Director, Foundation Development Program, Sabanci University and Chair, SESAME Scientific Advisory Committee

Dr. Zehra Sayers is a molecular biophysicist working on structure-function relationships in biological molecules using synchrotron radiation X-rays. She is a founding member of the Genetics, Molecular Biology and Bioengineering program at Sabanci University in Istanbul.  She is also Director of the Foundations Development Program coordinating the undergraduate core curriculum courses at Sabanci.  Since 2002 Dr. Sayers has been the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) project, which is a 2.5 GeV third generation-light source under construction in Jordan. The members of SESAME are currently Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. SESAME is established to foster scientific and technological capacities in the Middle East and in the neighboring countries, and to develop better understanding through collaboration among peoples with different cultures and political systems. The laboratory is expected to become functional in the second half of 2016 and young and experienced scientists from the region are currently developing projects for the first experiments at SESAME.

Dr. Sayers obtained a BSc in Physics from Bogazici University in Istanbul and completed her PhD at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of London. She worked several years as a staff scientist at EMBL Hamburg conducting pioneering work in use of synchrotron radiation for structural studies of cytoskeletal proteins and chromatin. After returning to Turkey she pioneered work in structural biology and trained young scientists in this field. Recently she has been involved in design and development of an interdisciplinary undergraduate core curriculum program as well as use of new pedagogical approaches for teaching science at the university level in Turkey.



17:00-18:30 5 NOVEMBER
thematic SESSION I.A: science for peace