Genetics and Cancer Diagnosis-Research Centre
Genetics and Cancer Diagnosis-Research Centre

The Founding Rector of Near East University, Dr. Suat Günsel, established the Genetics and Cancer Diagnosis-Research Centre in 2011. It was established as an indication of the importance given to excellence and pioneering research.

Our Centre, the first and only genetics and cancer research centre in Northern Cyprus, is a part of the "translational research" approach. This approach is the long-term vision of Near East University, to transfer basic research to patient treatment. This centre supports the development and use of cancer and medical genetics, genetic diagnosis techniques and technologies, and public education as well as good academic education.

Research areas of the Centre include molecular, cellular and developmental biology, cancer biology and adult mesenchymal stem cells. The main aim of the centre is to guide studies that will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the cancer and stem cell regeneration and differentiation process with new strategic and technical approaches.

As a result, our principle is to provide rational scientific opportunities for the development and application of cell and gene-based therapies for the treatment of disease and damage processes.

In addition to the pioneering projects combining these research areas, our Centre gathers Molecular Cytogenetics, Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics, Molecular Diagnostic tests and Pre-implantation genetic diagnostic laboratories under its roof, which can rival many laboratories in Europe.

Our Long Term Vision
To be among the leading centres that develop cell and gene-based advanced therapies, offer translational research opportunities and enable such research in the field.

Prof. Dr. Pınar TÜLAY

  • Prof. Dr. Nedime Serakıncı
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Von Zyglinicki
  • Prof. Dr. Steen Kolvraa
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Klaus Brusgaard
  • Asst. Prof. Dr. Ayse Cirakoglu
  • Spec. Bio. Merdiye Maviş
  • Spec. Bio. Hüseyin Çağsın
Research Groups

Cancer Stem Cells and Telomere-Telomerase Research Group:
Its main purpose is to obtain information about the mechanism underlying the self-renewal of cancer cells. This program brings together key areas of strategic importance such as cell immortality, cancer, stem cell biology and telomere-telomerase biology. Translational cancer research aims to develop innovative laboratory models. In conclusion, the objective is to provide a rational scientific basis for the application of small molecules and gene-based therapies in the treatment of human cancers.

Ageing and Cancer Research Group:
Aging and cancer work together to wear down the body. The aim of this research group is to understand why we age differently, to reduce the risk of cancer as we age, and to investigate the effect of aging on the occurrence and course of cancer. This group combines different specializations such as genomic imbalance, oxidative stress, telomere-telomerase biology and cancer biology and thus examines the impact of each of factors such as initial development, lifelong health and nutrition on healthy aging.

Genetics and Development Biology Research Group:
The main aim of this research group is to better understand the genetic mechanisms underlying human embryonic development. This group brings together many areas of expertise from developmental biology, genetics, DNA mutation and repair, cell biology and molecular biology. The aim of this group is to conduct research on the diagnosis, treatment and even prevention of diseases related to genetic and embryonic developmental deficiencies.

Diagnosis Research Group:
The aim of this multidisciplinary research group is to investigate the diagnostic value of new findings. Its long-term aim is to contribute to the diagnostic process by producing new diagnostic tests/kits/tools.


Near East University is the first university in the TRNC to provide medical education. The NEU Faculty of Medicine includes the departments of Medical Genetics and Medical Biology. Our genetics department, which has become a very popular and suitable field for research recently, makes it attractive for graduate studies. Due to the increasing demands of people who have completed their undergraduate education, both at home and abroad, postgraduate level education has been provided in the Departments of Medical Biology and Genetics since February 2012. Our programs are approved by YÖK and YODAK. Within the scope of Medical Biology and Medical Genetics master's programs, students who graduate from the relevant departments of the faculties and meet the necessary conditions and are entitled to enrol will be taught about the basics of both departments and their intersection points. Our centre, which consists of five different laboratories, provides the opportunity to practice and learn everything on-site and one-on-one. Therefore, fully equipped individuals will be trained in both theoretical and practical fields with the courses provided by the departments of Medical Genetics, Medical Biology and Statistics.
Health Sciences Institute
Master (MSc) Students

  • Meral Kızılkanat
  • Rameez Hasan
  • Ali Kızılkanat
  • Nermin Özdağ

Doctorate (PhD) Students

  • Aslı Özatınç
  • Ceren Gezer (Co-Consultant Prof. Dr. Nedime Serakinci)


