Dr. Ipek Oruc

Principal Investigator

B.Sc. (Boğaziçi University) [Computer Science], M.Sc. (Boğaziçi University) [Computer Science), Ph.D. (New York University) [Psychology, Cognition, and Perception]
Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Research Interests

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Dr. Oruc’s research focuses on understanding the brain mechanisms behind higher-level vision to inform development of paradigms that can reverse and rehabilitate visual dysfunction caused by various brain disorders such as prosopagnosia (face blindness) and autism spectrum disorder.

In one such line of research, she studies visual adaptation, an experience-dependent form of neuroplasticity that Dr. Oruc believes can be used as a way to restore high-level cortical visual function, such as recognition of objects and faces. Indeed, she has shown that visual adaptation produces a temporary benefit, a moment of hypersensitivity, to one’s ability to identify faces. An ongoing large-scale web-based study in her lab investigates the factors underlying the population variance in these adaptation-induced benefits. You can check this experiment out (and even participate) here.

Dr Oruc uses adaptation and other behavioural paradigms to investigate visual dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her group has recently discovered characteristic signatures of visual abnormalities that help to parse the diverse autism spectrum into true etiological subgroups. Ultimately such visual profiles can be used to improve diagnosis and lead to better treatment options. Dr. Oruc hopes to develop an early detection system for these characteristic visual signatures using EEG. Dr. Oruc also welcomes any collaboration with fellow ICORD researchers in studies that involve EEG recording or visual psychophysical testing.

Please visit her website for more information.

Current Lab Members

Undergraduate Students Masters Students Ph.D. Students Postdoctoral Fellows
Christina Yuan Parsa Delavari Todd Kamensek Dr. Gulcenur Ozturan
Suna Yoo Mahmoud Khademi

Trainee Awards

Year Name Award
2023 Dr. Gulce Ozturan Gerhard Zinser Memorial Travel Travel Grant, ARVO
2022 Todd Kamensek Ophthalmology Research Day Best Graduate student presentation, UBC Ophtalmology
2022 Christina Yuan SSRP, UBC FoM
2021 Todd Kamensek Killam Graduate Teaching Award, UBC
2021 Todd Kamensek Demetri Papageorgis Teaching Assistant Award, UBC Psychology
2021 Anastasia Stolzenberg SSRP Award, UBC Faculty of Medicine
2021 Nadia Tarazi URSA, NSERC
2021 Tienlan Sun Selected to Team Canada to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF 2021) (Youth Science Canada)
2020 Hugo Zylberajch Globalink GRA (MITAC/PIMS)
2020 Hugo Zylberajch Graduate Research Award (PIMS-MITACS Globalink)
2019 Aaron Berk Margaret L. Adamson award (UBC Ophthalmology)
2017 Fakhri Shafai Margaret L. Adamson award (UBC Ophthalmology)
2017 Amy Chen MITACS Globalink award
2016 Morteza Mousavi NSERC USRA
2015 Shyam Murthy MITACS Globalink award
2014 Christina Zhang Summer Student Research Award (UBC Faculty of Medicine)
2014 Stella (Qishuo) Luo Globalink International Research Internship (MITACS)
2013 Fakhri Shafai Autism Research Training Award (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)


Recent publications

  • Delavari, P, Ozturan, G, Yuan, L, Yilmaz, Ö, Oruc, I. 2023. Artificial intelligence, explainability, and the scientific method: A proof-of-concept study on novel retinal biomarker discovery.. PNAS Nexus. doi: 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgad290.
  • Kamensek, T, Susilo, T, Iarocci, G, Oruc, I. 2023. Are people with autism prosopagnosic?. Autism Res. doi: 10.1002/aur.3030.
  • Berk, A et al.. 2023. Learning from small data: Classifying sex from retinal images via deep learning.. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289211.
  • Hunur, U et al.. 2022. Thiol-disulphide Homeostasıs and Ischemia-modified Albumın Level and its Relatıonshıp with Clınicopathological Features of Breast Cancer.. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. doi: 10.29271/jcpsp.2022.11.1435.
  • Oruc, Z et al.. 2022. A Low Body Fat Mass Ratio Predicts Poor Prognosis in Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.. Nutr Cancer. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2022.2074064.
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