Selcan Aydin

Selcan Aydin

Postdoctoral Associate

Munger Lab at The Jackson Laboratory


Hi! I am Selcan Aydin. I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. Graduated from Sabanci University with a Biological Sciences and Bioengineering major and a Mathematical Sciences minor in 2009. Then, I moved to Heidelberg, Germany to get my master’s degree in Systems Biology and graduated in 2011. Concurrently I received the prestigious Fulbright Ph.D. Award and got accepted at Duke University Biology Ph.D. program. I worked with Drs. Nicolas Buchler and Paul Magwene at Duke, studying the impacts of genetic variation on cellular phenotypes in budding yeast, graduated in 2017. Currently, I work with Dr. Steve Munger as a postdoctoral associate at The Jackson Laboratory. My research interests include quantitative genetics, systems biology, and cell signaling. My current research plans focus on defining the role of genetic variation in cell fate decisions with an emphasis on embryonic stem cells and mouse development. In addition to science, I am passionate about teaching, mentoring, and science outreach. To reach out to novice learners, I got certified as a Software Carpentry and RStudio instructor. Outside of the lab, I enjoy time with our puppy Darwin and the outdoors by hiking, snowshoeing, and gardening!


  • Quantitative Genetics
  • Cellular Signaling
  • Systems Biology


  • PhD in Biology, 2017

    Duke University

  • MSc in Systems Biology, 2010

    Universitat Heidelberg

  • BSc in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, 2009

    Sabanci University



Postdoctoral Associate

The Jackson Laboratory

Jan 2018 – Present Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
Studying the influence of genetic variation on cell fate decisions, focusing on pluripotency maintenance in mouse embryonic stem cells under the supervision of Dr. Steve Munger.

Research Associate

Duke University

Jun 2017 – Dec 2017 Durham, North Carolina, USA
Worked under the supervision of Dr. Paul Magwene and:

  • Developed an experimental high-throughput phenotyping pipeline for yeast strains and measured growth under various environmental and chemical stress conditions across a genetically diverse collection (n ~ 1000).
  • Segmented images using a novel image analysis software developed by Dr.Magwene and quantified growth phenotypes using custom scripts written in R and phyton.
  • Identified loci associated with variation in growth under various environmental and chemical stress conditions through genetic mapping.

PhD Candidate

Duke University

Aug 2010 – May 2017 Durham, North Carolina, USA
Investigated the effects of genetic variation on signaling dynamics using osmo-adaptation in budding yeast as a model phenotype under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas E. Buchler and Dr. Paul M. Magwene in the Department of Biology, Duke University.

  • Yeast molecular biology and genetics
  • Time-lapse microscopy and image analysis
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Data analysis using R, Phyton and MATLAB
  • Flow cytometry

Master student

University of Heidelberg

Oct 2009 – Aug 2011 Heidelberg, Germany
Modeled the Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α induced Nuclear Factor Kappa-light-chain‐enhancer of activated B cells (NFκB) signaling using quantitative experimental data from primary murine hepatocytes. Mathematical modeling and parameter estimation under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ursula Kummer in in Bioquant Research Institute at University of Heidelberg.

  • Mathematical modeling
  • Parameter estimation
  • Parameter sensitivity analysis
  • Cellular signaling in hepatocytes


Dissecting the effects of genetic variation on stress response

In nature, yeast grow in different niches ranging from trees to people and experience variability in osmolarity. Thus, one might expect to see large variation in the dynamics of osmo-adaptation (phenotype) across different strains (genotype) from diverse environments.

Genetic variation influences cell fate decisions

My current and future research plans focus on defining the role of genetic variation in cell fate decisions with an emphasis on embryonic stem cells and mouse development. We have been working:

Single cell analysis reveals different mechanisms of gene regulation

Through a collaboration with Proft Pascual-Ahuir lab, I studied the mechanisms of dose-dependent gene regulation in response to environmental stimuli. I measured nutrient stress response in single yeast cells using phase and luminescence microscopy and microfluidics.