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Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu
Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu is a Team Leader/Senior research officer with over 10 years of experience in complex disease genetics. She leads the autism stem cell program within the Neurogenetics Group of Associate Professor Paul Lockhart at MCRI. Dr Bozaoglu currently leads the molecular aspects of the Genetics of Autism project at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute which is funded by the NHMRC. She has developed an extensive stem cell modelling program where she can differentiate patient derived-stem cells into brain cells and determine how the mutations identified in our patients may be contributing to autism and also developed the downstream functional assays that are important in addressing this important question.
Dr Bozaoglu completed her PhD at the Metabolic Research Unit, Deakin University in April 2009. Dr Bozaoglu is a functional geneticist and her research focuses on the genetics of complex diseases, and its subsequent translation into functional models for validation. Over the course of her career, Dr Bozaoglu has developed expertise in novel gene identification in large family cohorts and subsequent validation using functional models. Her research is multidisciplinary, and has extended to a number of complex diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, schizophrenia and autism. She made a significant impact in obesity research with her discovery of a novel adipokine chemerin during her PhD. Being the first to describe chemerin as a novel adipokine associated with metabolic syndrome characteristics, her manuscripts around chemerin are highly cited (>1300 citations to date), demonstrating the significance of her research. During Dr Bozaoglu’s post-doctoral work on cardiovascular disease, she discovered a novel gene TRAK2, in a large family study and validated its role in CVD using functional models was published in the prestigious European Heart Journal highlighting the significance of the findings. Relative to opportunity (8.5 years FTE, including 2 periods of maternity leave), she has a strong track record of 26 publications, 6 as first author and 2 as last author and 3 book chapters.
Apart from her passion and dedication for science, Dr Bozaoglu enjoys supervising and mentoring staff and students. Since 2010, she has co-supervised 2 PhD, 2 masters and 3 honours students. Her current team consists of 3 RAs and 2 PhD students and she is on 5 MCRI PhD advisory panels. She is also an official mentor for 3 postdocs and informally mentors 4 PhD students and 2 Research Assistants on research and career development.
Dr Bozaoglu is also passionate about championing change in the Australian scientific community to increase diversity and inclusivity. She is heavily engaged in various institutional committees including co-chair of the MCRI postdoc society, chair of the MCRI Gender Equity Committee and is part of the advisory committee for the Women in Science Parkville Precinct. With these committee responsibilities, Dr Bozaoglu aims to bring equality in science. This is not just about achieving gender equality, but to empower all scientists to be the best that they can be in the absence of prejudices against their gender, race or religion. Science is about striving for excellence and making valuable contributions to our health systems and patient care.
- 2018 - MCRI 3 Minute Publication Prize
- 2018 - MCRI Catalyst Travel Grant
- 2012 - Baker IDI Bright Sparks Travel Award
- 2010 - Harold Mitchell Travelling Fellowship
- 1010 - IASO Travelling Fellowship
- 2007 - EASD Travelling Fellowship Award
- 2005 - Australian Postgraduate Award
Development of a Comprehensive Stem Cell Program to understand Neurodevelopmental disorders
Brain development is an intricate process governed by both molecular and anatomical changes. Any disruption to these processes can affect the way the brain cell networks develop and function and can lead to cognitive and behavioural disturbances. Traditionally these disorders have been modelled using mouse models, however the brain development between mice and humans is very different and translation from animal models to clinical trials have not worked effectively. Therefore human models are required to understand human diseases.
Neurodevelopmental disorders occur when there is a disruption in the development of the central nervous system. This can result in devastating conditions including dysfunction of developmental brain and may lead to autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and intellectual disability. We currently do not understand the neurobiology behind the dysregulation of brain development and therefore there is an urgency to delve into deep molecular analyses to understand the pathways that may be affected and determine why the neural connection in the brain may be altered.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Today it is estimated that 300,000 Australians have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and most of these were diagnosed early in their childhood, some even at kindergarten or the early years of primary school. Up until a diagnoses is made, these children are misunderstood and have trouble fitting in with their peers. This is a real issue for the wellbeing of these children which can have lifelong implications at a social level.
