Res. Asst. Dr. Beste Turanlı of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences is Awarded


Res. Asst. Dr. Beste Turanlı, teaching staff of the Department of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, has been granted Dr. Serhat Özyar the Young Scientist of the Year Honorary Award by METU Academic Staff Association for the methods and analysis results she developed within the scope of her PhD Thesis titled "Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology Approaches for Drug Repositioning to Uncover Candidate Anti-Cancer Drugs".

On April 24, 2019, the award ceremony took place at the METU Sevim Tan Amphitheater, where Dr. Beste Turanlı presented some of the prominent results in her thesis.

The thesis topic of drug repositioning is a study area investigating the uses of a commercially available drug to treat another disease, which has recently attracted considerable interest from the pharmaceutical industry. Chemotherapeutic agents have adverse side effects that significantly reduce the quality of life for cancer patients. In this respect, drug repositioning is considered as a promising strategy to identify drugs with anti-cancer activity and tolerable side effects for human health that have not yet been used in cancer treatment. In her thesis, Turanlı used genome-scale metabolic models for drug repositioning.

Genome-scale metabolic models provide simulations with possible uses in medicine through biochemical reactions in tissue or directly in human metabolism. In this thesis, the genome-scale metabolic model for prostate cancer has been reconstructed using a unique design. This metabolic model has been used not only for drug repositioning for cancer, but also to investigate the inhibitory effects of drugs for the first time in the literature. Sulfamethoxypyridazine, azlocillin, hydroflumethiazide and ifenprodil are proposed for the treatment of prostate cancer as drugs shown to inhibit prostate tumor growth in silico. In addition, the inhibitory effect of ifenprodil on prostate cancer cell lines has also been shown experimentally. For the details of the study, please click the link: