Aziz Sancar, MD PhD is Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He was born in Savur-Mardin, Turkey in 1946. He obtained his primary and secondary education in Savur and Mardin, and then received an M.D. degree in 1969 from the Istanbul University School of Medicine. After practicing medicine in Savur for two years he attended the University of Texas at Dallas and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology in 1977 with his work on DNA repair. Dr.Sancar conducted postdoctoral work at Yale university on molecular biology of DNA repair in the period 1977-1982. He joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC Chapel Hill in 1982 where he has been conducting research on DNA Repair, Cell Cycle and cancer treatment, and the Biological Clock. He has published 288 research articles and 33 book chapters. Prof. Sancar is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences USA, a Member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of Turkish Academy of Sciences and the recipient of the Vehbi Koc Award from the Koc Foundation of Turkey in 2007. Aziz Sancar lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Gwen Sancar, also a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Gwen Sancar, Ph.D. is Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. Born in Waco , Texas , she attended public schools there, and in 1972 graduated with a B.S. in Biology from the Waco campus of Baylor University . Dr. Gwen Sancar entered the graduate program at the University of Texas at Dallas in 1972 and, after 4.5 years of study on the mechanism of DNA replication in Physarum polycephalum, she was awarded the Ph.D. in 1977. She performed postdoctoral research at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn , New York , for three years, during which she elucidated the arrangement of globin genes in alpha-thalassemia in African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews. In 1980 she joined her husband, at Yale University , where they collaborated on studies on the regulation of DNA repair genes in E. coli. Dr. Gwen Sancar joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC Chapel Hill in 1982. In addition to carrying out research in DNA repair enzymology and on the regulation of genes in response to DNA damage, and publishing over 40 original articles and book chapters on these topics, she has been very active in graduate and undergraduate education and in promoting research experiences for undergraduate student. Dr. Gwen Sancar hopes that Turk Evi will be a catalyst to promote understanding of Turkey , its people , and its contributions to the cultural heritage of the world by her fellow Americans.
Dr. Bülent Ender is a gastroenterologist at Wake Gastroenterology. He has been on the staff of Rex Hospital of Raleigh, North Carolina since 1993. Dr. Ender is a member of multiple medical societies including the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Physicians.
Bülent is an active member of the Turkish-American community in the Triangle area and is a founding member and the Chairman of the Board of Bridge to Turkiye Fund. He also manages BTF’s Endowment Fund, established with Board of Directors’ charitable contributions. Bulent lives in west Raleigh with his wife Deniz, and enjoys tennis, cycling, swimming and traveling.
Emin Pamucak was born in 1959 in Kütahya, Turkey to immigrant families from Ottoman Turkish towns in Bulgaria and Greece. After receiving his elementary school education in Karadeniz Eregli and Ankara, Emin attended middle school and high school in suburban metropolitan Washington, D.C. He holds BS and MS degrees in engineering from Bogazici University and University of Maryland. Employed by IBM and LENOVO at various corporate capacities since 1984, he has worked at company locations in Minnesota, New York, Connecticut and most recently North Carolina.
A firm believer in “by and for” grassroots civic representation, Emin is involved in community development and advocacy with emphasis in promoting citizen based initiatives and social responsibility. He feels privileged to be a product of two cultures and has been an active member of ATA North Carolina since 1996, serving his community as the President of the Association from 2001 to 2004. He has received Association’s Distinguished Member and Distinguished Leader Awards. In 2004, ATA North Carolina was recognized as ATAA’s Component Association of the Year. In the fall of 2005, Emin was also recognized by the Daughters of Ataturk with a Man of Outstanding Accomplishment Award. He has also served the Turkish-American community as ATAA Vice President for the South Eastern United States from 2004 to 2006. Emin is a founding member and the President of Bridge to Turkiye Fund. Emin lives in Cary with his wife Ayse.