Dr. Ercal received an MD from Istanbul Medical Faculty in Turkey in 1981. She later went on to complete her MS degree in physiology at Ohio State University and a PhD at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. In 1990, she came to Missouri S&T (then UMR) as a research associate. She joined the Department of Chemistry faculty as an assistant professor a few years later. Her research, teaching, and service have been recognized by numerous Faculty Excellence Awards, Outstanding Teacher Awards, and other distinctions. In 2009, she was named the Richard K. Vitek/FCR Endowed Chair in Biochemistry. She currently teaches Biochemistry and related courses such as Metabolism, Free Radicals in Biochemistry, and Neurochemistry.
Her research focuses on a variety of oxidative stress-related conditions: blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction due to drug, nanoparticle, or HIV protein exposure; degenerative eye disorders, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration; and toxicity induced by radiation, heavy metals (especially lead), and drugs, like acetaminophen. She is one of the most cited researchers at Missouri S&T, with over 100 peer-reviewed journal publications, in addition to several book chapters.
Free radicals in biological systems, Method development for thiol analysis in biological matrices, Potential benefits of thiol antioxidants in oxidative stress-related conditions including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, neurodegenerative disorders, medicinal drug-induced toxicity, metal toxicity (particularly lead), radiation exposure, alcohol overuse, and HIV
Developing a safe and economical eye drop-based treatment for cataracts, Tear fluid biomarkers for early cataract prediction, Potential benefits of thiol antioxidant drugs in traumatic brain/spinal cord injury