  • “ Yakin Dogu Universitesi bunyesinde DNA Bankasi ve Veritabani yapilandirilmasi. “ (DNA Bank and Database configuration within the Near East University) (Master Student Rameez Hassan)
  • “Vitamin D reseptor geni polimorfizmlerinin muti-faktoriyel hastaliklardaki rolu (The role of vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms in multifactorial diseases.) “ (Master Student Meral Kizilkanat)
  • “IVF uygulamarinda, ileri erkek yasinin yumurta donor kullanilarak veya kullanilmayarak elde edilen embriyolarda oploidi oraninin karsilastirilmasi (Comparison of oploidy level in embryos of advanced male age with or without egg donor in IVF application.) “ Master Student Ali Kizilkanat)
  • “Enginar Bileşiminde Bulunan Fenolik Bileşiklerin Nrf2’yi Aktive Ederek Karaciğer Yenilenmesindeki Rolünün Incelenmesi (Investigation of the Role of Phenolic Compounds in Artichoke Composition in Liver Regeneration by Activating Nrf2.) “ (Doctorate Student Ceren Gezer, Co-Consultant Prof. Dr. Nedime Serakinci)
  • “ Insan gobek kordonu mezenkim kok hucrelerinin hTERT kullanilarak olumsuzlestirilmesi ve karakterizasyonu (Negation and characterization of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells using hTERT.) “ (Doctorate Student Spec. Bio. Deniz Balci)

Completed Doctorate Thesis’:

  • Eda Becer (Co-Consultant  Prof. Dr. Nedime Serakıncı)
  • Doctorate Thesis: Obez kişilerde Q228R polimorfizmi ile leptin, adiponektin, resistin ve insülin direnci arasındaki ilişkinin incelenmesi (Investigation of the relationship between Q228R polymorphism and leptin, adiponectin, resistin and insulin resistance in obese subjects.)
Our Publications

Recent Publications

  • Eker A, Fahrioglu U, Serakinci N. (2015) A late onset tremor and ataxia syndrome; FXTAS and it's ignored peripheral nervous system findings in diagnostic criteria. Archives of Neuropsychiatry, [Epub ahead of print].
  • Becer E, Çırakoglu A. (2015) Association of the Ala16Val MnSOD gene polymorphism with plasma leptin levels and oxidative stress biomarkers in obese patients. Gene, [Epub ahead of print].
  • Kalkan R, Atli Eİ, Özdemir M, Çiftçi E, Aydin HE, Artan S, Arslantaş A. (2015) IDH1 mutations is prognostic marker for primary glioblastoma multiforme but MGMT hypermethylation is not prognostic for primary glioblastoma multiforme. Gene, 554(1):81-6.
  • Tulay P, Gultomruk M, Findikli N, Bahceci M. (2015) Number of embryos biopsied as a predictive indicator for the outcome of preimplantation genetic diagnosis by fluorescence in situ hybridisation in translocation cases. Zygote, [Epub ahead of print].
  • Atli EA, Kalkan R, Ciftci E, Ozkara E, Cilingir O, Ozdemir M, Ozbek Z, Artan S, Arslantas A. (2014) IDH2 mutations in a Turkey series of Primary Glioblastoma. Journal of Neurological Sciences, 31(4):693-698.
  • Tulay P, Gultomruk M, Findikli N, Bahceci M. (2014) Poor embryo development and preimplantation genetic diagnosis outcomes of translocations involving chromosome 10: Do we blame genetics? Zygote, [Epub ahead of print].
  • Tulay P, Gultomruk M, Findikli N, Yagmur E, Bahceci M. (2014) Is the interchromosomal effect present in embryos derived from Robertsonian and reciprocal translocation carriers particularly focusing on chromosome 10 rearrangements? Zygote, [Epub ahead of print].
  • Ozden S, Tiber P, Ozgen Z, Ozyurt H, Serakinci N, Orun O. (2014) Expression of TRF2 and its prognostic relevance in advanced stage cervical cancer patients. Biological Research, 47(1):61.
  • Serakinci N, Fahrioglu U, Christensen R. (2014) Mesenchymal stem cells, cancer challenges and new directions. European Journal of Cancer, 50(8):1522-1530.
  • Teralı K, Zorlu T, Bulbul O, Gurkan C. (2014) Population genetics of 17 Y-STR markers in Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 10:e1-e3.
  • Becer E, Mehmetçik G, Bareke H, Serakıncı N. (2013) Association of leptin receptor gene Q223R polymorphism on lipi profiles in comparison study between obese and non-obese subjects. Gene, 529(1):16-20.
  • Harbo M, Koelvraa S, Serakinci N, Bendix L. (2012) Telomere dynamics in human mesenchymal stem cells after exposure to acute oxidative stress. DNA Repair, 11(9):774-779.
  • Serakinci N, Christensen R, Fahrioglu U, Sorensen FB, Dagnaes-Hansen F, Hajek M, Jensen TH, Kolvraa S, Keith NW. (2011) Mesenchymal stem cells as therapeutic delivery vehicles targeting tumor stroma. Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals, 26(6): 767-773.
  • Ozden SA, Ozyurt H, Ozgen Z, Kilinc O, Oncel M, Gul A, Karadayi N, Serakinci N, Kan B, Orun O. (2011) Association of sensitive-to-apoptosis gene (SAG) expression with radiosensitivity to radio/chemotherapy in advanced rectal cancers. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 17(44):4905-4910.

