Tugce B. Balci

Medical Doctor / Postdoctoral Fellow

Email: tugce.balci@iwk.nshealth.ca

Tugce (2-che) is a medical doctor trained in Turkey, where she completed her residency training in Medical Genetics, her main area of research interest being the genetic changes in blood disorders.  She first started working with zebrafish in 2009 when she joined the Berman Lab and she has only grown more interested in using this system as a model in studying human diseases. Update: Since July 2012, Tugce has been enrolled in residency training to get certified by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada in Medical Genetics at the University of Ottawa.

Tugce’s main research focus has been the molecular and pathological characterization of the cKIT D816V transgenic zebrafish, a model of human systemic mastocytosis (SM). As a side project, she has been striving to generate a mast cell-specific transgenic zebrafish line.  Tugce ultimately plans to use the models to conduct chemical screens to identify compounds that restore a normal blood phenotype.

Tugce also took part in the leukemia arm of the xenotransplantation project in the lab. She worked on two different acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines (THP1 and CMK) to show their in vivo response to novel agents that synergize with mainstay anti-AML drugs like cytarabine. Both projects may lead to the discovery of promising drugs that represent new therapies in SM and AML; which she finds as the most exciting part of the work.

Outside of the lab, 2che is mainly enjoying the beauty and comfort of life in Halifax, while also trying to make time for her wushu training (specifically Beijing Chuojiao Fanzi).

Awards

American Society of Hematology 53rd Annual Meeting, Abstract Achievement Award (2011)

IWK Health Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011)

Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute – Cancer Research Training Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship Award

Selected Publications

A transgenic zebrafish model expressing KIT-D816V recapitulates features of aggressive systemic mastocytosis. Balci TB, Prykhozhij SV, Teh EM, Da’as SI, McBride E, Liwski R, Chute IC, Leger D, Lewis SM, Berman JN. Br J Haematol. 2014 Jul 2. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12999. [Epub ahead of print]

Zebrafish xenografts as a tool for in vivo studies on human cancer. Konantz M, Balci TB, Hartwig UF, Dellaire G, André MC, Berman JN, Lengerke C. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Aug;1266:124-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06575.x. Review.

The zebrafish reveals dependence of the mast cell lineage on Notch signaling in vivo. Da’as SI, Coombs AJ, Balci TB, Grondin CA, Ferrando AA, Berman JN. Blood. 2012 Apr 12;119(15):3585-94. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-10-385989. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

A unique role of GATA1s in Down syndrome acute megakaryocytic leukemia biology and therapy. Xavier AC, Edwards H, Dombkowski AA, Balci TB, Berman JN, Dellaire G, Xie C, Buck SA, Matherly LH, Ge Y, Taub JW.

AHI1 gene expression levels and BCR-ABL1 T315I mutations in chronic myeloid leukemia patients. Bulakbasi Balci T, Sahin FI, Karakus S, Ozdogu H. Hematology. 2011;16(6):357-360.

Complex cytogenetic findings in the bone marrow of a chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis patient. Bulakbasi Balci T, Yuksel MK, Yilmaz Z, Sahin FI. Turk J Hematol. 2010; 27(2): 113-116

Ethical considerations regarding parental decisions for termination following prenatal diagnosis of sex chromosome abnormalities. Yilmaz Z, Sahin FI, Bulakbasi T, Yüregir OO, Tarim E, Yanik F. Genet Couns. 2008;19(3):345-52.

A 45,X/47,XYY/46,XY Karyotype and Y Chromosome Microdeletion in an Infertile Male. Bulakbasi T, Sahin FI, Yilmaz Z, Zeyneloglu HB. Balkan J Med Genet. 2008; 11 (1): 51-3.

Mucinous cystadenoma in a female patient with 45,X/46,XY karyotype. Bulakbasi T, Erkanli S, Ozer O, Bolat F, Yilmaz Z, Sahin FI. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 35 (2):144-6.

Chromosome Heteromorphisms: An Impact On Infertility. Sahin FI, Yilmaz Z, Ozalp Yuregir O, Bulakbasi T, Ozer O, Zeyneloglu HB. J Assist Reprod Genet. 2008 May; 25 (5):191-5. Epub 2008 May 7.

Cytogenetic findings and clinical outcomes of adult acute myeloid leukaemia patients. Sahin FI, Kizilkilic E, Bulakbasi T, Yilmaz Z, Boga C, Ozalp O, Karakus S, Ozdogu H. Clin Exp Med. 2007 Sep; 7 (3):102-7. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

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