Asst. Prof. Hatice Bahar ŞAHİN


Phone:       +90 212 533 6532 / 1424


bilkent Undergrad:
Bilkent University Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (2005)
igbmc PhD: Universite Louis Pasteur / IGBMC – Developmental Biology (2009)
Advisor: Prof. Angela Giangrade

Academic Experience:

bogazici Post doc: Boğaziçi University – Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (2011-2013)
Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Arzu Çelik
kadir has Asst. Prof.: Kadir Has University Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics (2013 – now)


- The best 3rd poster. 54th GSA Annual Drosophila Research Conferences. Washington, ABD (2013)
- FRM “Fin de thèse” PhD fellowship (2009)

- INSERM/Region Alsace PhD fellowship (20062008)
- Honour/High honour student at Bilkent University
- Awarded full scholarship by Bilkent University (20002005)

Courses given

CH 101
BIO 102
BIO 301 Genetics I (+ lab)
BIO 302 Genetics II (+ lab)
BIO 305 Biochemistry I
BIO 308 Neurobiology
BIO 403 Recent Advances in Genetics
KHAS101 Origins and Consequences / Evolution

BIO 531
Essential Cell Biology
BIO 588 System’s Biology
BIO 631 Advanced Cell Biology
BIO 688 Computational System’s Biology
GSE 598 Seminar


I’m interested in the development of the nervous system. Nervous system is the most the most complex and intricate system ever evolved in our planet. There are numerous questions, waiting to be answered. In my research so far, I have studied the synapse maturation first, then later the neural cell specification.
Both in vertebrates and in invertebrates, neural cells are specified from a non-specified group of cells (ectoderm, epidermis etc.). Acquiring the neural identity involves many steps; working cell intrinsic and non-autonomous mechanisms. Neurogenesis is a complicated phenomenon and requires cell-cell interactions, change in gene expression profile, cell migration and change in cell morphology.
Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) eyes present an optimal model system to study neurogenesis, since we can directly visualize cell specification step by step on a metamorphosing larva. adult eye

Drosophila adult eye and larval eye.

Besides, Drosophila compound eyes consist of ~800 camera like units formed by 19 cells, allowing to study phenotypes in detail. Using the sophisticated genetic engineering tools in Drosophila, we can perform difficult experiments. By setting up genetic combinations; tissues, portion of tissue, cell groups or individual cells can be targeted. This generates an in vivo environment that allows us to study gene function.
In my latest project, I have aimed at characterizing two members of the AMPK family, SIK2 and SIK3 in Drosophila. We have generated the null mutants, overexpression tools to manipulate the genetic background, and the tagged SIK genes with fluorescent tags to follow the SIK proteins.


SIK2 expression pattern (unpublished data)

Interestingly, we have seen that SIK genes lead to tumor formation in fruit flies. It recently emerged by bioinformatic research on genomics databases that SIKs are connected to several tumor types; even SIK3 is used as ovarian cancer biomarker. Using these preliminary data, we try to understand where SIKs stand in the frame of molecular pathways and molecular mechanisms.


Tumor incidence in fly

Keywords: Developmental Biology, Neural Development, Drosophila melanogaster, Cell biology, Genetics

Past and Current Projects

tubitak TÜBİTAK 2218 Post-doc grant. “The Role SIK3 Gene in Animal Development and Tumorigenesis”. Researcher. (2011-2013)
bogazici BAP 10B01P12. Boğaziçi University Research Grant “Investigation of SIK3 Role in the Fruit Fly Model”. Researcher (2011-2013)

Recent Publications:

Şahin HB, Sayın S, Buğra K, Çelik A. “Salt Inducible Kinases as Novel Notch Interactors in the Developing Drosophila Retina” Plos One. Jun 15;15(6) (2020)

- Bekpen C, Baker C, Hebert MD, Sahin HB, Johnson ME, Celik A, Mullikin JC, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Eichler EE. “Functional Characterization of the Morpheus Gene Family” BioRxiv. (2017)

-  Abekhoukh S, Sahin HB, Grossi M, Zongaro S, Madrigal I, Kazue-Sugioka D, Raas-Rothschild A, Doulazmi M, Carrera P, Stachon A, Scherer S, Drula Do Nascimento MR, Arroyo I, Peter S, Smith IM, Milà M, Smith AC, Giangrande A, Caillé I, Bardoni B. “New Insights into the Regulatory Function of CYFIP1 in the Context of WAVE- and FMRP-Containing Complexes” Disease Models & Mechanisms (2017)

- Sahin HB, Karatas OF, Specchia V, Tommaso SD, Diebold C, Bozzetti MP, Giangrande A.”Novel Mutants of the Aubergine Gene.” Fly (Austin). 2016 Apr 11:0.

– Bozzetti MP, Specchia V, Cattenoz P, Laneve P, Geusa A, Sahin HB, Di Tommaso S, Friscini A, Massari S, Diebold C, Giangrande A. “The Drosophila Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein participates in the piRNA pathway.” Journal of Cell Science. 2015 Apr 23. pii: jcs.161810. (2015)

- Sahin HB, Celik. A. “Drosophila Eye Development and Photoreceptor Specification”. eLS. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001147. March (2013)

- Galy A*, Schenck A*, Sahin HB*, Qurashi A, Sahel JA, Diebold C, Giangrande A. “CYFIP dependent actin remodeling controls specific aspects of Drosophila eye morphogenesis”. Developmental Biology, 2011 Nov 1;359(1):37-46. Epub Aug 22 (2011). Co-first author.

- Reeve S, Lin X, Sahin BH, Jiang F, Yao A, Liu Z, Zhi H, Li W, Broadie K, Giangrande A, Hassan B, Zhang Y. “Mutational analysis establishes a critical role for the N terminus of Fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP”. The Journal of Neuroscience, March 19, 2008, 28(12):3221–3226. (2008)

- Qurashi A, Sahin HB, Carrera P, Gautreau A, Schenck A, Giangrande A. “HSPC300 and its role in neuronal connectivity”. Neural Development 2007 2:18. 25 September (2007).