TASSA'2018 Proudly Presents TASSA Awards Winners

In 2014, TASSA launched a very successful Young-Scholar Award (YSA) program that aims to recognize and honor the achievements of young Turkish American scientists and scholars. Since the beginning of this program, approximately 25 awards were given, covering a broad spectrum of fields and early career stages, including junior faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, all under the age of 35.

At the last TASSA meeting in Boston, TASSA announced two new awards for the first time, namely the Aziz Sancar and Kenan Sahin awards, to strengthen TASSA's commitment to this exciting Young-Scholar Award Program. Both Aziz Sancar and Kenan Sahin are inspirational leaders and long-term supporters of TASSA, and through these new awards, their prestigious legacy will continue to inspire, motivate and honor the very best of the next generation of scientists, scholars, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

At the TASSA ‘2018 Conference, the winners of these awards were announced as follows:

• Aziz Sancar Award:
o Semir Beyaz, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), (Postdoctoral Scholar)
• Kenan Sahin Award:
o Ahmet Coskun, Stanford University, (Postdoctoral Scholar)
• Young Scholar Awards (YSA):
o Can Bayram, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Junior Faculty)
o Umut A. Gurkan, Case Western Reserve University, (Junior Faculty)
o Papatya Kaner, Tufts University, (Graduate Student)
o Merve Dogangun, Northwestern University, (Graduate Student)
o Aycan Adrian Corum, Cornell University, (Graduate Student)
o Beste Mutlu, Harvard University, (Graduate Student)

The winners were selected from a pool of applicants in three distinct categories: (i) graduate students, (ii) postdoctoral scholars and researchers from academia and industry, and (iii) junior faculty. For each category, qualified applicants were nominated from all four branches of TASSA, namely Engineering & Applied Sciences, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences as well as Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities. Applications were submitted online and self-nominations were also accepted.

The selection process was extremely challenging and exciting due to the high quality and volume of the applicants. The award selection committee was composed of leading scholars in various diverse fields. The committee members were: Aydoğan Özcan (Chair), Bülent Başol, Banu Onaral, M. Selim Ünlü, Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, Mehmet Toner, Paul Weiss, Esen Ercan Alp, Dani Rodrik, Haluk Ünal, and Ayşe İmrohoroğlu. 

The committee evaluated all the applicants in a two-phase process. The committee members were very much impressed with the achievements and exciting research outcomes of this select group of Phase II candidates, and after a rather stimulating evaluation process, they were able to select winners among these Phase II candidates.

Each of these outstanding junior scholars received an Award Certificate at our TASSA’2018 Conference and delivered an oral presentation during the Award Ceremony, talking about their exciting research and achievements.

Please join us in celebrating the achievements and inspiring success stories of these 2018 winners of the TASSA Awards, filling us with hope for our future.