Pelin Cayirlioglu Volkan

Assistant Professor of Biology

Office: 
139 Bio Sciences Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
90338
Phone: 
(919) 684-1150

Lab Site: https://sites.duke.edu/volkanlab/

Research Interests: 

The long-term goal in the lab is to understand the developmental processes that establish the basic organizational and functional principles of the neuronal circuits in the brain. We investigate how the neuronal circuits assemble, functionally mature, remodel in developmental and evolutionary time scales. To understand these processes the Volkan lab uses the olfactory system of the genetically tractable Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism and apply molecular, developmental and systems level approaches. A remarkable aspect of the olfactory circuit in both vertebrates and invertebrates is the extreme functional specialization of individual ORNs accompanied by a high level of diversity of the ORN classes that make up the entire olfactory system. Our research aims to answer three fundamental questions in developmental and evolutionary neurobiology using the Drosophila olfactory system: 1- What are the transcriptional and epigenetic networks that regulate cellular specification and diversity of olfactory receptor neurons? 2- How is sensory neuron function established during development and modulated with experience? 3- What are the molecular mechanisms of morphological and functional evolution of the olfactory circuits and do these underlie species-specific differences in odor-guided behaviors?

The long-term goal in the lab is to understand the developmental processes that establish the basic organizational and functional principles of the neuronal circuits in the brain. We investigate how the neuronal circuits assemble, functionally mature, remodel in developmental and evolutionary time scales. To understand these processes the Volkan lab uses the olfactory system of the genetically tractable Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism and apply molecular, developmental and systems level approaches. Our research aims to answer three fundamental questions in developmental and evolutionary neurobiology using the Drosophila olfactory system: 1- What are the transcriptional and epigenetic networks that regulate cellular specification and diversity of olfactory receptor neurons? 2- How is sensory neuron function established during development and modulated with experience? 3- What are the molecular, developmental and functional changes underlying evolution of species-specific differences in odor-guided behaviors?

Education

  • Postdoctoral Research 2009, HHMI at UCLA

  • Ph.D. 2003, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • M.S. 1997, Bogazici University (Turkey)

  • B.S. 1995, Bogazici University (Turkey)

Papers Published

Chromatin Modulatory Proteins and Olfactory Receptor Signaling in the Refinement and Maintenance of Fruitless Expression in Olfactory Receptor Neurons., 4, 2016
Hueston, CE; Olsen, D; Li, Q; Okuwa, S; Peng, B; Wu, J; Volkan, PC, PLoS biology. 14 vol. (4); pp. e1002443

Examination of Endogenous Rotund Expression and Function in Developing Drosophila Olfactory System Using CRISPR-Cas9 Mediated Protein Tagging (vol 5, pg 2809, 2015), 3, 2016
Li, Q; Barish, S; Okuwa, S; Volkan, PC, G3 (Bethesda, Md.). 6 vol. (3); pp. 771-771

A Functionally Conserved Gene Regulatory Network Module Governing Olfactory Neuron Diversity., 1, 2016
Li, Q; Barish, S; Okuwa, S; Maciejewski, A; Brandt, AT; Reinhold, D; Jones, CD; Volkan, PC, PLoS genetics. 12 vol. (1); pp. e1005780

Mechanisms of olfactory receptor neuron specification in Drosophila, 0, 2015
Barish, S; Volkan, PC, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology. 4 vol. (6); pp. 609-621

Combinatorial rules of precursor specification underlying olfactory neuron diversity, November, 2013
Li, Q; Ha, TS; Okuwa, S; Wang, Y; Wang, Q; Millard, SS; Smith, DP; Volkan, PC, Current Biology. (November, 2013) 23 vol. (24); pp. 2481-2490

Molecular mechanisms governing the receptor choice in Drosophila pheromone circuits, 12, 2010
Li, Q; Ha, TS; Smith, D; Volkan, PC, Journal of Neurogenetics (Informa). 24 pp. 34-34

Hybrid neurons in a microRNA mutant are putative evolutionary intermediates in insect CO<sub>2</sub> sensory systems (Science (1256)), 0, 2008
Cayirlioglu, P, Science. 320 vol. (5883); pp. 1588-

Hybrid neurons in a microRNA mutant are putative evolutionary intermediates in insect CO<sub>2</sub> sensory systems, 2008
Cayirlioglu, P; Kadow, IG; Zhan, X; Okamura, K; Suh, GSB; Gunning, D; Lai, EC; Zipursky, SL, Science. (2008) 319 vol. (5867); pp. 1256-1260

Two chemosensory receptors together mediate carbon dioxide detection in Drosophila, 0, 2007
Jones, WD; Cayirlioglu, P; Kadow, IG; Vosshall, LB, Nature. 445 vol. (7123); pp. 86-90

Expression and possible function of fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) and its cognate receptors FGFR2 and FGFR3 in postnatal and adult retina, 2005
Cinaroglu, A; Ozmen, Y; Ozdemir, A; Ozcan, F; Ergorul, C; Cayirlioglu, P; Hicks, D; Bugra, K, Journal of Neuroscience Research. (2005) 79 vol. (3); pp. 329-339

Transcriptional repressor functions of Drosophila E2F1 and E2F2 cooperate to inhibit genomic DNA synthesis in ovarian follicle cells, 0, 2003
Cayirlioglu, P; Ward, WO; Key, SCS; Duronio, RJ, Molecular and Cellular Biology. 23 vol. (6); pp. 2123-2134

Cell cycle: Flies teach an old dogma new tricks, 0, 2001
Cayirlioglu, P; Duronio, RJ, Current Biology. 11 vol. (5); pp. R178-R181

Activated Armadillo/β-catenin does not play a general role in cell migration and process extension in Drosophila, 0, 2001
Loureiro, JJ; Akong, K; Cayirlioglu, P; Baltus, AE; DiAntonio, A; Peifer, M, Developmental Biology. 235 vol. (1); pp. 33-44

Drosophila E2f2 promotes the conversion from genomic DNA replication to gene amplification in ovarian follicle cells, 0, 2001
Cayirlioglu, P; Bonnette, PC; Dickson, MR; Duronio, RJ, Development. 128 vol. (24); pp. 5085-5098

Papers Submitted

Rotund fine-tunes sensory organ precursor identity to diversify olfactory receptor neuron classes in Drosophila. in December, 2011
Qingyun Li, Tal Soo Ha, Sumie Okuwa, Sean Millard, Dean P. Smith and Pelin Cayirlioglu Volkan

Awards

  • 2013 Distinguished UNC Alumnus Award, UNC-CH