Speaker List




Martin Chalfie is a University Professor at Columbia University. He obtained his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and did postdoctoral research with Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology before moving to Columbia in 1982.  He uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate nerve cell development and function, concentrating primarily on genes used in mechanosensory neuronsHis research has been directed toward answering two quite different biological questions:  How do different types of nerve cells acquire and maintain their unique characteristics? and How do sensory cells respond to mechanical signals?  

He shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his introduction of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as a biological marker.




Dr. Whitcomb is a member of many professional and scientific societies, serving as president of the American Pancreatic Association and Chairman of the Pancreatic Disorders Section of the American Gastroenterology Association. He was voted by his peers as a Best Doctor in America (2009 to present), selected one of ASG Review’s Top 75 Gastroenterologists in America (November 2010), and named by Becker’s ACS Review as one of the 20 Great Physicians in Pennsylvania (May 26, 2011).

He is in high demand as a plenary speaker at national and international meetings, and he serves as a top consultant to government agencies and industry researchers. Dr. Whitcomb specializes in pancreatic disease research related to acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic effects of cystic fibrosis, and pancreatic cancer.

He is the national leader of several major National Institutes of Health–sponsored multicenter studies and leads one of the top human genetics programs for complex diseases.




Dr. Peter Butler's research is focused on abnormal insulin secretion in diabetes, the causes of beta cell death in diabetes and the possibility to foster islet regeneration in humans with diabetes. After six years on the faculty at the Mayo Clinic, he was appointed to the Chair of Diabetes at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where he established the first Clinical Research Center in the UK. He returned to the USA in 1999 when he was appointed to Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension at the University of Southern California moving to the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002. At UCLA, he has established the Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center, a free standing building that houses investigators with a wide range of skills focused on revealing the mechanisms of beta cell loss and potential regeneration in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. He is director of the LHIRC islet isolation and physiology core. He is also the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension. His clinical practice at UCLA focuses on care of patients with diabetes.




He is currently Professor of Medicine and Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic Rochester. Professor Chari is a clinical pancreatologist and former Head of the Pancreas Clinic, one of the few clinics devoted exclusively to care of patients with pancreatic disease. His NIH-funded research is on new-onset diabetes as a marker of early pancreatic cancer. His clinical research has spanned the breadth of pancreatic diseases including tropical chronic pancreatitis, autoimmune pancreatitis and cystic tumors of the pancreas.

Professor Chari has been a councilor for the International Association of Pancreatology since 2006, and a councilor for the American Pancreatic Association from 2007-2011, of which he served as President from 2009–2010.






Mahasin earned her PhD in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology from Cornell University.  Her PhD work uncovered a connection between DNA replication and transcription in yeast.  She then did postdoctoral training in molecular medicine also at Cornell where she identified yeast IQGAP1, Iqg1p, as a determinant of cell polarity- budsite selection and formation of mating projection- involved in directed secretion and cytokinesis.  As an independent investigator at Cornell University, her work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute (NIH-NCI), and the American Cancer Society (ACS), where she identified human IQGAP1’s role in insulin secretion and the regulation of cell size and division.  Subsequently, she discovered that IQGAP1 serves as an upstream regulator as well as a downstream effector of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a mechanism by which it regulates Akt1 activity and couples cell size and cytokinesis.  She joined Brown University where she is investigating the mechanisms that underlie the connection between diabetes, its complications and connections with cancer.  She has been a long-standing member of the International Affairs Committee (IAC) of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), as one of the founding members of the Africa courses that taught cell biology in Ghana and Tanzania.  Consistent with the ASCB-IAC mission, she then initiated the Turkey initiative as an endeavor for technology and knowledge transfer as well as for collaborative research.







She has discovered the origin of replication activation checkpoint as an underlying mechanism for CDC7-targeted therapies in cancer. She established collaboration with Prof. Sir Salvador Moncada with whom she started investigating how master regulators of the energy metabolism are linked to DNA replication initiation. In 2013 for this project she was awarded with the Ernst Jung Stiftung Scholarship and since January 2014 she has established herself as an independent investigator at University College London by starting Industrial Partnership in Innovative Approaches for Targeting DNA Replication Initiation in Cancer.       





He is currently the Medical  Director of Dunya Diabetes Center in Istanbul, Turkey,  He worked in various research centers and hospitals, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine,  MD Anderson Cancer Center, Indian Medical Health Center.

He organizes educational programs for the patients of diabetes and their families. He is also performing Phase 3 and Phase 4 clinical studies related with diabetic patients.  

He has more than 100 articles which are mostly about diabetes. He is also in editorial board of many journals about Diabetes and Endocrinology.



Dr. Karaoz is the director of the Center for Stem Cell and Gene Therapies Research and Application (SCGTR) and  the chair of  the Stem Cells Department at Kocaeli University.

His main interests are tissue regeneration, immune suppression by stem cells, iPSCs, and diabetes.

He is serving as a member of the board of directors of the World Virtual Institute of Preventive & Regenerative Medicine and World Federation Preventive & Regenerative Medicine. He has many awards, more than 100 original research papers on stem cells and cell biology. He is organizing national and international workshops on basic stem cell technologies and induced pluripotent stem cells.





He is the founder of Human Gene and Cell Therapy Center of Akdeniz University. His main research interest is to treat diabetes using novel gene and cell therapy approaches. For this purpose he deploys 3rd generation of Lentivirus vectors carrying genes with insulinotropic properties into diabetic animals to assess their antidiabetic properties. It is his hope to solve some of the handicaps currently encountered in incretin-based therapy.




She is currently a faculty member in Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, and the director of Akdeniz University Gene and Cell Therapy Center. 

Dr. AhterD. Sanlioglu’s research interests cover the TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand(TRAIL), and its role particularly in diabetes. She has conducted  local and national projects on TRAIL’srole in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, its effects on beta cell biology, and possible therapeutic potential investigated via lentiviralvector-based approaches in related animal models. 




Her main research interest area is to examine the cells and tissues under different types of microscopes by using different techniques both at light and electron microscope level. She has received national and international awards related with her microscopic studies. Her recent studies focuses on differentiation of liver cancer cells and cancer stem cells. She is questioning the possibility of a tumour cell  to turn into a normal cell again. She is  currently establishing a  " Cancer and Stem Cell Research Center" with cutting edge technologies at Maltepe University. 

As a member of International Affairs Committeee (IAC) of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), she works  for  international organisations and collaborations  in Turkey.  She is also in the local organising committee for 15th International Congress of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry  which will be held in Istanbul in 2016.