Ozan Gökay, chemical engineer and chemist, has been thinking about setting up his own company for many years. Now he is about to turn his plans into reality and his company ANASYN will start operating in November 2010. The company will focus on analytics, syntheses and biotechnology.
"My aim is to use the research and services of my company to improve people's quality of life," said Ozan Gökay highlighting the goals of ANASYN. Gökay's company, which will focus on contract and research analytics as well as on synthesis, will start operating in November 2010. Gökay did his doctoral thesis on the "Development and application of modern methods for the analysis of natural products and bioactive agents" at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Tübingen under Prof. Dr. Klaus Albert. During his doctoral period, Gökay developed efficient strategies for analysing bioactive components of natural products. His research led to four scientific manuscripts, three of which were published in scientific journals. His investigations involved capillary separation coupled with detection techniques. Due to the extreme sensitivity of microcoil NMR spectroscopy, which is around 20 to 50 times more sensitive than the conventional NMR probe head method, Gökay was able to comprehensively characterise and identify bioactive compounds on the analytical scale. "Analytics works best at smaller scales," explained the scientist.
Gökay's research in Prof. Albert's department was excellent preparation for his future work. "During my doctoral thesis, I was also involved in working in collaboration with industrial partners from whom I learnt methods that I would otherwise not have come across," said Gökay. Gökay has been thinking about setting up his own company for quite some time and is now ready to turn his plans into reality. "I want to be my own boss and make my own decisions about the type of research I want to focus on, and the areas I find important and useful," said the scientist.
ANASYN will specialise in the identification and structural analysis of natural products, pharmaceutical agents and synthetic compounds using modern equipment and methods. NMR spectroscopy will also be used to investigate molecular interactions between active agents and receptors. In cooperation with Prof. Albert's department, ANASYN will offer a broad range of methods, including suspension NMR, HPLC and GC-MS. In addition, the company will also focus on food-, environmental- and DNA analytics. Working with Dr. Marek Los from the Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen, Prof. Albert from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Tübingen, Prof. Johannes Imhoff from the University of Kiel and Prof. Reinhard Kuhn from the University of Reutlingen, Ozan Gökay also plans to focus on cancer and cancer stem cell research.
The researchers are jointly working to develop a method to identify cancer stem cells and find new active agents with a selective and toxic effect on cancer and cancer stem cells. Once the preliminary investigations are finished, the project partners plan to submit a funding application at the beginning of 2011. In addition, ANASYN will take on two patents that were filed on the basis of research carried out by Dr. Los. The patents relate to peptides that were isolated from viral proteins and have been shown to have an anticarcinogenic effect. Dr. Los and Gökay hope to both improve the peptides and improve their marketability. "I do not want to exclusively focus on routine analytics, I would also like to carry out more complex investigations that could lead to new scientific findings," said Gökay.
ANASYN Ozan Gökay is also active in the “renewable resources” field. “I plan to process by-products of diesel production,” explains Gökay. Gökay is interested in finding new ways of using the huge quantities of glycerine produced during the transesterification process, which are currently underused by industry. One possibility is to process glycerine into mono- and diglycerides or drug-containing capsules. “However, this is only the start and a lot of work still needs to be done,” said Gökay who will be carrying out this particular project in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Albert, Prof. Dr. Cesar Petzhold (UFRGS, Brazil) and Dr. Telma Schanz (Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Tübingen).The company will offer its products and services to chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies, as well as to the food industry in order to determine whether fruit and vegetables are contaminated with pesticides, an issue that greatly concerns consumers. Based on the idea of working with complex analysis and synthesis problems, Ozan Gökay hopes to become a service laboratory. With his well-balanced concept, Gökay has already been able to attract one client, and is sure that many more will follow once his company gets underway.