“I am a materials engineer, and I make breast models. Women’s access to breast-conserving surgical techniques affects the post-operative process positively. Surgeons need training to develop their skills and acquire breast-conserving techniques. There are 1.7 million breast cancer cases in the world annually; half of these cases occur in geographies where breast-conserving techniques cannot be applied due to the lack of training. The breast model we designed offers an accessible and reliable training platform.
More than 1000 surgeons in many parts of the world have been trained on this model. On the other hand, early diagnosis is the most important tool to tackle breast cancer and we emphasize woman’s prioritization of her own health in our awareness campaign."
Özge Akbulut is an Associate Professor at Sabancı University, Istanbul. She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at Sabancı University in 2004. Her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009) focused on cost-effective fabrication of biomolecular devices and surface science. She continued her studies as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, (2009–2011) on developing tools/techniques for resource-limited settings.
Her main research interests are silicone-based composites and rheology modifiers for additive manufacturing and the cement industry. In 2014, she co-founded Surgitate which designs and fabricates tactile surgical training platforms. The flagship product of Surgitate is a breast model where surgeons-in-training can practice modern oncoplastic techniques. Dr. Akbulut’s work has been shortlisted for the Newton Chair’s Prize in 2020 as well.