Atabey Lab. on Cancer Biology and Signaling


Atabey Lab. has been working in the field of Cancer Biology and Signaling. The scientific goal of our group is to fill the gaps in the fundamental biological mechanisms underlying the development and progression of cancer. Over the past two decades, our group has been working on to develop deeper understanding the role of signal transduction cascade in cancer development and progression and using this molecular knowledge to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Specific Goals

1) Identification of the potential reciprocal crosstalk between c-Met receptor and other signaling molecules and their cooperative interaction in drug resistance in HCC
2) Investigating HGF/c-Met axis in tumor microenvironment and metastasis formation in the liver
3) Identification of the potential reciprocal crosstalk between HGF/c-Met signaling and glucose metabolism in HCC using various in vitro and in vivo models and further use this knowledge for developing strategies to prevent HCC
4) Identification of the roles of non-coding RNAs in the regulation of c-Met signaling in HCC
5) Deciphering signaling pathways in clinical samples for precision medicine using omics technologies
6) The use of omics data obtaining by our group and by the literature to investigate signaling mechanisms in metastasis and cancer by using in silico methods
7) Fabrication and validation of Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) system to predict metastatic and invasive ability to circulating tumor cells
8) Application of LOC in the early stage of anti-metastatic drug discovery focusing on gene expressions, receptor signaling and susceptibility

Our Team

Peyda Korhan, Yardımcı Araştırmacı

Lisans (1998-2002); Trakya Üniversitesi, Biyoloji

Yüksek Lisans (2003-2005); UK, University of Wolverhampton, School of Biomedical Science and Physiology

Doktora (2007- 2014); Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, Tıbbi Biyoloji ve Genetik

Yasemin Öztemur Islakoğlu, Doktora Sonrası Araştırmacı

Lisans (2007-2011); Hacettepe Üniversitesi, Biyoloji

Yüksek Lisans (2011-2013); Ankara Üniversitesi Biyoteknoloji Enstitüsü, Temel Biyoteknoloji

Doktora (2014-2018); Ankara Üniversitesi Biyoteknoloji Enstitüsü, Temel Biyoteknoloji

Yeliz Yılmaz, Doktora Öğrencisi

Lisans (2004-2008); Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik

Yüksek Lisans (2008-2011); Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik

Ezgi Bağırsakçı, Doktora Öğrencisi

Lisans (2009 – 2014); İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent Üniversitesi, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik

Yüksek Lisans (2015-2017); Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, Tıbbi Biyoloji ve Genetik

Dehan Çömez, Doktora Öğrencisi

Lisans (2010-2014); İstanbul Üniversitesi, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik

Yüksek Lisans (2016-2019); Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, İzmir Uluslararası Biyotıp ve Genom Enstitüsü, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik

Gülsün Bağcı, Doktora Öğrencisi

Lisans (2012-2016); İzmir Yüksek Teknoloji Enstitüsü, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik

Yüksek Lisans (2016-2019); Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, İzmir Uluslararası Biyotıp ve Genom Enstitüsü, Moleküler Biyoloji ve Genetik


Ayşim Güneş, PhD

Thesis: The Role of Signaling Pathways Associated with Oxidative Stress in the Progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Current Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM), McGill University

Erkan Kahraman, PhD

Thesis: Investigation of the Role of Sestrin 2 in Progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Atatürk Health Care Vocational School, Ege University

Hande Topel, PhD

Thesis: Investigation of the Relationship of c-Met Signalization and lncRNA HOTAIR in Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal
Transition Process of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Current Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

Group Members

Atabey Lab. on Cancer Biology and Signaling

Group Leader

+90 232 299 41 00 (5221)
+9 02322994172


YELIZ YILMAZ Research Assistant



YASEMIN ÖZTEMUR Post-doc Researcher



Please follow us on @atabeylab instagram and twitter accounts :)

Selected Publications

Aysim Gunes, Ezgi Bagirsakci, Evin Iscan, Gulcin Cakan-Akdogan, Umut Aykutlu, Serif Senturk, Gunes Ozhan, Esra Erdal, Deniz Nart, Funda Yilmaz Barbet, Nese Atabey. Thioredoxin interacting protein promotes invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncotarget. 2018 ; 9 (96): 36849-36866. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.26402.

Korhan P, Yılmaz Y, Bağırsakçı E, Güneş A, Topel H, Carr BI, Atabey N. Pleiotropic Effects of Heparins: From Clinical Applications to Molecular Mechanisms in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2018 January; 2018: 7568742. doi:10.1155/2018/7568742.

. Role of Albumin in growth inhibition in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.  Oncology. 2017 May; 93 (2): 136-142. doi:10.1159/000471807.

Yılmaz Y, Güneş A, Topel H, Atabey N. Signaling Pathways as Potential Therapeutic Targets in Hepatocarcinogenesis. J Gastrointest Cancer. 2017 September; 48 (3): 225-237. doi:10.1007/s12029-017-9958-1.

İşcan E, Güneş A, Korhan P, Yılmaz Y, Erdal E, Atabey N. The regulatory role of heparin on c-Met signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. J Cell Commun Signal. 2017 June; 11 (2): 155-166. doi:10.1007/s12079-016-0368-0.

