We are using a multidisciplinary approach, which combines sophisticated behavioral analysis, molecular biology, biochemistry, and surgical techniques for the following projects:
Conditioned context aversion learning is an important topic for cancer research. After cancer patients have experienced a number of chemotherapy and radiation sessions (US; unconditioned stimuli), the chemotherapy equipment and other physical environmental cues, such as a clock on the wall or interactions with nurses, became conditioned stimuli that trigger anticipatory nausea (AN) as the conditioned response. Thus, preventing the conditioned context aversion that occurs as a result of the formation of the association between the context and the US is one possible strategy for alleviating AN in cancer patients. Our team is developing a novel and innovative approach to prevent the development of a conditioned response by manipulating the memory consolidation of conditioned context aversion learning using amnestic drugs in inbred mice. My laboratory aims to provide novel insights into a recurring problem and ultimately help to develop treatments to alleviate the burden of AN in cancer patients.
Another one of our translational research projects is focused on the sex-specific effects of maternal obesity on fetal and offspring brain development. Specifically, we are interested in exploring the impact of maternal obesity on embryonic brain development, catecholamine neurotransmitter signaling, and offspring neurobehavior.
We are also interested in drug testing for neurodegenerative disorders in animal models. Our lab's aim is to better understand normal and pathological brain function so that we can contribute to the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. We use various behavioral paradigms in conjunction with pharmacological and experimental drug testing for CNS disorders. Our ultimate goal is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for those who suffer from these CNS disorders.
We use multiple facilities for these projects. Live subjects (mice) are held in the animal facility of METU Biology Department. Behavioral experiments and surgical operations are conducted in this facility. We use molecular biology techniques in our wetlab which is located at the MODSIMMER building of METU.