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Izmir University of Economics, Turkey
Title: Biomedical IR Spectroscopy: Quo Vadis?
Biography

Asst. Prof. Dr. Günnur Güler works in Biomedical Engineering, Izmir University of Economics, Turkey. Her research interests are mainly focused on biomedical spectroscopy, biomedical optics, cellular and molecular biophysics, biomolecular interactions, drug studies, nanobio, proteins, cell membrane fluidity, enzyme reactions, docking simulations as well as chemometrics. She got her BSc in Physics from Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey, and got her Master and PhD degrees from the Institute of Biophysics Frankfurt Goethe University in Germany where she received a grant from German Research Foundation. Upon receiving a repatriation grant from TUBITAK-2232 (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) she worked as a postdoctoral researcher (2015-2017) at Ege University. She also worked as a lecturer (2017-2019) at Izmir Institute of Technology. She scientifically visited to Switzerland (Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics), Germany (Frankfurt Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics) and Belgium (Université Libre de Bruxelles) where she gained further computational and experimental experiences. She also organized a couple of international conferences/workshops in Turkey. She is a member of epiSTEM Turkey Association (volunteer academic community) and Turkish Biophysics Association.

Abstract

In the last decades, spectroscopic methods have been intensively used in medical analysis, drug research and even diagnosis. Biomolecular spectroscopy that covers mostly optical/vibrational spectroscopic techniques has been frequently used to image, to detect and to analyze the biological samples. Particularly, Fourier transform infrared (IR) spectroscopy, or briefly IR spectroscopy, provides rapid information about life sciences from biomedical materials including biomolecules, metabolites, sub-cellular structures, cells, tissues and even body fluids. In the current talk, I will address about our medical analysis and pharmaceutical studies in vitro by using IR spectroscopy combined with multivariate statistical analysis (PCA, HCA, PLS-DA). Our recent applications involve deciphering of cancer biomarkers, discrimination among cancer stem cells, cancer cells and healthy cells, determination of drug-action mechanisms, tracking of therapeutic effects and cellular events (apoptosis etc.). As a result of our studies, we found that the IR technique was capable of detecting fingerprint-like signatures of lipidemic, proteomic, metabolic and genomic alterations in biological samples. IR spectroscopy is a time-saving and non-destructive technique and requires also low setup and running cost. Thus, it can be applied as ‘rejuvenated’ technique for molecular and chemical characterization of cells/tissues/biosamples in the field of molecular medicine, and thus, it should be further developed for label-free screening of biomarkers from human body fluids (blood, urine etc.) in early clinical diagnosis. At this point, future perspectives along the way to translation of research results into clinical practice are also the subject of this talk.

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