Önceki Yayınlar (Previous Publications)

  • Kyle Lafferty-Whyte1, Claire J. Cairney1, Malcolm B. Will1, Nedime Serakinci3, Maria-Grazia Daidone2, Nadia Zaffaroni2 and W. Nicol Keith1, A gene expression signature classifying telomerase and ALT immortalisation reveals an hTERT regulatory network and suggests a mesenchymal stem cell origin for ALT, Oncogene, 2009 Oct 29;28(43):3765-74. Epub 2009 Aug 17
  • Öngören Şeniz, Tarkan-Argüden Yelda , Ar M. Cem,Yılmaz Şükriye, Üre Ümit, Kuru Dilhan, Eşkazan Ahmet Emre, Güven Gülgün S., Çetin Güven, Çırakoğlu, Ayşe, Başlar Zafer, Deviren Ayhan, Aydın Yıldız, Hacihanefioğlu Seniha, Ferhanoğlu Burhan, Tüzüner Nükhet, Ülkü Birsen, Soysal Teoman. Clonal Chromosomal Abnormalities In Philadelphia-Negative Cells And Their Clinical Significance In Patients With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Results Of A Single Center. Türkiye Klinikleri Tıp Bilimleri Dergisi 2009;29(2):321-30.
  • Tarkan-Argüden Y., Ar M. C., Yılmaz Ş., Öngoren Ş., Kuru D., Üre Ü., Çırakoglu A., Eşkazan A. E., Güven G. S., Çetin G., Purisa S., Baslar Z., Deviren A., Aydın Y., Hacıhanefioglu S., Ferhanoglu B., Tüzüner N., Ülkü B., Soysal T. “Cytogenetic clonal evolution in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia” Biotechnol. & Biotechnol. Eq., 23(4): 1515-20 (2009).
  • DOI: 10.2478/v10133-009-0022-6 Cytogenetic clonal evolution in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia
    Rikke Christensen, Jan Alsner, Flemming Brandt Sorensen, Frederik Dagnaes-Hansen, Steen Kolvraa, Nedime Serakinci: Transformation of human mesenchymal stem cells in radiation carcinogenesis; Long-term effect of ionizing radiation, Regen Med. 2008 Nov;3(6):849-61
  • Nedime Serakinci,, Jesper Graakjær, Steen Kolvraa: Telomere stability and telomerase in mesenchymal stem cells, Reiew article, Biochimie. 2008 Jan;90(1):33-40. Epub 2007 Sep 25.
  • Ayşe Çırakoğlu, Yelda Tarkan-Argüden, Ayhan Deviren, Dilhan Kuru, Şükriye Yılmaz, Su Gülsün Berrak, Cengiz Canpolat, Seniha Hacıhanefioğlu. A childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) case with t(3;17)(q23;p13),t(5;12)(q31;p13),inv(11) (p15q12). t(3;17)(q23;p13),t(5;12)(q31;p13),inv(11)(p15q12)’li bir çocukluk çağı akut lenfoblastik lösemi (ALL) olgusu. Turk J Hematol 2008; 25: 152-4. (Case report)
    Fahrioglu U, Murphy MW, Zarkower D, Bardwell VJ. “mRNA expression analysis and the molecular basis of neonatal testis defect in Dmrt1 mutant mice” Journal of Sexual Development 2007;1:42-58.
  • Nedime Serakinci & Can Erzik: Rod for understnding cancer stem cells: model cell lines. Review article, Regen Med 2007, Nov 2(6),957-965.
  • E. Yosunkaya-Fenerci, G. S. Güven, D. Kuru, Ş.Yılmaz, Y. Tarkan-Argüden, A. Çırakoğlu, A.Deviren, A. Yüksel, S. Hacıhanefioğlu. Supernumerary chromosome der(22)t(11;22): Emanuel sydrome associates with novel features. Genetic Counseling, 18(4):401-8, 2007
  • Jesper Graakjær, Rikke Christensen, Steen Kølvraa, Nedime Serakinci: Mesenchymal stem cells with high telomerase expression do not actively restore their chromosome arm specific telomere length pattern after exposure to ionizing radiation. BMC Mol Biol. 2007 Jun 13;8(1):49 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Nedime Serakinci, Rikke Christensen, Jesper Graakjær, Claire J. Anderson, W. Nicol Keith, Jan Alsner, Gabriele Saretzki, Steen Kolvraa : Immortalized adult human mesenchymal stem cells are less radiosensitive than their mortal counterpar, Exp Cell Res. 2007 Mar 10;313(5):1056-67. Epub 2007 Jan 8
  • Serakinci N, Keith WN: Therapeutic potential of adult stem cells. Eur J Cancer. 42; 1243-1246, 2006
  • Nedime Serakinci, Stacey F. Hoare, Moustapha Kassem, Stuart P. Atkinson, and W. Nicol Keith: Telomerase promoter reprogramming and interaction with general transcription factors in the human mesenchymal stem cell, Regenerative Med. 1 (1), 125-131, 2006
