Middle East Technical University Üniversiteler Mahallesi, Dumlupınar Bulvarı No:1 Biyolojik Bilimler, 123 06800 Çankaya Ankara/TURKEY

Office Room: 123

Tel: 0090 312 210 6464

Web: ilgulab.org

Education: B.Sci, Middle East Technical University, Major Biology Ankara, Turkey PhD. Iowa State University, Major Biochemistry, Ames, IA

Research Interest: Aptamers, aminoglycosides, biosensors, lab on a chip, aptamers for theranostic applications, riboswitches and synthetic biology

Description of Research Activities: Dr. Müslüm İlgü graduated from the Department of Biology at Middle East Technical University (METU) with high honors in 2005. He received his Ph.D. degree in 2012 from the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at Iowa State University. During his Ph.D. and post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. Nilsen-Hamilton, he conducted research in the fields of biochemistry, focusing on aptamer applications and the characterization of aptamer ligand interactions by both computational and biochemical means. These studies helped us develop aptamer-based approaches for real-time imaging of transcription in vivo and for tackling drug-resistance in bacteria. In 2013, he started collaborating with mechanical engineers to use aptamers for designing, optimizing and manufacturing biosensors for detection of an acute kidney injury (AKI) biomarker. This ongoing collaboration helped him to integrate his previous expertise in aptamers from bench to bedside for detecting onset and progression of clinical diseases. In Aptalogic Incorporated (APL), he has selected RNA and DNA aptamers against a biomarker for AKI and also investigated light-up aptamers and discovered a ligand superior to its original ligand when its fluorescence enhancement compared. In addition to research activities, he has trained undergraduate and graduate students over the years and collaborated with mechanical and chemical engineers, mathematicians, bioinformaticians and chemists in developing novel aptamer-based applications. Combining diverse multidisciplinary approaches to investigate rather difficult problems provided him with the confidence for future collaborative studies. He has experience in computational modeling, aptamer selection and biophysical characterization, fluorescence measurements and cloning as well as in vivo aptamer expression platforms. In December 2017, Dr. İlgü returned to his alma mater and joined the Department of Biological Sciences as an assistant professor. His current research is focused on selecting aptamers for biomarkers and membrane proteins that can later be used to diagnose and/or treat cancer and other diseases. His overall goal is to use nucleic acid aptamers for treating diseases, detecting biomarkers in biological matrices and combining them in sensing platforms in collaboration with electrical, chemical and mechanical engineers.

Selected Publications: Muslum Ilgu, Tianjiao Wang, Monica H Lamm and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton (2013) Investigating the Malleability of RNA aptamers. Methods 63 (2), 178-187 Muslum Ilgu, Bruce D. Fulton, Ragothaman M Yennamalli, Monica H. Lamm, Taner Z. Sen and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton (2014) An adaptable pentaloop Defines a Robust Neomycin-B RNA Aptamer with Conditional Ligand-Bound Structures. RNA 20 (6), 815-824 Ilchung Shin*, Judhajeet Ray*, Vinayak Gupta, Muslum Ilgu, Hans Eirik Haarberg, Jonathan Beasely, Lee Bendickson, Samir Mehanovic, George A. Kraus and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton (2014) Live-cell Imaging of Pol II Promoter Activity to Monitor Gene Expression with RNA reporters. Nucleic Acid Research, gku297 (*co-first authors) Muslum Ilgu, Judhajeet Ray, Tianjiao Wang, Ivan M. Geraskin, Lee Bendickson, George A. Kraus and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton (2016) Light-up and FRET aptamer reporters; evaluating their applications for imaging transcription in eukaryotic cells. Methods 98, 26-33 Muslum Ilgu, and Nilsen-Hamilton M (2016) Aptamers in analytics. Analyst 141 (5), 1551-1568. Critical Review* Judhajeet Ray, Ilchung Shin, Muslum Ilgu, Vinayak Gupta, Jonathan Beasley, Lee Bendickson, George A. Kraus and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton (2016) IMAGEtags: Quantifying mRNA Transcription in Real Time with Multiaptamer Reporters. Methods in Enzymology 572, 193-213 Ashish Sachan, Muslum Ilgu, Aaron Kempema, George A. Kraus and Marit Nilsen-Hamilton (2016) Specificity and ligand affinities of the cocaine aptamer: impact of structural features and physiological NaCl. Analytical Chemistry 88 (15), 7715-7723

Graduate program affiliation: Biochemistry, Biotechnology