Nursen Gurtunca, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Director, ELECT (Endocrine Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment) Clinic

Nursen Gurtunca obtained her medical degree from the School of Medicine at Ege University, Izmir, Turkey in 1980. She obtained a graduate diploma in biomedical engineering from the University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia. Her life journey took her to Johannesburg, South Africa in 1984 where she started her clinical training as an intern at the Boksburg-Benoni Hospital, a community hospital outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. She completed one year of senior internship and four years of pediatric residency training at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg before joining the department of Pediatrics as a consultant pediatrician. Gurtunca moved to Pittsburgh in 2004 and completed her pediatric residency and endocrine fellowship at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

Gurtunca joined the Division of Endocrinology as Assistant Professor in July 2011. Gurtunca has been an outstanding clinician who has been a leader in developing and expanding endocrine care for childhood cancer survivors at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh via a multidisciplinary approach. She has helped the division establish and expand the pediatric endocrinology practice at multiple satellite and outreach locations. She has been involved in many scholarly activities associated with clinical care here at University of Pittsburgh. She is enthusiastic in teaching all levels of learners and has helped train numerous advanced practice providers to become successful independent providers. In addition to clinical case-based teaching, didactic lectures, she is also involved in curriculum development for residents, fellows and Advance Practice Providers.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • South African Medical Society, 1984-2004  
  • American Pediatric Society, 2006-Present 
  • Pediatric Endocrine Society, 2009-Present  
  • The Endocrine Society, 2009-Present 
  • Pediatric Endocrine Society, Special Interest Group for Cancer Survivors, 2020 

Education & Training

  • MD, Ege University School of Medicine, 1980
  • Graduate Diploma, Biomedical Engineering, University of South Wales, 1983
  • Internship in Obsetetrics-Gynecology Pediatrics, Boksburg-Benoni Hospital, 1984
  • Senior Internship in Obstetrics-Gynecology, Hillbrow Hospital, 1985
  • Senior Internship in Surgery, Hillbrow Hospital, 1986
  • Senior Internship in Pediatrics, Johannesburg Hospital, 1986
  • Senior Internship in Pediatrics, Baragwanath Hospital, 1987
  • Residency in Pediatrics, University of Witwatersand, 1987-1991
  • Senior Residency in Pediatrics, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2006-2008
  • Fellowship in Endocrinology, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 2008-2011

Selected Publications

Meghan C. McCormick, Eleanor Sharp, Ramasubramanian Kalpatthi, James Zullo, Nursen Gurtunca, Jun Zhang MS, Robert Krafty, Sripriya Raman. Hyperglycemia Requiring Insulin during ALL Induction Chemotherapy Associated with Increased Adverse Outcomes and Healthcare Costs. Accepted for publication (PBC-20-0241.R1 - Pediatric Blood & Cancer)

Gurbuz F, Desai S, Diao F, Wranitz F, Wood-Trageser M, Shin YH, Kotan LD, Jiang H, Witchel S, Gurtunca N, Yatsenko S, Mysliwec D, Topaloglu K, Rajkovic A. Novel Inactivating Mutations of the DCAF17 gene in American and Turkish families cause male infertility and female subfertility in the mouse model. Clin Genet. 2018;93(4):853-859. PMID: 29178422 DOI: 10.1111/cge.13183.

Picarsic JL, Buryk MA, Ozolek J, Ranganathan S, Monaco SE, Simons JP, Witchel SF, Gurtunca N, Joyce J, Zhong S, Nikiforova MN, Nikiforov YE. Molecular Characterization of Sporadic Pediatric Thyroid Carcinoma with the DNA/RNA ThyroSeq v2 Next-Generation Sequencing Assay. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2016;19(2):115-22. PMID: 26367451 PMCID: PMC5894824 DOI: 10.2350/15-07-1667-OA.1

Natalie Hecht Baldauff , Hala Tfayli , Wenxiu Dong, Vincent C Arena, Nursen Gurtunca, Massimo Pietropaolo, Dorothy J Becker, Ingrid M Libman. Relationship of adiponectin and leptin with autoimmunity in children with new-onset type 1 diabetes: a pilot study. Pediatr Diabetes. 2016;17(4):249-56. PMID: 25754190 PMCID: PMC5944363 DOI: 10.1111/pedi.12267.

Melissa A Buryk, Jeffrey P Simons, Jennifer L Picarsic, Sara E Monaco, John A Ozolek, Judith Joyce, Gurtunca N, Nikiforov YE, Feldman Witchel S. Can Malignant Thyroid Nodules Be Distinguished from Benign Thyroid Nodules in Children and Adolescents by Clinical Characteristics? A Review of 89 Pediatric Patients with Thyroid Nodules. Thyroid. 2015;25(4):392-400. PMID: 25627462 DOI: 10.1089/thy.2014.0312.

Melissa A Buryk, Sara E Monaco, Selma F Witchel, Deepak K Mehta, Nursen Gurtunca, Yuri E Nikiforov, Simons JP. Preoperative cytology with molecular analysis to help guide surgery for pediatric thyroid nodules. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013;77(10):1697-700. PMID: 23993207 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.07.029.

Manasse BF, Pfaffenzeller WM, Gurtunca N, de Ravel TJ. Brief clinical report-Possible isochromosome 22 leading to trisomy 22. Am J Med Genet. 2000;95(5):411-4. PMID: 11146458. DOI: 10.1002/1096-8628(20001218)95:5<411::aid-ajmg1>;2-q.

Charlton B, Cooper SG, Brown AS, Berdoukas VA, Gurtunca N, Rudkowski R, Antony G. A new application of plasma exchange in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. Biomed Pharmacother. 1985;39(1):19-22. PMID: 3896334.

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Academic and Research Interests

  • Endocrine late effect of childhood cancer treatment:  
    • The consequences of hyperglycemia during inpatients treatment of childhood leukemia. Dr. Gurtunca is a co-investigator. 
    • Using continuous glucose monitors for detection of hyperglycemia in pediatric patient during induction treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 
    • Obesity and comorbidities of obesity in childhood cancer survivors seen in ELECT clinic (Endocrine Late Effects Of Childhood Cancer Treatments). 
  • Congenital hypothyroidism due to lingual thyroid. Dr. Gurtunca is a co-investigator in Thyroid study group.  
  • Non-classical CAH. Dr. Gurtunca and her colleagues are studying the adrenal hormone profile of patients with genetically proven non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Dr. Gurtunca is a co-investigator.  
  • Quality improvement project: The patient/family awareness of Endocrine Society recommendations for cardiac health evaluation in girls with Turner syndrome.