Firtina Karagonlar Z, Koç D, Şahin E, Avci ST, Yilmaz M, Atabey N, Erdal E. Effect of adipocyte-secreted factors on EpCAM+/CD133+ hepatic stem cell population.. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2016 January; 474 (3): 482-490. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.04.137.

Firtina Karagonlar Z, Koc D, Iscan E, Erdal E, Atabey N. Elevated hepatocyte growth factor expression as an autocrine c-Met activation mechanism in acquired resistance to sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.. Cancer science. 2016 January; 107 (4): 407-16. doi:10.1111/cas.12891.

Yilmaz Y, Atabey N, Erdal E & Brian I. Carr. Platelets, Microenvironment and Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry. 2016 June; 5: 281. doi:10.4172/2161-1009.1000281.

Gunes A, Iscan E, Topel H, Avci ST, Gumustekin M, Erdal E, Atabey N. Heparin treatment increases thioredoxin interacting protein expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2015 January; 65: 169-81. doi:10.1016/j.biocel.2015.05.025.

Korhan P, Erdal E, Kandemiş E, Cokaklı M, Nart D, Yılmaz F, Can A, Atabey N. Reciprocal activating crosstalk between c-Met and caveolin 1 promotes invasive phenotype in hepatocellular carcinoma.. PloS one. 2014 January; 9 (8): e105278. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105278.

Korhan P, Erdal E, Atabey N. MiR-181a-5p is downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma and suppresses motility, invasion and branching-morphogenesis by directly targeting c-Met.. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2014 January; 450 (4): 1304-12. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.06.142.

Kunter I, Erdal E, Nart D, Yilmaz F, Karademir S, Sagol O, Atabey N. Active form of AKT controls cell proliferation and response to apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.. Oncology reports. 2014 January; 31 (2): 573-80. doi:10.3892/or.2013.2932.

Bozkaya G, Korhan P, Cokaklı M, Erdal E, Sağol O, Karademir S, Korch C, Atabey N. Cooperative interaction of MUC1 with the HGF/c-Met pathway during hepatocarcinogenesis.. Molecular cancer. 2012 January; 11: 64. doi:10.1186/1476-4598-11-64.

Gumustekin M, Kargi A, Bulut G, Gozukizil A, Ulukus C, Oztop I, Atabey N. HGF/c-Met overexpressions, but not met mutation, correlates with progression of non-small cell lung cancer.. Pathology oncology research : POR. 2012 January; 18 (2): 209-18. doi:10.1007/s12253-011-9430-7.

Ozen E, Gozukizil A, Erdal E, Uren A, Bottaro DP, Atabey N. Heparin inhibits Hepatocyte Growth Factor induced motility and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells through early growth response protein 1.. PloS one. 2012 January; 7 (8): e42717. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042717.

Cokakli M, Erdal E, Nart D, Yilmaz F, Sagol O, Kilic M, Karademir S, Atabey N. Differential expression of Caveolin-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma: correlation with differentiation state, motility and invasion.. BMC cancer. 2009 January; 9: 65. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-65.

Total: 16

Selected Book Chapters

Molecular Mechanisms of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (2016). Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Diagnosis and Treatment, 3rd Edition. Springer.

Total: 1


The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) - RD : A New Lab-on-a-Chip Device for Early Diagnosis of Metastasis

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) - RD : Molecular Mechanisms of High Glucose Induced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression: c-Met Activation and Potential Players Thioredoxin Interacting Protein, Sestrin2 and lncRNA HOTAIR

Open Positions

Open Post Doc Position

Job Description: The position is a full-time post doc position at Atabey Lab in IBG for 32 months. The project, funded by TUBİTAK, evolves around signaling pathways responsible in tumor metastasis in HCC and Colorectal Cancer (CRC). The review of applicants will begin on 23.10.2019 until the position is filled. The position is expected to start in 01.12.2019 or otherwise agreed.


• PhD in a relevant discipline (e.g. genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and medical biology).

• Strong knowledge of molecular and/or cellular biology and cancer biology.

• Demonstrable range of skills in 3D cell culture and co-culture systems (including generation of spheroids and stable cell lines, and their maintenance in culture)

• Expertise with Western Blot, Immunochemistry, Flow Cytometry, Fluorescence Microscopy.

• Highly developed communication skills (in Turkish and English) to engage effectively with a wideranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media

• Knowledge of different computer programs with experience in data presentation and statistical analyses.

• Highly self-motivated, hard-working and enthusiastic, with a keen desire to produce high quality scientific data.

Application Documents :

Please send the following documents to

• A personal cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position, your motivation to develop an expertise in cancer biology and how you meet the criteria outlined in the job description

• Detailed CV that documents your academic education achievements, and publications as well as previous employment (Please include the name and contact details of 2-3 academic references).

We offer:

• Salary is funded by TÜBİTAK Project as TÜBİTAK offering for post-doctoral fellow,

• State-of-the-art facilities of Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center,

• Having chance to attend national/international conferences, workshops, external and internal seminars,

• Opportunity to be a part of international collaborative projects,

• Working with a supportive and motivated team in friendly environment,

• Highly versatile research atmosphere at Atabey’s Lab in IBG but also interaction with teams at Dokuz Eylül University and Ege University Hospital,

• Izmir is a multicultural, socially dynamic city with favorable climate, rich history and modern lifestyle.


Atabey Lab. on Cancer Biology and Signaling

Group Leader

+90 232 299 41 00 (5221)
+9 02322994172