Zehra Sayers

Prof. Sayers, one of the founding members of Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Sabanci University (SU), has served at SU, as the Director of Foundations Development (Core Curriculum) Program during 2010-2019 and as the interim President in 2018. Professor Sayers has an international research career including working as a staff scientist at EMBL Hamburg and post doc work at the Open University Oxford Research Unit, UK and the Wallenberg Laboratory in Uppsala Sweden. Currently she is on a sabbatical conducting research at the EMBL Hamburg Unit, Germany.  Her research focuses on structure function relationships in biological macromolecules using biochemical and biophysical techniques including synchrotron X-ray scattering and diffraction. As one of the pioneers of applications of synchrotron X-rays to biological macromolecules, she was instrumental in establishing the use of these techniques in Turkey and educating and guiding several graduate and undergraduate students in the field. Professor Sayers has served as the Chair of the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) of SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) project between 2002 and 2018 and was involved in its maturation into a functional laboratory. She currently serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Turkish Accelerator project at Ankara University, Turkey. She is a recipient of the Rammal Award (2017), a co-recipient of AAAS’s 2019 award for Science Diplomacy and she was included in the BBC list of 100 Most Inspiring and Influential Women of 2019. Prof. Sayers is an honorary member of the Science Academy of Turkey. 


Professor of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabancı University