About us

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Why do we work on Alzheimer’s?

The brains of aging humans are prone to neurodegenerative disorders and we are unable to counteract neuronal loss by regenerating lost cells. Patients with neurodegenerative conditions progressively loose neurons yet cannot form new neurons that would replace the lost ones. We are using zebrafish and novel 3D human culture systems as models to investigate the vertebrate neural stem cells, which we believe are the hope to bring back our lost neurons. We want to find ways how we can restore our brain function in fighting against Alzheimer’s!

What makes our work different?

Zebrafish regenerates its brain successfully even in Alzheimer’s disease conditions. No other animal was shown to do this! Our goal is to learn from zebrafish how we can enable the  human brain to better cope with neurodegenerative disease and regenerate. We have a unique model to work with.

The main motivation of our research group is to understand the molecular programs zebrafish brain uses to induce regenerative stem cell plasticity, and harness this knowledge to unlock the regenerative potential of our brains in Alzheimer’s disease conditions. Check out our publications and presence in the media.

Our lab culture

Our team is composed of young and ambitious scientists. They came from 16 countries in 5 continents, with diverse backgrounds. Kizil Lab derives its success from this richness that cultivates a positive dialogue, gender equality and openness between the team members. With our non-hierarchical approaches to discussions and management, we created a true melting pot where many scientists outside of our lab also aspire to join. Thanks to our lab culture that respects differences and promotes productive team work, our team members bring their extraordinary input and enthusiasm into the new projects. We believe that the team spirit and the congruence generated in Kizil Lab is the reason behind our success.


Our studies featured in The Scientist

A nice article in The Scientist on the role and promises of adult neurogenesis in Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to Dr. Abby Olena for featuring our previous work in zebrafish and its relationship to decipher how to use adult neurogenesis to tackle Alzheimer’s. Reduced Adult Neurogenesis Linked with Alzheimer’s Disease https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/reduced-adult-neurogenesis-linked-with-alzheimers-disease-68413

Prabesh Bhattarai graduated his PhD

Prabesh Bhattarai successfully defended his PhD thesis and graduated from our lab! Prabesh published 15 papers in respected journals during his PhD with a remarkable record. We wish him all the best for his successful career. Prabesh generated an Alzheimer’s disease model in zebrafish, and identified molecular mechanisms controlling neural stem cell plasticity in experimental …

Mehmet Ilyas Cosacak graduated his PhD

Today is an important and exciting day for our lab. Mehmet Ilyas Cosacak graduated very successfully after defending his PhD thesis that focused on generating neurodegeneration models in zebrafish. He is now a “Dr”. We wholeheartedly congratulate him! His PhD was extraordinary. Ilyas graduated with an outstanding 12 publications. He first authored 5, co-authored 5 …