Semih studied physics and biophysics at Marmara University,
Istanbul, Turkey. He did his master’s thesis in neuroscience at Universität
Bonn (Germany) in 2012, working with Christian Steinhäuser on the role of
astrocytes in epilepsy.
He then joined the doctoral program in neuroscience at the EPFL
(Switzerland) with the supervision of Carl Petersen. During his PhD, Semih used techniques such as optogenetics and paired patch-clamp recordings to investigate thalamocortical connectivity and function. He mapped thalamic input into different cell types in all layers of the barrel cortex and then discovered a first-order-functioning section in the higher-order thalamus (POm).
Briefly, as a postdoc, he joined Institut de la Vision (Paris, France) working with Olivier Marre to study the interneuron contribution to the center-surround modulation in the retina. He then joined the laboratory of David DiGregorio at Institut Pasteur (Paris, France) with the prestigious Pasteur-Roux-Cantarini fellowship to investigate the impact of short-term synaptic plasticity on sensory processing. Here he showed heterogeneity of short-term plasticity generates precise temporal patterning of activity in the cerebellar granule cells, a fundamental mechanism for temporal learning, using two-photon calcium imaging and patch-clamp recordings.
Currently, Semih is a senior researcher at Prof. Maarten Kamermans’ lab, where he is investigating the pathophysiological mechanism of nystagmus and its comorbidity with low visual acuity.