• For youth, the future of Turkey
  • For a healthy society
  • Serving science, culture and arts
  • For equal education opportunities
  • Fostering social transformation

Candeğer Furtun
Sept.16, 2021-April 17, 2022
Oct.9, 2021-March 27, 2022
Until Fevruary 20, 2022
Füsun Onur: Opus II – Fantasia
Until February 20, 2022
Emre Hüner: [Elektroizolasyon]: Unknown Parameter Extro-Record
until December 31, 2021
Sadberk Hanım Museum
until May 29, 2022
On Celestial Bodies
July 25-August 8, 2021
David Tudor and CIE, Inc.: Rainforest V (variation 3)
Until January 30, 2022
For Eyes That Listen
Until December 31, 2021
Josephine Powell Exhibition
Vehbi Koç Evi
June 30,2020-indefinite

Professor Mehmet Toner is the recipient of the 18th Vehbi Koç Award

In 2019, the recipient of the Vehbi Koç Award, presented annually in the fields of culture, education and healthcare, respectively, by the Vehbi Koç Foundation to recognize individuals and institutions that contribute to improving people’s quality of life was Professor Mehmet Toner for his groundbreaking work in “Healthcare”.

The award ceremony was held on February 25, 2019 Monday evening with Koç Family members, guests and members of the press in attendance. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, Zeynep Sezgin and Can Karatosun, eleventh graders from VKV Koç School, Erdem Kurak and Melike Zühre Kök, fifth graders from Van Koç Middle School, Özgül Tanış, an Anatolian Scholar and sophomore at Koç University School of Medicine, and Kubilay Kaymaz, a senior in the same school, presented the Award Ceremony. Zeynep Sezgin and Can Karatos opened the ceremony with their performance of Fazıl Say's composition “Kumru”, playing the violin and guitar.

The winner of this year’s Vehbi Koç Award was named by the Selection Committee, consisting of Professor Hakan Örer, Professor Mehmet Öztürk, Professor Dr. Lale Tokgözoğlu and headed by Professor Gökhan Hotamışlıgil, from among three candidates. Ömer M. Koç, Chairman, Koç Holding, presented Professor Mehmet Toner’s award.

“Vehbi Koç Foundation inspires and sets an example for philanthropists in Turkey” 
Speaking at the award ceremony, Ömer M. Koç, Chairman, Koç Holding said, “Today we are recognizing a very distinguished scientist who says, ‘the onus of serving humanity and science is on me’. I would like to read the last paragraph of the reasoning that our Selection Committee has written for their decision: A very important attribute of Professor Toner is that he is regarded as the ultimate example of ethics and scientific morality, and as an extraordinary collaborator, he has contributed to raising over 200 young researchers and supported their independent careers.”

“We will make cancer a chronic disease and monitor it closely.”
Professor Mehmet Toner enables detection of cancerous cells in the blood in a very short period of time with the microchips he develops, and finding promising new solutions for cancer treatment. In the documentary shown during the award ceremony, Professor Mehmet Toner says, “There will be no disease left that we can’t diagnose and treat as we understand the information in the blood better.”

With the help of the microchip technologies that he develops, Professor Toner enables a single cancer cell to be detected among billions of blood cells in as short as one hour. The research of Professor Toner has allowed generation of promising new solutions for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Mehmet Toner gave an inspiring speech after the short introductory film shown during  the ceremony. Professor Toner expressed his pride in receiving the Vehbi Koç Award and said, “We grew up listening to the stories of Vehbi Koç and what he did, and we aspired to be like him. As a Turk, it is a great source of pride for me to receive the Vehbi Koç Award.”

Please click to view the short video about Professor Mehmet Toner PhD.

Please click to visit the dedicated award site.

About Professor Mehmet Toner, PhD
Mehmet Toner received a Bachelor of Science degree from Istanbul Technical University and a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in Mechanical Engineering. He subsequently completed his PhD in Medical Engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). Dr. Toner joined the faculty at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and went on to become a full Professor. Dr. Toner has a joint appointment as a Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at the Harvard-MIT Division of HST. He is the founder of the NIH BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems (BioMEMS) Resource Center at the Mass General and also the Director of the Biomedical Engineering Research and Education Program for physicians.

Mehmet Toner's research has made significant advanced contributions to universal science in terms of both basic mechanisms and practices in three interconnected areas. The first is ‘cryopreservation’, a research interest since the early years of his career, that involves low-temperature freezing and stabilization of tissues and organs. The second is creating an “artificial organ” with three-dimensional and functional organization of living cells and synthetic materials and the third is developing micro and nano bioengineering technologies and critical applications. In all of these areas, Professor Toner has numerous inventions, which have been published in the most distinguished international scientific journals. These research form the basis of technologies that have been extensively studied, and some already implemented both in the industry and also in clinical medicine in the fields of human egg and sperm freezing and tissue protection, artificial liver and cancer, respectively.

He has received funding in excess of $200 million from National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), DARPA, Whitaker Foundation, National Textile Center and many industrial outfits. Professor Toner serves on the scientific advisory boards of multiple biotechnology and medical device companies, and has been involved as a scientific founder of multiple startup companies.

Professor Toner was recognized with the YC Fung Faculty Award in Bioengineering by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) (1994). In addition to winning the Whitaker Foundation Special Opportunity Award (1995), he was also recognized with numerous other awards, including the John F and Virginia B Taplin Faculty Fellow Award by Harvard and MIT, Mass Gen Hospital Cancer Center Award (2008) and American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Team Award (2010).