Photo of Izci Balserak, Bilgay

Bilgay Izci Balserak, MS, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science

Pronouns: Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Building & Room:

638 NURS


845 S. Damen Ave., MC 802, Chicago, IL 60612

Office Phone:



Dr. Izci Balserak’s research focuses on sleep disturbances including sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), circadian misalignment, and their relationship to adverse health outcomes, with particular interest in women's health (including childbearing and midlife women). Her specific research attention is dedicated to (1) determining 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 SDB, (3) producing a screening tool for SDB in the pregnant population, and (4) developing behavioral interventions to prevent sleep-related metabolic adverse health outcomes.  She is currently working on a pilot research project titled “Sleep B.E.T.T.E.R. Lifestyle Counselling During Pregnancy”.

Dr. Izci Balserak is happy to supervise PhD students who wish to study sleep disturbances including sleep-disordered breathing, circadian misalignment and their relationship to adverse health outcomes especially in women (including childbearing and midlife women).


Selected Grants

NHLBI Institutional Training, T32 Postdoctoral Training Grant. Training in Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Allan Pack, PI, Post-doctoral Fellow

NIH-NINR, Sleep Related Determinants of Gestational Diabetes (K99/R00), PI

Selected Publications

(name in italics is the senior author)

Al-Khafaji H, Izci-Balserak B., Tamim H, Assaf G. Knowledge and attitude of primary care physicians towards obstructive sleep apnea in the Middle East and North Africa region. Sleep Breath. 2020. doi: 10.1007/s11325-020-02137-7

Zhu, B., Bronas, UG, Carley, DW, Lee, K, Steffen, A, Kapella, MC, Izci‐Balserak B. Relationships between objective sleep parameters and inflammatory biomarkers in pregnancy. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 2020. doi:10.1111/nyas.14375

Zhu B, Chen X, Park CG, Zhu D, Izci-Balserak B. Fatigue and Sleep Quality Predict Eating Behavior Among People with Type 2 Diabetes. Nursing Research. 2020. DOI: 10.1097/nnr.0000000000000447.

Zhu, B, Feng T, Izci-Balserak B. Using Research Electronic Data Capture for Longitudinal Assessment Among Older Adults With Diabetes Enhances Real-Time Data Collection, CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: June 25, 2020 – Volume Publish Ahead of Print – Issue – doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000641

Izci-Balserak B, Pien G, Mastrogiannis D, Park C, Quinn L. Prasad B, Herdegen J, Carley D. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with newly-diagnosed gestational diabetes mellitus. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2020., PMID:32040334.

Izci Balserak B. Sleep-disordered Breathing in Pregnancy Part 1.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Nov 1;200(9):P18-P19. doi: 10.1164/rccm.2009P18. PMID:31674822 (Peer-Reviewed).

Izci Balserak B, Zhu B, Gurubhagavatula I, Keenan BT, Pien GW. A Screening Algorithm for Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019;16(10):1286-1294. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201902-131OC. PMID: 31162952.

Izci Balserak B, Keenan BT, Corbitt C, Staley B, Perlis M, Pien GW. Changes in sleep characteristics and breathing parameters during sleep in early and late pregnancy. J Clin Sleep Med. 14(7):1161–1168, 2018.

Izci Balserak B, Zhu, B., Grandner, M., Jackson, N., Pien, G. Obstructive sleep apnea in pregnancy: Performance of a rapid screening tool. Sleep and Breathing., 2018.

Zhu, Sauer R, Wu L, Simon L, Shah K, Khainark U, Izci Balserak B. Objective sleep in pregnant women: a comparison of actigraphy and polysomnography. Sleep Health. 4(5):390–396, 2018.

Reutrakul S, Anothaisintawee T, Herring S, Marc I, Izci Balserak B, Thakkinstian A. Short sleep duration and hyperglycemia in pregnancy: Aggregate and individual patient data meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2017. PMID:29103944.

Grandner MA, Jackson NJ, Izci Balserak B, Gallagher RA, Murray-Bachmann R, Williams NJ, Patel NP, Jean-Louis G. Social and Behavioral Determinants of Perceived Insufficient Sleep. Front Neurol.6:112, 2015. PMCID: PMC4456880.

Izci Balserak B. Sleep Disordered Breathing in Pregnancy. Breathe (official journal of the European Respiratory Society). 11:268–277, 2015.


Izci Balserak B. Sleep Disordered Breathing in Pregnancy. Breathe (official journal of the European Respiratory Society). 11:268–277, 2015.