Department of Biology
Durham, NC 27708-0338
Email: pc72 AT duke DOT edu
Biology, Arts & Sciences
DIBS Faculty, DIBS Investigator
How we interpret and behaviorally respond to the external world depends on our sensory systems and the organization of their underlying circuits in the brain. Coordinated expression of distinct sensory receptors in specific neurons with their connectivity to specific target sites in the central nervous system underlies the general logic of sensory circuit assembly, and ultimately defines the behavioral output to sensory stimuli. In our lab, we use the olfactory circuitry of genetically tractable Drosophila to dissect out molecular mechanisms regulating this coordination. Here, 1200 odorant receptor neurons (ORNs), housed in clusters of 1-4 cells within olfactory sensilla on the antenna and the maxillary palps, are specified to generate 50 different ORN classes. Each ORN expresses roughly one out of approximately 60 odorant receptor (ORs) genes encoded in the Drosophila genome. ORNs expressing the same OR project to a stereotyped position within the antennal lobe called a “glomerulus” to form class-specific synapses with their target neurons.
We are currently working on molecular networks governing OR choice and wiring specificity in ORNs in the olfactory system, using genetic, molecular and developmental approaches. We are interested in how these programs are coupled during the specification of ORNs to generate patterns of neuronal connectivity in the olfactory circuitry and how the circuit morphology affects executed behaviors. Another goal of the lab is to understand how these circuits are reorganized during evolution to accommodate species-specific behavioral differences to similar chemicals.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California-Los Angeles, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2003-2009
Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Biology, 2003
M.S., Bogazici University (Turkey), Molecular Biology and Genetics, 1997
B.S., Bogazici University (Turkey), Molecular Biology and Genetics, 1995
Cayirlioglu, P., Kadow, I., Zhan, X., Okamura, K., Suh, G.S.B., Gunning, D., Lai, E., and Zipursky, S.L. (2008) Hybrid Neurons In a microRNA Mutant Are Putative Evolutionary Intermediates In Insect CO2 Sensory Systems. Science, 319(5867):1256-60.
Jones, W.D., Cayirlioglu, P., Kadow, I.G., and Vosshall, L.B. (2007) Two chemosensory Receptors together mediate carbon dioxide detection in Drosophila. Nature, 445:86-90.
Cinaroglu, A., Ozmen, Y., Ozdemir, A., Ozcan, F., Ergorul, C., Cayirlioglu, P., Hicks, D., Bugra , K. (2005) Expression and possible function of fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) and its cognate receptors FGFR2 and FGFR3 in postnatal and adult retina. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 79(3):329-39
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