Sabancı University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Faculty Member Dr. Meltem Elitaş was deemed worthy of the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation's award, which was given in the name of researcher Alexander Von Humboldt and aims to support scientists and researchers within Germany and from abroad.
The Humboldt Research Award aims to create academic collaboration among scientists with different backgrounds from different countries all over the World. Prof. Jan Korvink from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology nominated Dr. Elitaş to receive this prestigious award. The Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation, which evaluates and rewards scientists' lifetime achievements, offers the award-winning researcher the opportunity to work in Germany in the field and subject she/he wants to work.
Thanks to the Humboldt Research Award, Dr. Elitaş will develop microfluidic chips, which are compatible with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, to investigate antibiotic response of bacteria. For the fabrication of these chips, one of the cutting-edge technologies, two-photon polymerization-based 3D laser writing techniques will be used. These microfluidic chips will be adequate to mimic dynamic and complex microecological conditions of bacterial infections. Hence, antibiotic responses of bacteria can be measured in real-time as both metabolomic and image data in the natural microhabitats of the cells. In this approach, not only viability but also genetic and phenotypic properties of the cells will be preserved. In the light of the obtained data, it is aimed to explain the development of antibiotic tolerance and antibiotic resistance mechanisms, identifying the laboratory-based culture conditions of viable-but-non-culturable bacteria, and finally to significantly contribute to the development of new antibiotics.