A New Method in Cell Treatment: Nano-Hand (March 10, 2015)

The MANAQA Project, of which Boğaziçi University’s Technology Transfer Office is partner, is nearing its end. The MANAQA Project aims to examine interaction among cells in diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s and study the molecules in them.  The project is led by Assistant Professor Hamdi Torun, who has been listed among the “most innovative people under 35.”  His Nano-hand technology is planned to develop medication at the molecular level to treat and cure cells that are causing disease.

With Nano-hand, a microscope will be developed to enable scientists to study single molecules, and the cells causing the disease will be examined.   Prof. Torun explained how Nano-hand will work:  “We want to make a Nano-hand such that it behaves like my own hand; that I can examine molecules by using. Let’s take the cancer cell as an example.  If we know the molecules that tie the cancer cells, then we can imprison the cell.  This can be a significant application for the treatment of Alzheimer’s as a structural change in protein’s opening/folding profile in a single molecule causes plaque to be formed on the brain.  When these plaques increase, the disease advances.  Our project begins from basic questions such as where the mentioned structural malfunction is triggered or if another molecule can be developed to prevent that.

Custom Made Medicine via Nano-Hand 

Explaining that two people with the same disease have different physiologies, Prof. Torun added, “The treatment to be applied to these two people will be different too.  To understand this, you need to make single-molecule measurements.  Technologies that will enable us to develop new medications will also bring us to the stage of custom made medicine for each individual.”

The project is in its third year in Turkey; it is a common project of Boğaziçi University, ETH Zurich from Switzerland, UAB Barcelona from Spain, Üniversitat Würzburg from Germany, Switzerland-based AEON, and Australia-based Happy Plating.

Prof. Hamdi Torun One the 10 Most Innovative Scholars Under 35

Prof. Hamdi Torun was listed among “the most innovative scholars under 35” by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review Journal.  He was given the MIT Technology Review Award for his development of “a new microscope technology with a scanning probe that improves bioscience research”. The recipients of the award were selected from 100 candidates by internationally known innovation experts, academicians, and mentors following arduous deliberations. Among previous recipients are Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sergey Brin of Google, and Nobel Prize winner Konstantin Novoselov, the physicist noted for his groundbreaking work on graphene, an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice made of carbon atoms.