We know that changes in the way the brain handles and processes information is very important in ASD and therefore we need new and innovative ways to model the impacts of genetic changes on how the brain functions. Therefore, we need better ways to diagnose ASD early and come up with strategies to prevent these heartbreaking scenarios. Ultimately, therapies for ASD will need to target the nerve cells in the brain and help them function and talk to each other more effectively.
Dr Bozaoglu has developed an extensive stem cell modelling research program to address these knowledge gaps and understand the biology behind what is causing autism which can lead to more personalised therapies. Dr Bozaoglu and her team can differentiate patient derived-stem cells into brain cells and determine how the mutations identified in our patients may be contributing to autism and also developed the downstream functional assays that are important in addressing this important question. These models will be appplicable not only for ASD research, but can also be applied to other neurodevelopmental disorders. These models will also allow for high throughput drug screening to identify effective treatments for brain disorders and develop personalised therapies for patients. Validation of these preclinical models in the human disease state is necessary to progress our understanding of the pathological processes in humans, advance future clinical trial design, and ultimately, advance clinical care.
- Understanding the genetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Large Multigenerational Families
- Development of stem cell models to understand the molecular mechanisms of Austim Spectrum Disorder
- New strategies for improved therapies for autistic children with neurofibromatosis type 1
Recent Publications. For more publications, please refer to my ORCID page: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0807-2813
Carruthers SP, Cropley V, Bousman C, Everall IP, Neill E, Pantelis C, Sumner PJ, Tan EJ; Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank, Bozaoglu K, Thomas EHX, Van Rheenen TE, Gurvich CT, Rossell SL. The effects of a muscarinic receptor 1 gene variant on executive and non-executive cognition in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Psychiatry Res. 2019 Jan 11;273:178-180.
Vlahos K, Sourris K, Mayberry R, McDonald P, Bruveris FF, Schiesser JV, Bozaoglu K, Lockhart PJ, Stanley EG, Elefanty AG. Generation of iPSC lines from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 5 healthy adults. Stem Cell Res. 2018 Dec 27;34:101380
Thomas EHX, Rossell SL, Myles JB, Tan EJ, Neill E, Carruthers SP, Sumner PJ, Bozaoglu K, Gurvich C. Working Memory and Attention Influence Antisaccade Error Rate in Schizophrenia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2018 Dec
C. R. Bain, D. F. Draxler, R. Taylor, S. Wallace, O. Gouldthorpe, T. B. Corcoran, P. S. Myles, R. L. Medcalf and K. Bozaoglu The early in‐vivo effects of a single anti‐emetic dose of dexamethasone on innate immune cell gene expression and activation in healthy volunteers. Anaesthesia 2018, 73, 955-966
Thomas EH, Rossell SL, Tan EJ, Neill E, Van Rheenen TE, Carruthers SP, Sumner PJ, Louise S, Bozaoglu K, Gurvich C. Do schizotypy dimensions reflect the symptoms of schizophrenia? Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2018 Apr 1:4867418769746
Yujing Gao, Gabrielle R Wilson, Kiymet Bozaoglu, Andrew G Elefanty, Edouard G Stanley, Mirella Dottori, Paul J Lockhart. Generation of RAB39B knockout isogenic human embryonic stem cell lines to model RAB39B-mediated Parkinson's disease. Stem Cell Research, Volume 28, April 2018, Pages 161-164
