Duygu Ozmadenci, PhD

Duygu Ozmadenci, PhD

Dr. Duygu Ozmadenci is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Born in a small town on the Black Sea region of Turkey, Duygu attended the prestigious Lyceum Galatasaray and Istanbul University before moving to France for graduate school. Receiving her Master’s degree from Université Réne Déscartes (Université Paris V) with high honors, she then moved to Université de Lyon and the Cancer Research Center of Lyon for her graduate studies on the regulation of cell plasticity and pluripotency. She received two consecutive national (ARC) fellowships during her doctoral studies, identifying novel signaling pathways involved in stem cell potency regulation and maintenance. During her doctoral studies, she presented her findings at international meetings in Beijing and Paris. She was awarded her PhD degree at the end of 2017 and next moved to the University of San Diego, California for postdoctoral studies. Working in the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, her current research focuses on focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling. The gene encoding FAK is found to be amplified in ~70% of women with serous ovarian cancer, regulates the WNT/b-catenin pathway, promotes stemness and chemotherapy resistance. Working together with other members of the division of gynecologic oncology, and with the assistance of a corporate partner (Verastem), Duygu has identified new roles for FAK in the modulation of the ovarian tumor microenvironment. Her goals are to understand how FAK promotes ovarian tumor escape from immune attack, and to establish new combinatory therapies including FAK inhibitors as immunomodulatory agents. 

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