Ilknur Aktan

Dr Ilknur Aktan

Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Anatomy Programme Lead, Senior Tutor
+44 (0)1483 686757
01 VSM 02



Following graduation from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Istanbul University in 1999, Ilknur worked for a short time as a vet in small animal practice and on a poultry farm. She then travelled to England to pursue a postgraduate career. She joined the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) in 2002 to carry out voluntary work where she was subsequently offered a PhD studentship, funded by Defra, to study the interactions of E. coli O157:H7 with other attaching and effacing E. coli in ruminants. Her thesis was focused on host-pathogen interactions with a view to developing interventions to reduce or eliminate shedding of O157:H7 by ruminants, thus preventing entry into the food chain. She was registered at the University of Liverpool and carried out her research at the VLA in Surrey in Professor Martin Woodward's work group in the Department of Food and Environmental Safety.

Ilknur then joined the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 2008 as a post-doctoral research associate in Prof Fiona Cunningham's work group, researching the antimicrobial properties of equine platelets and their interaction with neutrophils. During her post-doctoral research, she volunteered to undertake teaching in the Comparative Biomedical Sciences department at the RVC. In 2012, she took the opportunity to become a full time Veterinary Anatomy demonstrator. Here she contributed to the curriculum of the first and second year BVetMed programme and the accelerated year programme for graduates and BSc course.

She joined the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey in April 2014 as a Teaching Fellow in Veterinary Anatomy. She is currently BVMSci Programme Lead and Senior Tutor for Pre-clinical years. 


Responsibilities & affiliations

BVMSci Programme Lead

Senior Tutor for pre-clinical for veterinary medicine and science programme

Curriculum Committee

Athena Swan SAT member

External examiner, University of Liverpool



Research interests

My teaching

Courses I teach on

Postgraduate taught

My publications


I. Aktan, K. A. Sprigings, R. M. La Ragione, L. M. Faulkner, G. A. Paiba and M. J. Woodward (2004). Characterisation of attaching-effacing Escherichia coli isolated from animals at slaughter in England and Wales.Veterinary Microbiology. 102, 43-53.
D. F. Twomey, I. Aktan, J. D. Boon, R. J. Higgins, R. M. La Ragione, G. D. Preston (2005). Streptococcus bovis biotype I meningoencephalitis in an alpaca (Lama pacos) cria in the United Kingdom. Veterinary Record. 160, 337-339.
I. Aktan, R. M. La Ragione, M. J. Woodward (2007). Colonization, persistence, and tissue tropism of Escherichia coli O26 in conventionally reared weaned lambs. Applied Environmental Microbiolology. 73, 691-698.
T. Ooka, M. A. Vieira, Y. Ogura, L. Beutin, R. M. La Ragione, P. M. Van Diemen, M. P. Stevens, I. Aktan, S. Cawthraw, A. Best, R. T. Hernandes, G. Krause, T. A. Gomes, T. Hayashi, G. Frankel (2007). Characterisation of TCCP2 carried by atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 271, 126-135.
I. Aktan, R. M. La Ragione, G. C. Pritchard, M. J. Woodward (2007). Prevalence of attaching and effacing Escherichia coli serogroup O103 in Orphan lambs on an open farm in eastern England. Veterinary Record. 161, 386-388.
I. Aktan, B. Carter, H. Wilking, R. M. La Ragione, L. Wieler, M. J. Woodward and M. F. Anjum (2007). The influence of geographical origin, Host animal and Stx gene on the virulence characteristics of Escherichia coli O26 strains. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 56, 1431-1439.
I. Aktan, M. J. Woodward, R. M. La Ragione (2009). Interaction between attaching-effacing Escherichia coli O26:K60 and O157:H7 in young lambs. Research in Veterinary Science. 87, 13-15.
I. Aktan, B. Dunkel and F. M. Cunningham (2011). PKC isoenzymes in equine platelets and stimulus induced activation. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 141, 276-282.
R. M. La Ragione, A. Best, I. Aktan, F. A. Clifton-Hadley , A. H. Dugdale , U. Weyer , T. Crawley, P. Townsend, W. A. Cooley, L. Johnson, A. Wangoo , M. J. Woodward , A. D. Wales (2011). Escherichia coli O115 forms fewer attaching and effacing lesions in the ovine colon in the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Research in Veterinary Science. 93, 42-45.
I. Aktan, B. Dunkel and F. M. Cunningham (2013). Equine platelets inhibit E. coli growth and can be activated by bacterial lipopolysaccharide and lipoteichoic acid although superoxide anion production does not occur and platelet activation is not associated with enhanced production by neutrophils. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 152, 209–217.
I.Aktan, S. Lygo-Baker (2016). Veterinary student attitudes and concerns towards cadaver use in
anatomy teaching.