Bilkent University Faculty of Science Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, higher education and scientific research institution. In 2004, it received the Vehbi Koç Award for health in recognition for its pioneering efforts to train scientists working in molecular biology in Turkey, research into the molecular foundations of some genetic conditions and cancers, and studies into diagnostic genetic testing.
The foundations for the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, the first academic entity in Turkey to bear this name, were laid by the world-renowned genetics expert Professor Mehmet Öztürk. The department, which opened in September 1995, had its first intake of students studying at bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate level in the 1995-96 academic year. In his speech at the Vehbi Koç Award ceremony, departmental head Professor Öztürk remarked that research in Turkey was underfunded and that the money from this first award of them would go towards a pioneering project on molecular cell biology. He added that their future goal would be to study cellular treatments. With its high-end laboratory facilities, the department researches areas such as genes linked to diseases, the genetic foundations and molecular biology of cancer, structural and operational analysis of genes and proteins, molecular mechanisms for resisting cell death and cell aging, the immune system, hereditary conditions, the biology of reproduction and development, biocomputing, epigenetics, identifying biomarkers, operational genomics and the production of recombinant protein and monoclonal antibodies.