Bilgay Izci Balserak

    Email Address:
    College: Nursing Department: Biobehavioral Health Science
    Secondary Department: Women, Child, and Family Health Sciences
    Title: Assistant Professor
    Office: 638 Phone: 9962718
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Dr. Izci Balserak’s research focuses on women's health (including childbearing and midlife women) with an emphasis on sleep disturbances, circadian rhythms, clock genes and their relevance to adverse health outcomes (i.e. cardiometabolic health outcomes). Her specific research attention is dedicated to (1) assessing the sleep-related determinants of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes (i.e. pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and intrauterine growth retardation), (2) identifying the risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), (3) producing a screening tool for SDB in the pregnant population, (4)identifying circadian genes associated with adverse health outcomes and (5) developing behavioral interventions to prevent sleep-related metabolic adverse health outcomes.
    Her current work aims to determine whether an increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with circadian genes, SDB, short sleep duration and low percentage of delta power (slow wave sleep). The secondary aim is to examine whether SDB is associated with increased inflammatory biomarkers such as IL-6 and CRP.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 5

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Nursing, psychology, biology, premed and engineering students are encouraged to apply for this unique position; however, any serious applicant will be considered. The most preferred qualification is reliability and paying careful attention to details. Prefer experience with proficient computer skills (e.g., Microsoft office, RedCap, MatLap); experience interacting with pregnant women, good communication skills. This student will work closely with the Research Assistant and Dr. Izci Balserak to support the activities of the project.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    You may be able to take part in a number of research activities, including:
    • Screening subjects using online medical records
    • Working with blood samples
    • Evaluating and scoring sleep studies
    • Power spectral analysis of EEG (a widely-used and popular method employed in various medical fields)
    • Interacting with research subjects
    • ...and more
    In addition, you will be expected to perform some of the more basic tasks that are crucial to any research operation, including: recruiting subjects, working with the Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects, literature review, scanning documents, preparing laboratory materials, etc.

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