Visitor of the Week: Tayfun Tumkaya

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Meet Tayfun Tumkaya of the National University of Singapore and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*Star. The third year graduate student and member of Adam Claridge-Chang's lab and made his first visit to CSHL for the Drosophila Neurobiology: Genes, Circuits & Behavior course.

What are your research interests? What are you working on? 
Most of our preferences for scents and flavors are shaped by experience, and vary between individuals. Some, on the other hand, are hardwired and shared among all humans. My research aims to understand how flexible and hardwired preferences are different, and how are they processed in the brain.

Was there something specific about the Drosophila Neurobiology course that drew you to apply? 
The course has been organized for around 35 years; and it was inspiring to see that many of the leading figures in the Drosophila neurobiology field were once enrolled in the program. Moreover, I thought learning all the modern neuroscience techniques, such as functional imaging, optogenetics, and electrophysiology from some of the best scientists in the world was a fantastic opportunity; so I applied.

What is your key takeaway from the Course?
My key takeaway from the course as of today is that collaboration helps to make research high standard and enjoyable.

If someone curious in attending your course asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her? 
First of all, I strongly recommend everyone in the fly field to attend the course. This is a very comprehensive course where one can learn state-of-the-art techniques and of the latest research from diverse areas. My advice to them is to get as familiar as possible with the instructors' studies beforehand, even the ones outside of their research areas. This makes the lectures much more fun and beneficial, and helps with networking.
 
How many CSHL courses have you attended? How about CSHL meetings?
This is the first course I've attended at CSHL, but I am looking forward to attending more courses and conferences in the future. Also, I'll be attending the future Neurobiology of Drosophila meetings.

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
I really enjoyed the morning jogs around the lake on campus, as well as the tasty food.

Tayfun received financial support from The Charitable Helmsley Trust and Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA). On behalf of Tayfun, we want to thank both agencies for continuing to support and enable young scientists to attend a CSHL course to expand their skills, knowledge, and network.  

Meet our other featured scientists.