Selda Yildiz, Ph.D. (she/her)

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine


Dr. Selda Yildiz is a highly motivated and self-driven scientist with 15+ years experience in engineering, experimental design, data collection/analysis, high-level mathematics/physics, signal processing, computational algorithms, programming, and more recently, clinical research resulting in 10+ publications, 20+ conferences (e.g., ASA, SfN, ISMRM, SLEEP), invited talks, and awards including ISMRM Young Investigator Award (2017),  prestigious and competitive NIH-NCCIH K99 award (2019), and NIH-NIA funded Research Education Component  (REC) Scholarship (2020). In parallel, she is a Yoga-Alliance registered yoga & meditation teacher (2012), and Institute for Integrative Nutrition certified integrative nutrition health coach (2018).
Her academic training has provided her with expertise in imaging techniques using modalities of electromagnetics (BSc & MSc), underwater acoustics (PhD), and MRI & EEG (Post-docs). She has experience in leading multidisciplinary technical research projects with strong project management and technical communication skills and demonstrated record of success over a series of roles at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), University of California San Diego (UC San Diego), and Istanbul Technical University (ITU).  
Dr. Yildiz’s current research — primarily funded by her NIH-NCCIH K99/R00 award — focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms for the benefits of yogic practices in the context of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics, glymphatic function, sleep and aging using modalities of imaging and wearables. 
She is also a Visiting Scholar at UC San Diego, 2022–2023. 

Education and training

    • B.S., 2006, Telecommunication Engineering, Istanbul Technical University
    • M.S., 2008, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Istanbul Technical University
    • Ph.D., 2014, Underwater Acoustics / Applied Ocean Science, Scripps Institution of Oceanography - University of California San Diego
  • Fellowship

    • Post-Doctoral Scholar at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, 2016-2019
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, 2014-2016
    • Visiting PhD Scholar at Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France, 2013-2014
  • Certifications

    • Yoga Teacher certification, Yoga-Alliance, 2012
    • Health Coach certification, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2018

Memberships and associations:

  • International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART), 2021 – present
  • Sleep Research Society (SRS), 2020 – present
  • Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute Schola, 2019 – present
  • Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2017 – present
  • International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), Member, 2016 – present
  • OHSU Postdoctoral Association (OPDA), Career Development Officer, 2016 – 2018
  • National Postdoctoral Association, Member, 2014 – 2018
  • Yoga Alliance of America, Member, 2012 – present
  • Acoustical Society of America, 2011 – 2014

Areas of interest

  • Investigating mindfulness practices in the context of CSF (dynamics and glymphatics) and sleep using quantitative approaches including sleep-wake EEG, MRI/MRS, ECG, respiration, wearable technologies, data science tools in combination with self-reported
  • Establishing sustainable funding in the field of integrative health and aging related research to improve health and wellbeing.

Honors and awards

  • NIH-NIA Research Education Core (REC) scholarship awardee, OHSU Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Center, 2020-2022
  • Oregon Partnership for Alzhemier’s Research (OPAR) grant awardee, Oregon Tac Check-off Alzhemier’s Research Fund, OHSU, 2020 – present
  • Pathway to Independence Award K99/R00, National Institute of Health: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH-NCCIH), 2019 – present
  • Young Investigation Award (YIA), International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), 2017
  • Best Poster Award, NeuroFutures2016, Allen Institute for Brain Science, 2016
  • Graduate Student Researcher Fellowship, UC San Diego, 2009 – 2014
  • Director’s Fellowship, UC San Diego, 2008


Selected publications

  • Yildiz S, Grinstead J, Hildebrand A, et al. “Immediate Impact of Yogic Breathing on Pulsatile Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics.” Scientific Reports. 2022;12(1):10894.
  • Yildiz S, Lim M.M, Powers K, Sammi M.K, Murchison C, Iliff J.J, Rooney W. “Sleep Dependent Changes of Lactate Concentration in Human Brain” BioRxiv (2021)
  • Yildiz S, Lim M.M, Powers K, Sammi M.K, Murchison C, Iliff J.J, Rooney W. Non-Invasive Quantification of Human Brain Lactate Concentrations Across Sleep-Wake Cycles, Sleep, Volume 44, Issue Supplement_2, May 2021, Pages A101–A102, 
  • Balba N, Reynolds C, Modarres M, McBride A, Yildiz S, Heinricher M, Lim M, “Chronic pain in Veterans with TBI is associated with decreased EEG slow wave coherence during NREM sleep”, Sleep, Volume 44, Issue Supplement_2, May 2021, Pages A28–A29,
  • Yildiz S, Elliott J, Opel R, Kaye JA, Cao H, Lim M., “Categorizing Sleep in Older Adults with Wireless Activity Monitors Using LSTM Neural Networks”, 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC), (2019).
  • Yildiz S, Thyagaraj S, Jin N, Zhong X, Heidari Pahlavian S, Martin B.A, Loth F., Oshinski, J. and Sabra, K. G. “Quantifying the influence of respiration and cardiac pulsations on cerebrospinal fluid dynamics using real-time phase-contrast MRI.” (2017). J. Magn. Reson. Imaging. doi:10.1002/jmri.25591
  • Yildiz S., Roux P, Rakotonarivo ST, Marandet C, Kuperman W.A. “Target localization through a data-based sensitivity kernel: A perturbation approach applied to a multistatic configuration", Journal of Acoustical Society of America, 135, 1800-1807. (2014). DOI:
  • Yildiz, S., Sabra, K, Dorman LM, Kuperman W.A. “Using hydroacoustic stations as water column seismometers”, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 2573–2578. (2013). doi:10.1002/grl.50371
  • Dickey, T. D., et al. (56 authors) “Recent Advances in the Study of Optical Variability in   the near-surface and upper ocean”, Journal of Geophysical Research. (2012). doi:10.1029/2012JC007964,
  • Yildiz S., Altuncu Y, Yapar A, and Akduman I, “On the Scattering of Electromagnetic Waves by Periodic Rough Dielectric Surfaces: A BOA Solution”, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. (2008). Vol.46 (9), 2599-2606.