Elçin Ünal

Deciphering the age effects on meiosis and vice versa, with Angelika Amon

David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research / Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

My research focuses on understanding how meiosis affects aging and age-induced cellular damage, as well as understanding how cyclin-CDK regulation impacts meiotic chromosome segregation.

I was born and raised in Turkey. In high school, biology, math and chemistry were my favorite subjects, and a great biology teacher encouraged me to apply to the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department in Bilkent University, Ankara. The department was relatively new, the first of its kind in Turkey, and was accepting few people (15 per year) with full scholarships based on performance in the national university entrance exam. This was a risky decision but ended up being one of the best decisions I made in my life. I graduated from college in 2001 and started my academic journey in the U.S. with very little research experience but with lots of naïve ambition and curiosity.  My doctorate is from the Johns Hopkins University Department of Biology and Carnegie Institute for Science Department of Embryology. Outside of science, I like outdoorsy activities like hiking and running, as well as traveling, cooking yummy Mediterranean food, and making delicious cocktails.