Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics 2001 graduate Elçin Ünal is the recipient of the 2020 Sabri Ülker Science Award.
Currently an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Ünal did her PhD research at the Carnegie Institution for Science and completed her postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Her research interest focuses on the relationship between meiosis and aging, and the possibilities for treating the damage accumulated in cells as a result of aging. Dr. Ünal’s lab studies the principles that control the nuclear and cytoplasmic integrity of gametes, with the goal of understanding how gamete formation counteracts age-induced cellular damage and how the meiotic cells part it on their chromosomes.
The Sabri Ülker Foundation established its International Science Award “to recognize early-stage independent scientists who are engaged in the highest quality of nutrition and metabolism research in all areas that can contribute to future improvements in public health,” with the aim of encouraging “new and impactful scientific research.”
Dr. Ünal is also the recipient of a US National Institutes of Health Innovator Award and a Pew Biomedical Scholarship as well as a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award and a Damon Runyon–Rachleff Innovation Award.