, articles and inventions, is the holder of more than 20 prizes and grants.
“The country needs it”
Regarding the decision to return, Tokgöz said: “When I decided to go abroad for university studies, I was about to return to Turkey. I expected my experience and my knowledge to reach a certain maturity. I intended to work in Japan for two more years, but our rector, Prof. Dr. Yusuf Leblebici is the person who presented this decision. In general, I received very positive reactions from my family and my close circle. As if each of them were unanimous: “The country needs people like you!” He said: “It made me very proud and made me realize how right my decision was.”
TOMORROW: They come from Harvard University saying it’s our turn now…