Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Investigator, Data Science Institute
Director, Neuroscience of Vision & Action Lab
Ipek Oruc is an associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, a member of the Neuroscience Program, and an investigator in the Data Science Institute. Her work combines tools from computer science and visual psychophysics to investigate the links between visual experience and perceptual expertise in face recognition, statistical regularities in the visual input and neural mechanisms that utilize these to augment recognition, and more recently, automated diagnosis and prediction based on retinal imaging using deep learning. She supervises graduate students from a wide variety of backgrounds including neuroscience, computer science and mathematics.
Dr. Oruc’s trainees have been recognized with many awards for the interdisciplinary work they do under her supervision, such as the Dohm award (2012), Autism research Training award (2013), Vision Sciences Society Best Poster award (2014), Western Cognitive Neuroscience Postdoctoral award (2017), the Margaret L. Adamson Award (2016, 2019), and others. Dr. Oruc has supervised 32 undergraduate students (many of them externally funded, e.g., by NSERC USRA) and seven graduate students. She currently holds an NSERC Discovery Grant and an Accelerator Supplement.
Dr. Oruc’s unique skill set combines her training in computer science (BSc, MSc) with visual psychophysics and neuroimaging. She has focused these skills on deciphering the brain mechanisms behind higher-level vision and bridging the gap between basic science and clinical applications.