Batu Erman

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Contact Info

  • Batu Erman, PhD
  • Sabanci University,

Tuzla, Istanbul, 34956, TURKEY

Phone: 90 216 483 95 30

Fax: 90 216 483 95 50

Our laboratory is in the Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Program of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University, in Istanbul, Turkey. We investigate molecular mechanisms of signal transduction and gene activation in the mammalian immune system using various molecular biology techniques.

"Life is full of brusselsprouts, but you don't have to eat them!!!" George Carlin


  • 1991-1998 Ph.D., Biology Department, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
  • 1989-1990 Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  • 1987-1991 B.A., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY


  • 2005-present Associate Professor (Docent) Sabanci University , Tuzla , Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2004-2005 Assistant Professor, Sabanci University, Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 1998-2004 Post-Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Alfred Singer's Laboratory, Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (EIB/NCI/NIH), Bethesda, MD USA

Awards & Fellowships


  • 2007 E.C. Marie Curie Excellence Award
  • 2006 Turkish Academy of Sciences, Young Scientist Award


  • 2009-2012 Co-investigator on a National Institutes of Health,
  • Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award (FIRCA), with Dr. Susan Kaech from Yale University, “Transcriptional control of IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) in T cells” Budget: $150.000.
  • 2008 FABED Feyzi Akkaya Scientific Research Fund Research Support for Young Investigators Budget: $10.000
  • 2007-2012 National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center, Global Research Initiative Program for New Foreign Investigators (GRIP) Grant entitled "Role of CD3delta in T-lymphocyte function" Total Budget: $270.000 1R01TW007270
  • 2007-2010 Co-investigator on a TUBITAK 1001 Research Grant for a project entitled “Discovery of new proteins and intracellular signalling pathways controlling autophagy and autophagic cell death” 300.000 YTL ($200.000).
  • 2006-2010 E.U. 6th FW Program, Marie Curie Research Training Network Grant entitled: "Chromatin Structure and Plasticity”. Total Budget: €3M.
  • 2005-2008Co-investigator on a TUBITAK 1001 Grant for a project entitled “Isolation and characterization of starch biosynthetic cDNA genes from lentil (Lens culinaris Medic.)” in collaboration with Halil Kavakli, Koc University. Budget: 144.000 YTL (~$100.000).
  • 2005-2008 TUBITAK Career Grant for a project entitled “The role of CD3 in TCR signaling” Budget: 150.000 YTL (~$100.000).
  • 2005-2007 E.U. 6th FW Program, Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant for a project entitled: “Screening for plant factors that modify the function of the mammalian immune system” Budget: €80.000 (~$100.000).
  • 2002-2003 Cancer Research Training Fellowship, National Institutes of Health.
  • 1998-2002 Fogarty Fellowship, National Institutes of Health.
  • 1991-1992 Gillette Fellowship, Brandeis University.
  • 1991 Elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.
  • 1991 Glass Fellowship for graduate studies, Hamilton College.
  • 1991 Root Fellowship for graduate studies, Hamilton College.


