Emrah Ilker Ozay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


ISB 470



Former PI: 

Ilker received his undergraduate degree from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey, graduating with a double major in Molecular Biology & Genetics and Chemical Engineering. Ilker is a 5th year graduate student in the Graduate Program in Molecular & Cellular Biology. He is co-advised by Dr. Lisa M. Minter from VASCI and Dr. Gregory Tew from Polymer Science and Engineering. His interdisciplinary research is focused on delivering cell-penetrating antibodies to modulate the immune response of T cells, as a novel treatment for Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD). In addition to his main dissertation research, Ilker has worked on several different industry-funded projects where he therapeutically administered mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat GvHD in collaboration with an Australian company, Cynata Therapeutics Ltd., and with a German Company, Apceth GmbH & Co.KG. Currently, he is working on a novel method to generate highly-suppressive regulatory T cells, ex vivo, to use therapeutically for GvHD prevention. Upon completing his dissertation research, Ilker plans to pursue a career in the biotechnology industry, working in T cell reprogramming for therapeutic applications.

• Best Poster Award (2014) Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology Annual Graduate Student Retreat, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
• Grand Prize Winner (2014) Third Annual Global Academic Review Competition for the Life Science Leaders of Tomorrow.
American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Catalent, Inc.
• AAI Trainee Abstract Award (2016) American Association of Immunologists Immunology 2016, Seattle, WA.
• AAI Travel Grant Award (2016) American Association of Immunologists. International Conference of Immunology 2016, Melbourne, Australia.


• Ozay, E.I. (2014). Slipping the Blood Brain Barrier with Cell Penetrating Peptide Mimics, Catalent Institute: Thoughts from Science Leaders of Tomorrow, 4-9.
• Ozay, E.I., Gonzalez-Perez, G., Torres, J.A., Vijayaraghavan, J., Lawlor, R., Sherman, H. L., Garrigan, D.T. Jr., Burnside, A. S., Osborne, B. A., Tew, G.N., and Minter, L.M. (2016). Intracellular Delivery of Anti-PKCθ (Thr538) via Protein Transduction Domain Mimics for T Cell Immunomodulation, Mol Ther 24 (12), 2118-2130.
• Sgolastra F, Backlund CM, Ozay EI, deRonde BM, Minter LM, Tew GN. 2017.
Sequence segregation improves non-covalent protein delivery. Journal of Controlled Release. 254:131–136.
• Ozay, E.I., Vijayaraghavan, J., Gonzalez-Perez G., Sherman, H., Garrigan Jr., D., Torres, J.A., Chandiran, K., Roderick, J.E., Slukvin, I.I., Kelly, K., MacDonald R.A., and Minter, L.M. The iPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cell product, CYMERUS®, alters the differentiation potential of Th cells and conveys a significant survival benefit in a preclinical model of Graft-vs-Host disease (in preparation).
• Ozay, E.I., Mello, V., Trombley, G., Lerman, A., and Minter, L.M. Effect of mitochondrial activity influences CD4+ T cell differentiation and involvement of NOTCH1 (in preparation).