Women of NeurotechEU interview with Arzu Çelik from Boğaziçi University

On International Women’s Day, NeurotechEU hosted the third ‘’Women of NeurotechEU’’ event. This event was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all women and women in STEM disciplines. It was a way to empower and support women in these fields. During this event, two students of Radboud University interviewed multiple women of NeurotechEU.


I had a lot of female professors, which made me stronger.

Dr. Prof. Arzu Çelik


Professor Arzu Çelik from Boğaziçi University specializes in Molecular Biology and Genetics. She is the group leader of the Developmental Neurobiology Group and an active member of the undergraduate and graduate programs at MBG Department. Çelik is also an instructor at BOUN Lifelong Learning Center. Çelik aims to develop models of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases and she wants to establish cures for these diseases by performing chemical screens in flies.


What inspired you to pursue a career in science and how did you overcome any challenges you faced along the way?

‘When I was a little kid, I always wanted to become a doctor. But later on in life, I realised I couldn’t deal with the losses that come with the job. So, I came to the conclusion that a career in medicine wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to change the area very much, so then I looked into research.

I grew up in Germany as a small minority. This experience made me stronger. I thought I had to excel and show myself that I can be successful in anything I’m pursuing. I decided to go to university and pursue a career in biology. I had a lot of female professors, which made me stronger. Examples and role models are really important. You have to find your role models and stick to them, follow them, and don’t lose your fate and target. And later, in your academic career, you have to find institutional support, because it’s good to have a supportive environment.’


By: Rosie Zheng and Thirza Dado

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