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Turkiye researcher's work in UK glimmer of hope in treatment of metabolic diseases

March 17, 2023 at 3:56 pm

A fountain and the hall is pictured in Great Court at Trinity College, part of the University of Cambridge [JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images]

Hundreds of new proteins discovered by a team led by Turkish scientist, Mine Koprulu, in the UK have become a beacon of hope in the development of new treatment methods and drugs for many metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), Anadolu News Agency reports.

Gates Cambridge, which offers scholarships to successful graduate students at Cambridge University and of which Koprulu is one of its scholars, shared the study led by the Turkish scientist on its Twitter account.

Koprulu is leading a study “that identifies proteogenomic data that could result in new treatments for diseases like diabetes,” Gates Cambridge said.

The Turkish scientist told Anadolu that what makes this study so different from the others is that “we used a new technology developed for the first time in the world, measured the levels of 3,000 proteins from people’s blood samples in parallel and integrated them into our study.”

She pointed out that the biological mechanism underlying many metabolic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases, which are quite common in society, is not very well known.

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“We actually systematically analysed the protein levels of 3,000 proteins in the blood, changes in our DNA, genetic code and disease risk for hundreds of diseases to address exactly this problem,” she said.

Stating that the aim of the research is to shed light on finding more effective drugs or treatment methods for diseases, the young scientist said: “We have done the analysis I mentioned for exactly this purpose, and we have found more than 500 genes, gene changes, protein levels and disease risk triads in our current study.”

“We hope this will be the first step towards finding more advanced treatments for hundreds of diseases,” she added.

Referring to the important findings of the research, Koprulu noted that they discovered that the high level of the hormone called GRP reduces the risk of diabetes, and that they also associate the risk of MS disease with the newly discovered protein called DKKL1, about which there is not much information.

Expressing that she completed her undergraduate education in human genetics at University College London, Koprulu said that, after her education there, she completed her master’s degree in medical genetics at Cambridge University.

She also stated that she has been working on rare disease genetics for two years at Bogazici University and Istanbul Technical University in Turkiye.

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