By Akinlana Sterling, International Programs

PULLMAN, Wash. – A Turkish student researching early detection of heart attacks has received a 2015-16 International Student Scholarship from Washington State University.

Erhan Keles is pursuing a doctoral degree in chemical engineering and bioengineering at WSU. He is working to create a biosensor for detection of cardiac troponin levels in human blood, an early indicator of heart attacks.

“My passion is to solve medical problems for the well-being of society,” he said. “This scholarship lightens my financial burden and allows me to focus more on my research.”

The scholarship fund was established by WSU alumnus Ricky Tsang. Originally from Hong Kong, Tsang worked at Microsoft following graduation from WSU. The scholarships are to be awarded to non-U.S. citizen students enrolled at WSU.

Keles began as an undergraduate at Istanbul Technical University, then transferred to Montana State University. Throughout his career, he has been engaged in higher-level science and engineering courses as well as research programs and summer internships.

For example, “I conducted research at Harvard Medical School on stem cell-based molecular neurotherapeutics for use against the most aggressive brain tumor type, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in summer 2013,” he said.