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E. Lale Alpar
Graduate Student

I am from Istanbul, Turkey where I graduated from Bogazici University with a bachelor degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics. During my undergraduate years I worked in several different labs. Mainly, I worked in a sensory neuroscience lab in my home university, studying the olfactory development of zebrafish. To this end, I constructed a new cloning vector and helped the development of a new transgenic line. Also, I spent a few months of the last summer in the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tuebingen, Germany where I worked in two independent projects on the visual system of the marine zooplankton Platynereis dumerilii. One was studying the role of larval versus adult eyes in the phototactic machinery, and the other was the investigation of the differential expression of opsins under the control of circadian rhythms.

Currently, I am interested in developmental biology, especially in the physical processes behind developmental phenomena. I find questions on the organization of multicellular systems, and the simple mechanisms generating the more complex in biology, to be particularly exciting. Of course these interests are shaped under the influence of my experiences so far. I hope to learn and see much more at Columbia, especially on theoretical and quantitative methods in biology, and to clarify my research interests accordingly.

In my free time, I enjoy art, and photography, mostly as a viewer, but I also enjoy taking photographs myself. I like watching movies from around the world, cooking, and travelling. When I get the chance, I enjoy doing outdoor activities like trekking and hiking, but coming from a big city like Istanbul, I also enjoy the bustle and liveliness of city life.

E. Lale Alpar