Özlem Doğan Ekici was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey in 1998 and moved to the United States the same year. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. James C. Powers. In her thesis, she focused on developing novel inhibitors for caspases as potential antiinflammatory and antineurodegenerative agents. She continued to work in the protease field as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Ross E. Dalbey at The Ohio State University, where she worked on a combinatorial peptide library approach to characterize substrate specificity of proteases in collaboration with Prof. Dehua Pei. She then focused her attention to making synthetic amino acid-based photoprobes as cross-linking agents as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Matthew S. Platz’s group. Concurrently, she also started teaching Elementary, and Organic Chemistry at OSU. In Autumn 2014, she joined the faculty at OSU Newark, currently teaching General Chemistry lecture and labs. Her current research focus is the development of novel protease inhibitors, specifically proteasome inhibitors for the potential treatment of multiple myeloma. She is also part of the research team lead by Prof. Christopher M. Hadad at OSU, where they work on the resurrection of aged-acetylcholinesterase upon exposure to organophosphorous chemical nerve agents.