Nurgul Salli, PhD

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    Research interests

    Dr. Nurgul Carkaci-Salli has been actively involved in numerous areas of research during her professional career.

    She is formally trained in plant pathology, with a bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in the field. She has worked for the Turkish Department of Agricultural and several private firms with special interests in mycology and plant disease resistance.

    Dr. Carkaci-Salli further trained in molecular biology at Auburn University. She continued her research interests at Oregon Health Sciences University, investigating disease resistance genes; the DNA fingerprint of fungi; physiological and molecular characterization of plant defense mechanisms; and physiology and molecular biology of the induced resistance in plants.

    During her time in Oregon, Dr. Carkaci-Salli developed further expertise in cell culture techniques and continued her work on the differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into serotonergic neuronal cells.

    Continuing her interest in stem cell differentiation, at Penn State, she has worked extensively on neuronal differentiation of stem cells including glioblastoma cancer stem cells and mechanisms in chemoresistance development. She collaborates in the study of the potential role of stem cells for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and tendon dysfunction.

    In addition, since 2004, Dr. Carkaci-Salli has been exploring naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms in catecholamine biosynthesis enzymes. Insight gained into their structural/functional properties in the CNS biogenic amine (dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin) biosynthetic enzymes (tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase) may result in improved drug screening methodology ultimately with clinical applications in a variety of mental health disorders.


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