Short Bio:

Dr. Rajcan-Separovic is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a Clinical Cytogeneticist in the Division of Laboratory Genomics, Department of Pathology at BC Children’s Hospital. She is also an Investigator at the Children’s and Women’s Hospital Research Institute.

She did her clinical and postdoctoral research training at the University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. After coming to Vancouver in 1997, she continued her clinical practice and established a research program in genomic causes of developmental disorders including childhood developmental delay and early pregnancy loss. Her current interest includes diagnosis of genetic changes by microarray and next generation sequencing and finding the functional consequences of identified changes in patient cells and in animal models in order to better understand the connection between the health issues in patients and the defects in their genes. She was supported by CIHR and MSFHR salary awards for 10 years and has been the recipient as a principal investigator or co-investigator of a large number of CIHR and CFI operational and infrastructure awards.

Academic background

  • Michael Smith Foundation of Health Research Scholar, 2008-2014
  • CIHR Clinical Investigatorship, 2005-2009
  • Fellow of the Canadian College of Medical Genetics, subspecialty cytogenetics, 1998-present
  • CCMG Postdoctoral Fellowship (Clinical Cytogenetics), Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 1995-1997
  • Postdoctoral Fellow (Genetics) University of Ottawa, Ontario, 1993-1995
  • NSERC Visiting Fellowship, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, 1991-1993
  • PhD, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Molecular Cytogenetics. 1989
  • MSc, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Cytogenetics. 1985
  • BSc, University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, Biology. 1983

Research Interest

My laboratory studies genomic abnormalities as the cause of human diseases. We use genomic microarrays to detect tiny chromosomal microdeletions and microduplications in patients with intellectual disability, autism or reproductive disorders. Most recently, we started using next generation sequencing to identify even smaller abnormalities in the DNA from our patients. Our current interest includes finding the functional consequences of gene copy number or sequence changes in patient cells and in animal models (e.g. zebrafish or C.elegans). Our ultimate goal is to understand better the connection between the phenotypic abnormalities in our patients and the defects in their genes.