Gao Y, Wilson GR, Stephenson SEM, Bozaoglu K, Farrer MJ, Lockhart PJ. The emerging role of Rab GTPases in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2018 Jan 9
Nicole J. Lake, Rachael L. Taylor, Hugh Trahair, Harikrishnan K.N, Joanne E. Curran, Marcio Almeida, Hemant Kulkarni, Nigora Mukhamedova, Anh Hoang, Hann Low, Andrew J Murphy, Matthew P. Johnson, Thomas D. Dyer, Michael C. Mahaney, Harald H.H. Göring, Eric K. Moses, Dmitri Sviridov, John Blangero; Jeremy B.M. Jowett, Kiymet Bozaoglu*. TRAK2, a novel regulator of ABCA1 expression, cholesterol efflux and HDL biogenesis. European Heart Journal, 2017 Dec 21;38(48):3579-3587
Bozaoglu K, Rossell S, Gurvich C. The Influence of the Glutamatergic System on Cognition in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2017 Apr 13;77:369-387
Scott WR, Zhang W, Loh M, Tan ST, Lehne B, Afzal U, Peralta J, Saxena R, Ralhan S, Wander GS, Bozaoglu K, Sanghera DK, Elliott P, Scott J, Chambers JC, Kooner JS. (2016) Investigation of Genetic Variation Underlying Central Obesity amongst South Asians. PLoS One. May 19;11(5)
Gurvich C, Bozaoglu K, Neill E, Van Rheenen TE, Tan EJ, Louise S, Rossell SL. (2016) The dopamine D1 receptor gene is associated with negative schizotypy in a non-clinical sample. Psychiatry Res. Jan 30;235:213-4
Chambers JC, Loh M, Lehne B, Drong A, Kriebel J, Motta V, Wahl S, Elliott HR, Rota F, Scott WR, Zhang W, Tan ST, Campanella G, Chadeau-Hyam M, Yengo L, Richmond RC, Adamowicz-Brice M, Afzal U, Bozaoglu K, ... McCarthy MI, Kooner JS. (2015) Epigenome-wide association identifies DNA methylation markers in peripheral blood that predict incident Type-2 diabetes amongst Indian Asians and Europeans. Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology 3 7 526-34
Bozaoglu K, Attard C, Kulkarni H, Cummings N, Diego VP, Carless MA, Shields KA, Johnson MP, Kowlessur S, Dyer TD, Comuzzie AG, Almasy L, Zimmet P, Moses EK, Göring HH, Curran JE, Blangero J, Jowett JB. (2014) Plasma levels of soluble interleukin 1 receptor accessory protein are reduced in obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 99 9 3435-43
Boersma YL, Newman J, Adams TE, Cowieson N, Krippner G, Bozaoglu K, Peat TS. (2014) The structure of vanin 1: a key enzyme linking metabolic disease and inflammation Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 1 70 (Pt 12) 3320-9
Fatima SS, Bozaoglu K, Rehman R, Alam F, Memon AS.(2013) Elevated chemerin levels in pakistani men: an interrelation with metabolic syndrome phenotypes. PLoS One Feb; 8(2):e57113
M.A. Carless, D.C. Glahn, M.P. Johnson, J.E. Curran, K. Bozaoglu, et al., (2011) Impact of DISC1 variation on neuroanatomical and neurocognitive phenotypes. Molecular Psychiatry, Nov;16(11):1096-104, 1063
Bozaoglu K, Curran JE, Stocker CJ, Zaibi MS, Segal D, Konstantopoulos N, Morrison S, Carless M, Dyer TD, Cole SA, Goring HH, Moses EK, Walder K, Cawthorne MA, Blangero J, Jowett JB. (2010) Chemerin, a Novel Adipokine in the Regulation of Angiogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. May;95(5):2476-85.
Bozaoglu K, Segal D, Shields KA, Cummings N, Curran JE, et al. (2009) Chemerin is associated with metabolic syndrome phenotypes in a Mexican-American population. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 94: 3085-3088.
- 2019 - MCRI Strategic Pilot Projects in Cell Biology and Genetics
- 2019 - E.H Flack Fellowship
- 2012 - NHMRC New Investigator Grant
- 2012 - NHMRC Project Grant
- 2012 - Baker IDI Medicinal Chemistry Grant