  • Palanduz S, Serakinci N, Cefle K, Aktan M, Tutkan G, Ozturk S, Bozkurt G, Dincol G, Pekcelen Y, Koch J.A different approach to telomere analysis with ddPRINS in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Eur J Med Genet. 2006 Jan-Feb;49(1):63-9. Epub 2005 Feb 1.
  • W. Nicol Keith, Tom Vulliamy, Jiangqin Zhao, Can Erzik, Alan Bilsland, Cem Ar, Birsen Ulku, Anna Marrone, Philip J Mason*, Monica Bessler, Nedime Serakinci and Inderjeet Dokal, A mutation in a functional Sp1 binding site of the telomerase RNA gene (hTERC) promoter in a patient with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria, BMC Blood Disord. 4(1): 3, 22 Jun 2004
  • Serakinci N, Guldberg P, Burns J, Abdallah B, Shrødder H, Jensen T, and Kassem M The adult human mesenchymal stem cell as a target for neoplastic transformation, Oncogene, 23(29): 5095-5099, 2004 (Awarded with an editorial commentary).
  • Serakıncı N, Ostergaard M, Larsen H, Madsen B, Pedersen B, Koch J,: Multiple chromosome end aberrations in a telomerase positive leukemia patient. Cancer Genet. Cytogenet 138,11-16, 2002.
  • Serakıncı N, and Koch J,: Telomerase activity in human leukemic cells with or without monosomy 7 or 7q-. BMC Medical Genetics 3, 11, 2002.
  • Simonsen JL, Rosada C, Serakinci N, Justesen J, Stenderup K, Rattan SI, Jensen TG and Kassem M Telomerase expression extends the proliferative life-span and maintains the osteogenic potential of human bone marrow stromal cells. Nature Biotech 20, 592-596, 2002.
  • Serakıncı N, Pedersen B, Koch J,: Expansion of repetitive DNA into cytogenetically visible elements, Cytogenet. Cell Genet 92, 182-185, 2001.
  • Palanduz S, Ozturk S, Cefle K, Karaman B, Tutkan G, Ustek D, Ucur A, Serakıncı N, Basaran S. A case of Turner syndrome with a rare reciprocal translocation between an autosome and the X chromosome. BJMG 3, 45-48, 2000.
  • Sukru Ozturk, Sukru Palanduz, Melih Aktan, Kivanc Cefle, Nedime Serakıncı, Yuksel Pekcelen: Sister chromatid exchange frequency in B-cells stimulated by TPA in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer Genet. Cytogenet 123, 49-51, 2000.
  • Palanduz S, Ozturk S, Cefle K, Tutkan G, Karaman B, Ustek D, Ucur A, Serakıncı N, Basaran S. A case of mental retardation associated with a partial tetrasomy of chromosome 15. BJMG, Vol:3(1), 45-48, 2000.
  • Serakıncı N, Koch J,: Telomeric repeats of immortal hamster cells, Turk J Med Sci 30, 315-320, 2000.
  • Palanduz S., Berkman Z., Çefle K., Öztürk S, Serakıncı N., Akif Karan M., Tas F.,: A family with several members affected by brain tumours, skin lesions and renal involvement Tuberous Sclerosis, Medical Bulletin of Istanbul Medical Faculty, 33:1, 62-67, 2000.
    Serakıncı N, Krejci K, Koch J,: Telomeric repeat organization- a comparative in situ study between man and rodent, Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 86, 204-211, 1999.
    Serakıncı N, Koch J: Detection and sizing of telomeric repeat DNA In Situ. Nature Biotech. 17, 200-201, 1999.
  • Palanduz S., Çefle K., Öztürk S., Karan MA, Tas F., Serakıncı N.: A Family with Von Hippel-Lindau disease with several members affected by renal involvement and brain tumors, Medical Bulletin of Istanbul Medical Faculty, 32:1, p8992, 1999.
  • Serakıncı N,: Investigation on the Relationship of Telomeres with Cancer and Aging by using advanced Molecular Cytogenetic Techniques, Health Science Institute Department of Medical Genetics and Biology, Brief report, Turk J Med Sci, p9882, 1999.
    Serakıncı N,:Variations of chromosome heteromorphism in early recurrent abortions and significance of especially Y- chromosome heteromorphism, Istanbul University, Health Science Institute Department of Medical Genetics, Medical Bulletin of Istanbul Medical Faculty, p687, 1993.

