Aygul BalciogluResearch Scientist


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Short Biography

I am keen to learn how neurotransmitters and their receptors interact at plasticity paradigms. I began by developing methods to titrate small neurotransmitter molecules in brain tissue in vivo, such as glutamate and GABA. In the Nedivi Lab, those skills guide me as I study presynaptic partners of individual excitatory synapses across dendritic trees in the visual cortex to learn specifically how presynaptic thalamic excitatory inputs distribute across layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons, and their dynamics in adult plasticity paradigms.

I value curiosity, creativity, productivity, dedication, generosity, integrity and humility, and feel privileged to work with graduate students. Outside, in the world, what keeps me centered is long walks, yoga, an inspiring daughter, a dedicated husband, volleyball, and volunteering at MIT’s Turkish School.​

Selected Publications

  • Selective ROCK2 inhibition in focal cerebral ischemia.
    Lee JH, Zheng Y, von Bornstadt D, Wei Y, Balcioglu A et al.
    Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2014; 1: 2-14.
  • Function of dopamine transporter is compromised in DYT1 transgenic animal model in vivo.
    J Neurochem 2010; 113: 228-235.
  • Plasma and brain concentrations of oral therapeutic doses of methylphenidate and their impact on brain monoamines content in mice.
    Balcioglu A, Ren JQ, McCarthy D, Spencer TJ, Biederman J, Bhide PG.
    Neuropharmacology 2009; 57: 687-693.
  • Dopamine release is impaired in a mouse model of DYT1 dystonia.
    Balcioglu A, Kim MO, Sharma N, Cha JH, Breakefield XO, Standaert DG.
    J Neurochem 2007; 102: 783-788.
  • Dopamine depletion abolishes apomorphine- and amphetamine-induced increases in extracellular serotonin levels in the striatum of conscious rats. A microdialysis study.
    Balcioglu A, Zhang K, Tarazi FI.
    Neuroscience 2003; 119: 1045-1053.
  • Striatal serotonin receptors and dopamine release.
    Balcioglu A, Wurtman RJ.
    J Neurochem 2000; 75-76.
  • Sibutramine, a serotonin uptake inhibitor, increases dopamine concentrations in rat striatal and hypothalamic extracellular fluid.
    Balcioglu A, Wurtman RJ.
    Neuropharmacology 2000; 39: 2352-2359.
  • Effects of fenfluramine and phentermine (fen-phen) on dopamine and serotonin release in rat striatum. In vivo microdialysis study in conscious animals.
    Balcioglu A, Wurtman RJ.
    Brain Res 1998; 813: 67-72.
  • Dexfenfluramine enhances striatal dopamine release in conscious rats via a serotoninergic mechanism.
    Balcioglu A. Wurtman RJ.
    J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1998; 284: 991-997.
  • Endogenous melatonin and the fate of exogenous melatonin. Age effects.
    Zhdanova IV, Wurtman RJ, Balcioglu A, Kartashov AI, Lynch HJ.
    J Gerontology 1998; 53A: B293-B298.
  • Use of a hemoglobin-trapping approach in the determination of nitric oxide in vitro and in vivo systems.
    Balcioglu A, Watkins CJ, Maher TJ.
    Neurochem Res. 1996; 23: 815-820.
  • Determination of kainic acid induced release of nitric oxide using a novel hemoglobin-trapping technique with microdialysis.
    Balcioglu A, Maher TJ.
    J Neurochem 1993; 61: 2311-2313.
  • Absence of desensitization to the relaxant activity of streptozotocin in isosorbide dinitrate-tolerant rat aorta.
    Uma S, Balcioglu A.
    J Pharm Pharmacol.  1993; 45: 148-150.
  • Comparison of the cardiovascular effects of amineptine with those of amitriptyline and imipramine in anaesthetized rats.
    Balcioglu A, Bozkurt A, Kayaalp SO.
    Arch Intl Pharmacodyn 1991; 309: 64-74.