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IQTC Women: Beste Ozaydin

In 2010, Beste was admitted to Bogazici University in Istanbul and there she started her chemistry B.Sc. education. In the summer term of 2015, she started her first research internship in the research group of Professor Stephen Hashmi within the Chemistry Department of Heidelberg University/Germany. During her internship, she got to learn more about Gold Catalysis which is the main area of the research group, basic organic synthesis reactions, and applications. In her third year, she had a milestone in her life. She took a course on computational chemistry which was given by Prof. Tereza Varnali at Bogazici University. This course had a great impact on her because this class proved to her that computational power can be used to bring together many individually small data and used to derive significant results. Finally, she was able to combine her knowledge of chemistry with her imagination and she was willing to learn more about chemistry and visualize it with computational tools. This experience influenced her to attend a research lab using computational techniques at Bogazici University. With that in mind, she started her second internship in the Computational Chemistry and Biochemistry research group (ccbg.chem.boun.edu.tr) of Prof. Viktorya Aviyente. In her first project, she acquired some basic skills such as doing optimization of the geometry of molecules and intermediate products that occur along the reaction pathway by using the Gaussian Software.

 After Beste finished her bachelor’s degree, she had started the master’s program in the same group at Bogazici University (Sep-2016). She worked on the project called Cyclopolymerization of Bistyrenic Monomers on which they collaborated with Dario Passini from Pavia University in Pavia, Italy (https://doi.org/10.1002/pola.29044). The third project that she worked on was entitled ‘Self-Etching Monomer Binding To Hydroxyapatite’. In this project, they have collaborated with Prof. Duygu Avci from Bogazici University and calculated binding energies for Calcium Phosphate Prenucleation Clusters by using DFT (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2019.109344).

Chromophores in PC645 antenna protein

 Currently she is working in the lab of Prof. Carles Curutchet at the University of Barcelona, and she is enrolled in the PhD program “Recerca, Desenvolupament i Control de Medicaments” (July 2019 – present). She has a contract as research staff in the project entitled “Structure-based modeling of the role of the environment in photosynthetic light harvesting and protein fluorescence” (Grant CTQ2017-89924-P, MINECO). The project is focused on investigating the mechanisms of light harvesting in the phycobiliprotein family of photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes, including the antenna proteins PC577, PC612, PC630 and PC645 from cryptophyte algae, using multiscale QM/MM models.

In December 2020 Beste was awarded to the post-master’s research grant by The Institute of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry of the University of Barcelona (IQTCUB). Recently, she obtained FI scholarship from the government of Catalonia.