Department of Chemical Engineering
313 Snell Engineering Center
Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115
alpaslan.e [at] husky.neu.edu
Degree Objective: Ph.D. Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Prior Degrees: M.Sc., B.Sc. Materials Science & Engineering
Prior Graduate Institution: Sabanci University
Undergraduate Institution: Sabanci University
Ece is a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Webster’s Nanomedicine Lab at Northeastern. She is originally from Istanbul, Turkey. She graduated from Sabanci University in Istanbul with a B.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2011. As an undergraduate, Ece was in Dr. Yusuf Menceloglu’s lab, where she synthesized and characterized various nanoparticles ranging from materials like ZnO to SiO2 . She moved on to pursued her M.Sc. degree in Materials Science and Engineering in Sabanci University in 2013 where she deduced the role of functionalizing macromolecules in colloidal nanoparticle formation via dynamic NMR under the supervision of Dr. Cleva Ow-Yang. At Northeastern, Ece has combined her background in nanoparticle synthesis and characterization with in vitro cell culture for specific targeting and therapy in cancer. Outside of work, Ece is actively involved with the Turkish Graduate Student Association, Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Council. Last but not least, she loves photography and cooking and shares with all of her labmates.
Cellular interactions with nanomaterials has been extensively studied due to their easily controllable surface energy and ability to penetrate cell membranes. Recently, cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria) have demonstrated great potential as modulator of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in various cell culture models. Depending on the environmental conditions, they have the unique ability to switch oxidation states between Ce3+ and Ce4+, allowing them to act catalytically. The ultimate goal of this project is making dextran coated nanoceria persist into bone tumors and selectively kill tumor cells at acidic pH values. To achieve this goal, we will explore the effect of pH on dextran-coated nanoceria’s various properties as its colloidal stability, and ROS-scavenging property (whether it is anti- or pro-oxidant).