MBG Student’s “New Idea” Takes YFYI Competition’s Top Honors

18 November 2013 Comments Off on MBG Student’s “New Idea” Takes YFYI Competition’s Top Honors

A project developed by Alper Poyraz, MsC student in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, has received a first-prize award in the Yeni Fikirler Yeni İşler (YFYİ – New Ideas, New Businesses) competition organized by METU Teknokent.

Approximately 1,200 projects were submitted to the competition, where they were grouped into three categories.

Alper’s research group in Assist. Prof. Ali Güre’s laboratory in the MBG Department is called PRZ Biyoteknoloji; the other members of the group are Barış Küçükkaraduman (also an MsC student) and Azmi Serhat Yıldırım (a fourth-year undergraduate). His award-winning project was entitled “Small-Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) Early Diagnostic Kit.”

In this project, autologous anti-tumor antibodies, discovered during Şükrü Atakan’s  PhD work in Dr. Güre’s laboratory, are used to enable early diagnosis of SCLC. The YFYI jury found this diagnostic kit so promising that they awarded the project first prize in the competition’s general category, and PRZ Biyoteknoloji received the ELGINKAN Foundation’s top award of 100,000 TL.

Alper is currently supported by a grant from the Teknogirişim Sermayesi Desteği program  of the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology to establish a company and develop a kit for the same purpose.