  • Guimond, M., Veenstra R.G., Grindler, D.J., Zhang, H., Cui, Y., Murphy, R.D., Kim, S.Y., Na, R., Henninghausen, L., Kurtulus, S., Erman, B., Matzinger, P., Merchant, M.S., Mackall, C.L. (2009) IL-7 signaling in dendritic cells regulates CD4+ T cell homeostatic proliferation and CD4+ T cell niche size. Nature Immunology. Feb 10(2):149-157.
  • Adoro S, Erman B, Sarafova SD, Van Laethem F, Park JH, Feigenbaum L, Singer A. (2008) Targeting CD4 coreceptor expression to postselection thymocytes reveals that CD4/CD8 lineage choice is neither error-prone nor stochastic. J Immunol. 2008 Nov 15;181(10):6975-83.
  • Park JH, Adoro S, Lucas PJ, Sarafova SD, Alag AS, Doan LL, Erman, B., Liu X, Ellmeier W, Bosselut R, Feigenbaum L, Singer, A. (2007) Singer A.(2007). Coreceptor tuning': cytokine signals transcriptionally tailor CD8 coreceptor expression to the self-specificity of the TCR. Nature Immunology. Oct; 8(10):1049 - 1059.
  • Erman, B., Alag, A.S., Dahle, O., van Laethem F., Sarafova, S.D., Guinter, T.I., Sharrow, S.O., Grinberg, A., Love, P.E., and Singer, A. (2006). Coreceptor Signal Strength Regulates Positive Selection but does not Determine CD4/CD8 Lineage Choice in a Physiologic In Vivo Model. Journal of Immunology. 177, 6613 – 6625.
  • Yu, Q., Park, H., Doan, L., Erman, B. , Feigenbaum, L., and Singer, A., (2006) Cytokine signal transduction is suppressed in preselection double positive thymocytes and restored by positive selection. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 203 (1),165-75.
  • Sarafova, S., Erman B., Yu, Q., Van Laethem, F., Guinter, T., Sharrow, S., Feigenbaum, L., Wildt, K.F., Bosselut, R., Ellmeier, W. and Singer, A. (2005). Modulation of coreceptor transcription during positive selection dictates lineage fate independently of TCR/coreceptor specificity. Immunity . 23 , 75-87.
  • Park, J., Yu, Q., Erman, B., Appelbaum, J., Montoya-Durango, D., Grimes, H. L., and Singer, A. (2004). Suppression of IL-7R alpha Transcription by IL-7 and other Pro-Survival Cytokines: A Novel Mechanism for Maximizing IL-7 Dependent T cell Survival. Immunity . 21 , 289–302.
  • Yu, Q., Erman, B., Park, J., Feigenbaum, L., and Singer, A. (2004). IL-7 Receptor Signals Inhibit Expression of Transcription Factors TCF-1, LEF-1 and ROR gamma t and Must be Terminated for Thymocyte Differentiation to Proceed. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 200 (6), 797-803 .
  • Erman, B., Guinter, T., and Singer, A. (2004). Defined ab T Cell Receptors with Distinct Ligand Specificities do not Require Those Ligands to Signal DN Thymocyte Differentiation. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 199 , 1719-1724.
  • Yu, Q., Erman, B., Bhandoola, A., Sharrow, S.O., and Singer, A. (2003). In Vitro Evidence That Cytokine Receptor Signals Are Required for Differentiation of Double Positive Thymocytes into Functionally Mature CD8+ T Cells. The Journal of Experimental Medicine. 197 , 475-487.
  • Erman, B., Feigenbaum, L., Coligan, J.E., and Singer, A. (2002). Early TCR alpha expression generates TCR alphagamma complexes that signal the DN-to-DP transition and impair development. Nature Immunology, 3, 564-569.
  • Tian, G., Erman, B. , Ishii, H., Gangopadhyay, S. S. and Sen R. (1999). Transcriptional Activation by ETS and Leucine Zipper-Containing Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 19 , 2946-2957.
  • Erman, B. , Cortes, M., Nikolyjczyk, B.S., Speck, N.A., and Sen, R. (1998). ETS-Core binding factor: a common composite motif in antigen receptor gene enhancers. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 18 , 1322-1330.
  • Erman, B. , and Sen, R. (1996). Context dependent transactivation domains activate the immunoglobulin mu heavy chain enhancer. EMBO Journal, 15 , 4665-4675.
  • Nelsen, B., Tian, G., Erman, B. , Gregoire, J., Maki, R., Graves , B., and Sen, R. (1993). Regulation of lymphoid-specific immunoglobulin mu heavy chain gene enhancer by ETS-domain proteins. Science, 261 , 82-86.
  • Shenkin, P.S., Erman, B. and Mastrandrea, L.D. (1991). Information-theoretical entropy as a measure of sequence variability. Proteins, 11 , 297-313.