ISTANBUL, Turkey [Brown University] — Two new funds established at Brown University will initiate a program of international collaboration and scholarly exchanges between Brown and Bogaziçi University in Istanbul.
A gift from the Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation, accepted by the Corporation of Brown University May 24, 2008, has established the Suna and Ipek Kiraç Fellowship and Research Fund in Molecular Biology and the Suna and Ipek Kiraç Fund for Brain Sciences. The funds will support joint research projects and faculty exchange between the two universities as well as scholarships to Turkish graduate students and postdoctoral candidates at Brown. Ipec Kiraç, daughter of Suna and Inan, received her Bachelor of Arts Degree as a member of the Brown Class of 2008.
“Molecular biologists at Brown University and Bogaziçi University have worked together as colleagues for many years,” said Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons. “These new funds will allow both institutions to build on that established relationship in molecular biology and to develop new and productive exchanges in the rapidly expanding field of brain science.”
The Kiraç Foundation founded and continues to support the Neurodegeneration Research Latoratory at Bogaziçi. It cited collaboration between Justin Fallon, a Brown neuroscientist, and Nazli Basak, director of the Neurodegeneration Research Labopratory at Bogaziçi, as especially promising. Fallon and Basak share a research interest in neurodegeneration and neurodegenerative diseases like ALS.
In the last five years, Brown University has been expanding its research programs and facilities in the life sciences. Two new laboratory buildings have increased its life science laboratory space by more than 70 percent.
Simmons is in Istanbul visiting Bogaziçi University and meeting with its president Ayse Soysal. Their meeting and discussions mark the beginning of a formal collaboration between the two universities.
“I am very pleased to welcome President Simmons to Istanbul and to our campus,” said President Soysal. ”We are delighted with our collaboration with Brown University and confident that it will be a very successful program. We are also grateful to Suna and Inan Kiraç for making this collaboration possible as well as for their continuing support of our neurodegeneration research laboratory and our outstanding molecular biology program. We hope that this program will be a model for other charitable families and individuals to initiate and support similar programs in biology as well as other fields.”
Brown University, in Providence, R.I., is the seventh oldest university in the United States (founded in 1764), one of eight institutions in the Ivy League. Known for its challenging and flexible approach to undergraduate education, Brown has ranked consistently among the 20 best American universities. It draws its students from all of the 50 U.S. states and from 93 nations around the world.
The undergraduate student body at Brown currently includes 28 Turkish nationals, with an additional 32 Turkish students in the Graduate School. The Brown community in Turkey includes more than 330 students, alumni, parents and friends. Several graduates of Bogaziçi University have earned advanced degrees in molecular biology at Brown.
Known also as Bosphorus University internationally, Bogaziçi University is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Turkey. Established in 1863 as Robert College, it was the first American school outside the United States. It became Bogaziçi University in 1971. Its student body of nearly 10,900 graduates and undergraduates is about one-third larger than Brown’s. Students entering Bogaziçi University place in the top 2,000 of the more than 2 million students who take Turkey’s rigorous national university entrance exam.