About Dr. Gokaltun

Dr. Uyugun

Brief Biography

Dr. Gokaltun received her BSc, MSc, and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Hacettepe University. She joined the Center for Engineering in Medicine and Surgery in 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow. She was promoted to Instructor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in 2021. 

Dr. Gokaltun has a strong background in chemical engineering, with specific training and expertise in materials science engineering, surface engineering, and polymer chemistry. She gained extensive expertise in methods and techniques for synthesis, processing, characterization, and post-modification of materials.

As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Gokaltun gained a broad perspective on medical problems and applied her background to the solution of these problems. Specifically, she i) developed self-assembling copolymers for better testing in organs-on-chips and alleviating the common problems that face the current materials used for such applications, ii) predicted the toxicity of nanoparticles via microfluidic culture methods, iii) designed supramolecular hydrogels that can dissolve on demand to ease and improve burn wound management/therapy, and iv) worked on the long-term storage of liver cells and liver organoids via deep supercooling to improve their limited self-life and disseminate the logistic constraints. She continues developing novel biomaterials that leverage major biomedical challenges with clinical significance.

Research Summary

Dr. Gokaltun’s research focuses on two different thrusts: one of them is biomaterials engineering, and the other is biopreservation. In biomaterials engineering, she pursues interdisciplinary research in biomedical engineering and materials science. The major goal of her projects is to create materials using chemistry and engineering principles to solve biomedical & medical limitations. She designs and engineers multifunctional biomaterials to improve wound care and surgical procedures. These materials can be tailored to meet the needs of a wide range of applications such as cardiovascular, lung, cornea, or dental operations. In biopreservation, she still works on the long-term storage of liver cells & liver organoids/spheroids via deep supercooling to understand the underlying fundamental aspects of long-term storage of different culture models. And in the long term, she wants to use such information to extend the preservation time of the organ itself.

Education

  • BSc, Chemical Engineering, Hacettepe University, 2007
  • MSc, Chemical Engineering, Hacettepe University, 2009
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, Hacettepe University, 2014
  • Post-doc, Surgery, Harvard Medical School 2016-2017 (visiting)
  • Post-doc, Surgery, Harvard Medical School 2019-2021
  • Research Thrusts