The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the largest human genetics and genomics organization in the world, has selected Dean of the Faculty of Science Prof. Tayfun Özçelik, and the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics as “Thought Leader.” Previous recipients of this prestigious distinction include “Genomics England,” “European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases,” “Saudi Human Genome Program,” “Chinese Genome Program,” “Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics” and “Danish National Genome Center.”
ASHG cited Prof. Özçelik’s pioneering work in Prader-Willi syndrome, his collaborative studies on complex genetic disorders and the Turkish Variome. These scientific advancements are credited for playing pivotal roles in advancing the field of human genetics. Bilkent University is credited for striving to revolutionize biomedical research, transform medical care and improve the lives of people across the globe through education, innovation, research and the formulation of healthcare policy.
This year ASHG celebrates its 75th year with an anniversary theme of “One Humanity, Many Genomes.” More than eight thousand scientists convened in Washington, DC between November 1–5, 2023.
A documentary featuring Bilkent University was shown at the event. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmCBsZe_kXQ&t=73s
Prof. Tayfun Özçelik has been working at Bilkent University for nearly 30 years. After completing high school in Italy and Turkey, he conducted his medical studies at İstanbul, Geneva, London, Oxford and Yale Universities. He was trained in the physiology and medical genetics fields at Munich, Yale and Stanford Universities. With his mentor Prof. Uta Francke, he mapped genes to human and mouse chromosomes and contributed to the early gene maps, which eventually culminated to the Human Genome Project.
He is a past president of the Turkish Society of Medical Genetics, Scientific Programme Committee Member of the American Society of Human Genetics and Board Member and Education Committee Chair of the European Society of Human Genetics. His research is supported by the EU, NIH (National Institutes of Health), WHO (World Health Organization), TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) and TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Council of Türkiye). He is currently conducting research jointly with Rockefeller, Harvard, Cambridge Universities and Mount Sinai Medical Center. He is a principal member of TÜBA (Turkish Academy of Sciences) and recipient of the 2012 TÜBİTAK Science Award.