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About Tugce Balci

Dr. Tugce Balci is a medical geneticist at the Children's Hospital (LHSC) researching rare genetic disorders and the genetic causes of disease, primarily through genotype/phenotype correlation and animal models.

Asset Map Keywords: Epilepsy, Rare Genetic Disorders, and Animal Models --> (see more)
Children's Health Collaborators: Asuri N Prasad, Greg Kelly, and Chitra Prasad
Also in Medical Genetics: Natalya Karp, Prasad, Maha Saleh, and Victoria Mok Siu

Dr. Balci often collaborates with other researchers at Western and across Canada, such as with the Care4Rare SOLVE project for which she is the London site lead. A primary aspect of Dr. Balci’s research is discovery of genetic variation via genome-wide sequencing and novel omics technologies; another is reconstructing those variations in zebrafish models, to better understand gene function and effects of mutations.

Dr. Balci is part of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Clinic at LHSC and takes part in clinical research in epilepsy genetics. She is the current chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee of the new London-led EpiSignCAN project, which looks at understanding the yield and utility of epigenetic profiling in diagnosing rare genetic diseases.

Research
Genetic diseases are, by definition, individually rare but collectively common. How can research address those diseases collectively? Investigating genotype/phenotype correlation through genome-wide sequencing, other novel omics technologies, data sharing, collaborating and analyzing existing data and resources to better profile people with rare genetic diseases.
Goal: building a more complete, systemic approach, to better understand, diagnose, and eventually treat rare genetic diseases.


Dr. Tugce B. Balci joined the Department of Pediatrics and the Medical Genetics Program of Southwestern Ontario in 2018. She is a Clinical Geneticist and Clinician Researcher, with a research focus on rare disease models and gene discovery.

Dr. Balci completed her medical degree in Ankara University Faculty of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey in 2005 and her Medical Genetics residency training in 2009 from Baskent University, also in Ankara. She then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in the Berman Zebrafish Lab in Halifax, NS (Dalhousie University / IWK Health Centre), where she worked on zebrafish models of rare human diseases with a focus on hematopoietic disorders. She received a postdoctoral fellowship award from the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute and an abstract achievement award from the American Society of Hematology for her work.

Dr. Balci completed her Canadian residency training at the University of Ottawa (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, CHEO) in 2018, where she partook in research activities within the Care4Rare Canada consortium. She is currently the London site lead for the newly installed Care4Rare SOLVE project. She is building a research program (with a special interest in neurological conditions) focused on exploring new ways to diagnose children and adults with rare genetic conditions, finding new disease genes, interpreting gene variants and creating animal models in hopes of finding new avenues for personalized treatment.



Positions

Present Assistant Professor, Western University Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences
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Present Assistant Professor, Western University Department of Paediatrics
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Present Assistant Professor, Western University Department of Biochemistry
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Present Medical Geneticist, London Health Sciences Centre ‐ Children's Hospital
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Present Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)
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