PhD Aysegul Sapmaz



 I completed my Bachelor degree with a Molecular Biology and Genetic background. I gained strong theoretical and practical experience ranging from biology to the pharmaceutical field during my master. I worked in a Molecular biology laboratory and I studied the characterization of breast cancer-related genes and also non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs. I have recently focused on deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) and E3 ligases regulating intracellular membrane trafficking to understand the implications of ubiquitination on cargo sorting and the function of the endocytic machinery, as well as its impact on various diseases. I am also involved in the discovery of novel inhibitors for specific biological targets and characterization, validation and improvement of our candidates. A great part of my responsibilities include the execution of biochemical and cellular assays to validate the leads of inhibitor screening. My expertise includes in vitro mode of action studies by using biochemistry and molecular/cell biology.

Curriculum Vitae:

I received my M.Sc. with honors in Biotechnology from Ankara University Biotechnology Institute in February 2006. I started my doctoral studies in the Middle East Technical University in February 2006, focusing on the characterization of genes (DUBs and miRNAs) involved in breast cancer pathogenesis.  As part of a collaboration, I shortly joined Dr. Huib Ovaa group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (May 2011-May 2012). I obtained my PhD degree in September 2012 and I started in October 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Dr. Huib Ovaa. 


  • Enhanced delivery of synthetic ubiquitin into live cells using NextGen Ub-TAT conjugates

    Hameed D.S.*; Sapmaz A.*ǂ; Gjonaj L.; Merkx R.; Ovaa Hǂ;

    ChemBioChem. 2018.

  • miR-125b Targets ARID3B in Breast Cancer Cells

    Akhavantabasi S, Sapmaz A, Tuna S, Erson-Bensan AEǂ.

    Cell Struct Funct. 2012;37(1):27-38.

  • USP32 is an active, membrane-bound ubiquitin protease overexpressed in breast cancers.

    Akhavantabasi S*, Akman HB*, Sapmaz A*, Keller J, Petty EM, Erson AEǂ.

    Mamm Genome. 2010 Aug;21(7-8):388-97. doi: 10.1007/s00335-010-9268-4.


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