A group of scientists at the University of Arizona led by Betül Kaçar was elected as one of the teams that will make up the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) latest efforts to "study of the origins, evolution, and distribution of life in the Universe."
"I will lead a team of 12 research groups that will pioneer the search for life in the Universe for the next five years," Kaçar said in a tweet on Nov. 9.
Çok güzel bir haberi paylaşmak istiyorum. Projemiz NASA'nın yeni oluşturduğu astrobiyoloji merkezlerinden biri olarak seçildi. Önümüzdeki 5 sene boyunca evrendeki yaşam arama çalışmalarına yön verecek 12 araştırma grubundan oluşan bir ekibi yöneteceğim. https://t.co/UTHJBOg9MS— Betul Kacar (@betulland) November 9, 2020
NASA's recently-founded Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research (ICAR) will further "research into the origin and early evolution of life, the potential of life to adapt to different environments, and the implications for life elsewhere."
While Kaçar became the youngest person ever to be selected for such a position, her team was funded for $12 million that will be used for both laboratory research and field studies.
"Only you yourself can put boundaries on your dreams. Work hard, be persistent and resist. Dream outrageously," the scientist said in a following tweet.
Hailing from the Black Sea region of Giresun, Kaçar moved to the United States at 20 years old and obtained her PhD from Georgia's Emory University.
After working on evolutionary biology at Harvard University from 2012 to 2017, Kaçar joined University of Arizona's Departments of Cell Biology, Astronomy and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.German biotech company owned by Turkish scientist signs deal with Chinese pharmaceutical firm for coronavirus vaccine