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Dinara Bulgari, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
E1308 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-648-8693
Fax: 412-648-1945


BS (Physics), Kazan State University, Russia, 1989
PhD (Physiology), Kazan State Medical University, Russia, 1993


Headshot of Dinara Bulgari, PhD

Research Areas

Dr. Bulgari (Shakiryanova) studies the mechanisms of dense-core vesicles transport to nerve terminals and role of presynaptic signaling in regulation of neuropeptide release. She uses combination of genetic, electrophysiology and imaging techniques to study the native intact synapses in Drosophila model system, which feature large synaptic boutons that are amenable to study by light microscopy. Neuropeptides are packaged in large dense-core vesicles and act as local co-transmitters. They influence development, behavior, mood, pain perception, sleep and circadian rhythms, inflammation, appetite. But despite these important functions little is known about the cell physiology underlying their release. These studies will continue to transform the understanding of neuropeptide release and signaling in the nerve terminal, which are fundamental to understanding the operation of the nervous system under physiological and pathological conditions. 

Journal Articles

Bulgari D, Zhou C, Hewes RS, Deitcher DL and ES Levitan. Vesicle capture, not delivery, scales up neuropeptide storage in neuroendocrine terminals. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:3597-3601, 2014.
Shakiryanova D, GM Zettel, T Gu, RS Hewes and ES Levitan.  Synaptic neuropeptide release induced by octopamine without Ca2+ entry into the nerve terminal.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:4477-4481, 2011.
Shakiryanova D, T Morimoto, C Zhou, AK Chouhan, SJ Sigrist, A Nose, GT Macleod, DL Deitcher and ES Levitan.  Differential control of presynaptic (CaMKII) activation and translocation to active zones.  Journal of Neuroscience 31:9093-9100, 2011.
Shakiryanova D and ES Levitan.  Prolonged presynaptic posttetanic cyclic GMP signaling in Drosophila motoneurons.  Proc Natl Acad SCI USA 105:13610-13613, 2008.
Shakiryanova D, MK Klose, Y Zhou, T Gu, DL Deitcher, HL Atwood, RS Hewes and ES Levitan. Vesicle mobilization and post-tetanic potentiation of neuropeptide release require ryanodine receptors and calmodulin kinase II. Journal of Neuroscience 27(29):7799-7806, 2007.
Shakiryanova D, A Tully and ES Levitan ES. Activity-dependent synaptic capture of transiting peptidergic vesicles.  Nature Neuroscience 9(7):896-900, 2006.
Shakiryanova D, A Tully, R Hewes, D Deitcher and ES Levitan . Activity-dependent liberation of synaptic neuropeptide vesicles. Nature Neuroscience 8(2): 173-178, 2005.