Ahmet Can Karabulut
University of Cincinnati
Thesis: Genetic and chemical-genetic dissection of embryonic cell division in the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis
For Ahmet Karabulut, necessity really was the mother of invention. In 2009, shortly after finishing a master’s degree in molecular genetics at the University of Cincinnati, Karabulut read an article about Innocentive, a company that seeks solutions for technical companies via crowd-sourcing. Between jobs, Karabulut put his curiosity and knowledge of science to work for him and submitted a proposal to stabilize a nasal spray component, winning $20,000. Since then, he’s earned 4 similar awards.
Karabulut credits his parents for stimulating his intellectual curiosity: his father worked in a marine biology lab and his mother was a teacher. They encouraged him to leave his home in Tarsus, Turkey, to attend Istanbul Technical University where he earned a BS in molecular biology and genetics in 2004. After his master’s studies in Ohio, he worked five years as a lab technician, primarily at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC).
At FHCRC, he identified small molecule inhibitors of bacterial DNA repair enzymes as a means to block antibiotic resistance. Once he decided to pursue a PhD, he focused entirely on the Stowers Institute, partly because FHCRC colleagues had said so many good things about it.Karabulut looks forward to living in a climate sunnier than Seattle. His parents are happy that he is now 2000 miles closer to Tarsus. And although he is not yet sure what the focus of his graduate work will be, he is interested in aging and regeneration research and likes the fact that Stowers investigators address these topics in diverse model organisms.