In today’s world, molecular biology, biochemistry, and other biological fields are becoming increasingly information driven. Mainly the need of processing massive quantities of sequence information generated by recent developments in genome sequencing and proteome analysis has propelled these life sciences into a new era in which computer science, information technologies, and biology merged into a single discipline as bioinformatics. Accordingly, genetics in conjunction with bioinformatics have been changing the old view in clinical diagnostics. By comprehensive genetic testing, individuals who are more susceptible to disease can be identified before any disease even exists. This way early predictive measures can be taken. Moreover personalized drug design, to tailor a specialized treatment based on your genetic makeup, seems to be a standard way of disease treatment in the near future.
In our department, we concentrate on computer-aided drug design. In computer-aided drug design, a receptor molecule of the disease-causing mechanism is modeled in the computer. Succeedingly a drug molecule is designed to interact with the receptor molecule in such a way to fix the malfunctioning mechanism of the protein. The candidate drug molecule can be a novel chemical structure which has been not synthesized before as well as a match from a database of already known drug molecules. This way of in silico computations of drug-enzyme interactions significantly shortens the process of experimental drug design for the target receptor.
Dynamics of the receptors to which drug molecules bind to is another field of study in our department. Understanding the functioning mechanism of the receptor is the very first step towards developing a way to interfere with its working mechanism. These receptor molecules are dynamic structures and the structural fluctuations in their dynamics are related to how they function Thus we are aiming to understand how these dynamic structures are functioning depending on different environmental factors.
We are also interested in enhanced simulation techniques to investigate the functional dynamics of ion channel membrane proteins. Malfunctioning of ion channels is directly related to various neuro and neuromuscular diseases, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. These proteins are very hard to simulate due to the lack of experimental structural information in addition to their size when lipid bilayer is included. Thus enhanced sampling and simulation techniques, as well as advanced homology modeling methods are necessary for a better understanding of their dynamics.
Beta2-adrenergic receptors, phosphodiesterase IV, GABA-A receptors, nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, triosephosphate isomerase are some of the protein systems that we are also interested in.
Qualification Awarded / Level of Qualification
Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics and Genetics (The Qualifications frameworks in the European Higher Education Area, QF-EHEA: Level 1, European Qualifications Framework (EQF-LLL): Level 6 )
Applicants should obtain the required scores from Transition to Higher Education Examination (YGS), First Cycle Placement Test (LYS/MF 3), and Direct Transfer Test (DGS). Placements are centrally organized by Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM). International students applying for the program must follow the admissions criteria determined by KHAS. Students can transfer into the program by following KHAS regulations on the basis concerning the horizontal transfer.
Recognition of Prior Learning
Students may be exempted from some of the courses they have succeded in the previous program, if they have not been counted towards a degree already, based on the decision of the Exemption Regulations of KHAS. Courses taken by students coming with "Direct Transfer Test" (DGS) from an associate degree program will also be evaluated based on Exemption Regulations of KHAS.
Students are required to successfully complete all courses in the curriculum accepted by the Senate (240 ECTS Credits) and have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.00/4.00. In addition, each student must complete 40 days compulsory internship.
Definition of the Program
The undergraduate program for Bioinformatics and Genetics aims at gathering various kind of data on the biological system, transferring these data digital environment, processing these data using computer algorithms and constructing models to understand an organism. The obtained results are used to understand the living systems, to design drugs targeting these mechanisms; thus indirectly this discipline contributes to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Besides this, Bioinformatics and Genetics Undergraduate program aims at providing fundamental theoretical and practical knowledge for DNA sequence analysis and genetic manipulation.
- To understand and the ability to use the fundamental concepts of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology to solve complex scientific problems.
- To be able to investigate the scientific problems in bioinformatics and genetics; the ability to design experiment, to conduct experiments in silico, in vitro or in vivo, to collect data, to analyze data, to get the results and to interpret, independently, or as part of a group.
- To be able to recognize the structure and reaction of organic molecules, to understand and the ability to conceptualize the interaction of chemical features, biological activities and living features of organic molecules.
- The ability to find the interaction between structures and enzyme kinetics of the organic molecules, and to use this interaction for drug design.
- The ability to do molecular modeling and dynamic biological system simulation using basic statistics, physics, bioinformatics, and computational biology methods, and/or programming languages.
- To understand and the ability to conceptualize cell biology, genetic structure, heredity, genome, and evolutionary mechanisms.
- To be able to follow the developments in bioinformatics and genetics with a critical point of view; the habit of monitor progress and awareness of life-long education.
- The awareness and responsibility in professional, environmental and quality issues.
- To ability to communicate on scientific topics, verbal and written, in English and in Turkish.
Occupational Profiles of Graduates
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, the graduates of this department have a wide scale of job opportunities. The universities, faculty of medicine at different universities, forensic science, the R&D departments of the pharmaceutical companies, genetic research and diagnosis centers, biotechnology companies, agricultural and food companies, insurance companies, and energy industry are few of many. Besides, they have the opportunity to build a career via national and international Master's degree and Ph.D. programs.
Access to Further Studies
Upon successful completion of the undergraduate program, candidates can go on to graduate programs based on their GPA and admission criteria of the applied graduate program.
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Exchange (North America, Europe, and Asia), Double Diploma ( Montana State U., Purdue U. at Indianapolis, Rollins) ve ERASMUS+ (with 13 universities in 9 countries) programs.
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