Dr. Evren Azeloglu (pronounced: oz-el-oh-loo) is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has a secondary appointment in the Department of Pharmacology. His Systems Bioengineering Lab aims to uncover fundamental mechanobiological principles underlying complex diseases, such as chronic kidney disease, by using a combination of engineering and systems biology tools. His lab is funded by multiple NIH grants, including an R01 from the NIDDK, and the Department of Defense.
As his tongue twister name suggests, Dr. Azeloglu hails from Turkey. Born to an eternally blue-collar family of miners and union foremen, he grew up by the Aegean coast hoping to be the first to go to college in his family and become an engineer. Thus, he came to the U.S. on a scholarship to study engineering; however, after losing his mother to breast cancer at an early age, his aspirations quickly turned into building tissues and organs instead of machines.
He graduated from Stony Brook University summa cum laude with a degree in mechanical engineering. During his time at Stony Brook, he worked on machine vision and cardiac mechanics under mentorship of Drs. Fu-Pen Chiang and Glenn Gaudette. He later joined Dr. Kevin Costa’s Cardiac Biomechanics Group at Columbia University in New York City for his doctoral studies. Throughout his Ph.D., Evren published several influential papers on the biomechanical principles of multiscale tissue organization, particularly focusing on cytoskeletal dynamics and cell-extracellular matrix interactions in the vasculature. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Icahn School of Medicine as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation at Ravi Iyengar’s lab, where his research focused on cell signaling dynamics. Synergizing these concepts, Dr. Azeloglu founded the Systems Bioengineering Lab to study how the interaction of biomechanics and systems biology affects disease processes. He has received numerous awards including the Stony-Wold Herbert Fund, LSRF and American Heart Association Fellowships and the ASN-NephCure Career Development Award. He serves on the editorial board of Kidney International, and he is one of the lead investigators within the NIDDK Kidney Precision Medicine Project consortium that aims to build a cell type-specific molecular kidney tissue atlas.
Dr. Azeloglu’s lab has three major research areas: (1) cytoskeletal dynamics and cell biomechanics, (2) tissue engineering, and (3) systems biology of glomerular disease. His long-term hope is that the synergy of these three foci will ultimately lead to an improved drug discovery pipeline, which is sorely needed in kidney disease.
In addition to research, Dr. Azeloglu is fiercely passionate about teaching and equitable training of the next generation of scientists. He directs the graduate-level Fundamentals of Microscopy course and teaches courses on introduction to systems biology and open data sciences at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai. He is actively involved in both the Pharmacology predoctoral and Nephrology postdoctoral T32 training programs. He is also the co-founder and director of the NIH-funded MERRIT Fellowship Program, which is a joint training program between Mount Sinai and the Cooper Union that aims to recruit engineering students and researchers into nephrology.
His lab is actively recruiting graduate students and postdocs with broad scientific interests from all walks of life. You can get more information about their research and joining the lab at azeloglulab.com.