Hakan leads Pfizer’s Companion Diagnostics efforts across the Worldwide R&D organization and is also responsible for Pfizer’s internal Biobank group. His formal education includes BS (1983) and MS (1984) degrees from Ankara University in Turkey, PhD (1990) in Quantitative Genetics from the University of Minnesota as a Rotary Foundation Scholar, and postdoctoral studies in genetics at the University of California-Davis (1990-94).
Hakan worked in the biotech industry in human genetics and statistical genetics fields across multiple disease areas before moving to Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals in 1998 to direct human genetics, statistical genetics and pharmacogenetics programs. Following the merger of Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis with Pfizer, he has held positions of increasing responsibility in Clinical Pharmacogenomics, Molecular Profiling, and Translational Oncology. Hakan interacted closely with Pfizer’s Executive Leadership Team and the Board of Directors to define and implement Pfizer’s current companion diagnostics strategy. One of his most significant professional accomplishments was to lead the companion diagnostics program for Xalkori® (Crizotinib), Pfizer’s flagship program in companion diagnostics. Hakan served on the clinical development and drug/diagnostics submission teams and led the companion diagnostics program to a successful delivery, resulting in simultaneous FDA approvals of both the drug and the companion diagnostic test in 2011.
Hakan was then promoted to his current role to provide companion diagnostics leadership across Pfizer’s pharmaceutical pipeline. He led the internal efforts that resulted in companion diagnostics partnerships with Dako/Agilent and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, among others. Hakan’s contributions to precision medicine and companion diagnostics have been widely recognized through both internal and external awards, frequent speaking engagements, and press coverage. He is the author of over 30 referred scientific articles as well as many other papers, abstracts and book chapters.
Hakan is keenly interested in technologies for identification of patient sub-groups for targeted treatments and development of companion diagnostics to advance Precision Medicine for the improvement of individualized health care. He is an active member of civic clubs, and enjoys cycling, soccer, and stand-up paddle-boarding.
Listen to the interview with Hakan (published August 2017) https://mendelspod.com/podcasts/thermo-pfizer-and-novartis-pull-first-ng...