Emrah Ilker Ozay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


ISB 470



eozay [at] mcb [dot] umass [dot] edu
Former PI: 
Lisa M. Minter

Ilker received his undergraduate degree from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey, graduating with a double major in Molecular Biology & Genetics and Chemical Engineering. Ilker is a 5th year graduate student in the Graduate Program in Molecular & Cellular Biology. He is co-advised by Dr. Lisa M. Minter from VASCI and Dr. Gregory Tew from Polymer Science and Engineering. His interdisciplinary research is focused on delivering cell-penetrating antibodies to modulate the immune response of T cells, as a novel treatment for Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD). In addition to his main dissertation research, Ilker has worked on several different industry-funded projects where he therapeutically administered mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat GvHD in collaboration with an Australian company, Cynata Therapeutics Ltd., and with a German Company, Apceth GmbH & Co.KG. Currently, he is working on a novel method to generate highly-suppressive regulatory T cells, ex vivo, to use therapeutically for GvHD prevention. Upon completing his dissertation research, Ilker plans to pursue a career in the biotechnology industry, working in T cell reprogramming for therapeutic applications.

• Best Poster Award (2014) Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology Annual Graduate Student Retreat, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
• Grand Prize Winner (2014) Third Annual Global Academic Review Competition for the Life Science Leaders of Tomorrow.
American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Catalent, Inc.
AAI Trainee Abstract Award (2016) American Association of Immunologists Immunology 2016, Seattle, WA.
AAI Travel Grant Award (2016) American Association of Immunologists. International Conference of Immunology 2016, Melbourne, Australia.


• Ozay, E.I.(2014). Slipping the Blood Brain Barrier with Cell Penetrating Peptide Mimics, Catalent Institute: Thoughts from Science Leaders of Tomorrow, 4-9.
• Ozay, E.I., Gonzalez-Perez, G., Torres, J.A., Vijayaraghavan, J., Lawlor, R., Sherman, H. L., Garrigan, D.T. Jr., Burnside, A. S., Osborne, B. A., Tew, G.N., and Minter, L.M.(2016). Intracellular Delivery of Anti-PKCθ (Thr538) via Protein Transduction Domain Mimics for T Cell Immunomodulation, Mol Ther 24 (12), 2118-2130.
• Sgolastra F, Backlund CM, Ozay EI, deRonde BM, Minter LM, Tew GN. 2017.
Sequence segregation improves non-covalent protein delivery. Journal of Controlled Release. 254:131–136.
• Ozay, E.I., Vijayaraghavan, J., Gonzalez-Perez G., Sherman, H., Garrigan Jr., D., Torres, J.A., Chandiran, K., Roderick, J.E., Slukvin, I.I., Kelly, K., MacDonald R.A., and Minter, L.M. The iPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cell product, CYMERUS®, alters the differentiation potential of Th cells and conveys a significant survival benefit in a preclinical model of Graft-vs-Host disease (in preparation).
• Ozay, E.I., Mello, V., Trombley, G., Lerman, A., and Minter, L.M. Effect of mitochondrial activity influences CD4+ T cell differentiation and involvement of NOTCH1 (in preparation).