Kitap Bölümleri (Book Chapters)

  • Culture of Animal Cells, 5th ed. Author: R.I. Freshney; Chapter No: 17 Copyright © 2005 Wiley[Imprint], Inc
  • Essay in Encyclopedia of Cancer. Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K, Berlin, UK, 2nd edition 2008.
  • Molecular cytogenetic applications in diagnostics and research - an overview Nedime Serakinci1,2 & Steen Koelvraa2,* Springer-book
  • Culture of Animal Cells, 6th ed. Author: R.I. Freshney; Copyright © 2005 Wiley[Imprint], Inc October 2010.
  • Cancer Stem Cells, In Tech, Editor: Niksa Mandic ISBN nr. 978-953-307-225-8

Ödüller :

  1. Best publication and year’s young investigator award by Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK, 1998
  2. Successful young investigator award by Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK, 1999
  3. Celal Bayar Üniversitesi 1. Ulusal Tıp Öğrencileri Proje Yarışması,Türkiye, Mart 2013
Speaker University Speech Date Subject Heading
Dr. Mesude Bıçak University of Oxford 22 May 2013 The Emerging Field of Bioinformatics & Recent Developments
Prof. Dr. Şükrü Palanduz İstanbul Tıp Fakültesi 7 May 2013 Gen Tedavisi. Genetikte güncel konular:İnsan Genom Projesi, Genetik tanı testlerinin kullanımı
Dr. Fatma Atalar İstanbul Tıp Fakültesi 7 May 2013 Nadir hastalıklar;Orphanet
Prof. Dr. Steen Koelvraa Yakın Doğu Üniversitesi 4 April 2013 Prenatal diagnosis based on circulating free fetal DNA in maternal blood
Prof. Dr. Steen Koelvraa Yakın Doğu Üniversitesi 4 April 2013 Molecular mechanisms in colorectal cancers
Julian Palacios Yakın Doğu Üniversitesi 11 December 2012 DNA chips for personalized medicine
Prof. Dr. Steen Koelvraa Yakın Doğu Üniversitesi 12 November 2012 Inherited ovarian cancer. molecular, clinical and therapeutic aspects
Prof. Dr. Steen Koelvraa Yakın Doğu Üniversitesi 12 November 2012 The feasibility of using fetal cells in maternal blood for aneuploidy screening
Prof. Dr. Nedime Serakıncı Yakın Doğu Üniversitesi 12 July 2013 Gene Therapy: Viral and non viral gene therapy 4th biomedical engineering workshop : gene theraphy
Supporting Centres

  1. YDÜ Hastanesi
  2. Evrensel Araştırmacılar
  3. Vakıflar