Lab Members

Assist. Prof. Serkan Belkaya (Principal Investigator)

Dr. Serkan Belkaya is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Middle East Technical University, Ankara in 2007 and his Master’s degree in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering under supervision of Prof. Batu Erman at Sabanci University, Istanbul in 2009. Between 2009 and 2014, he completed his PhD training in Immunology in the laboratory of Prof. Nicolai van Oers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA. Between 2014 and 2019, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Jean-Laurent Casanova at the Rockefeller University in New York, USA. Dr. Belkaya has received numerous prestigious awards during his graduate studies including Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award (2015), American Heart Association Postdoctoral Scholarship (2016), Jeffrey Modell Foundation Specific Defect Research Grant Award (2017), and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Foundation Clinical and Translational Research Fellowship (2018). He is also recipient of TUBITAK’s 2232 International Fellowship for Outstanding Researchers (2020), EMBO Installation Grant (2021), Science Academy’s Young Scientist (BAGEP) Award (2021), and Isil Berat Barlan Award in Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases Research (2021). Dr. Belkaya also worked as an adjunct professor at Fordham College at Lincoln Center in New York City. As extracurricular activities, Dr. Belkaya is interested in outdoor recreation, nature documentaries and racket sports.


Assoc. Prof. Caner Aytekin (Clinical Advisor)

Dr. Caner Aytekin graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Medicine in 1991. He completed his pediatrics residency at Dr. Sami Ulus Children’s Hospital in 1998. In 2006, he completed his pediatric immunology-allergy training in Faculty of Medicine at Ankara University, at Department of Pediatric Immunology-Allergy. Since 2006, he continues his work at Dr. Sami Ulus Maternity and Children’s Training and Research Hospital. His main field of study is primary immunodeficiencies.

Graduate Students

Alperen Baran, BSc (MSc Student)

Alperen graduated from Bilkent University, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2023. He is interested in Tumor Immunology. He loves eating and playing squash.

Aysima Atılgan Lülecioğlu, BSc (MSc Student)

Aysima graduated from Bilkent University, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in 2022. She is interested in rare autoimmune diseases and medical genetics. She loves baking and travelling.

Former Graduate Students

Umut Tank, BSc (MSc)

Technical University of Braunschweig / Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research,Braunschweig, Germany (PhD)

Zeynep Güneş Tepe, BPharm (MSc)

The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada (PhD)

Yılmaz Yücehan Yazıcı, BSc (MSc)

The Jackson Laboratory For Genomic Medicine (Data Scientist)

Ladin Işık Köse, MD (Research Assistant)