2023 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
Dr. Gurur Biliciler-Denktas and Dr. Suur Biliciler
Top 20 Dedicated Sisters Impact Maker Award
Saturday, February 25, 2023
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
The daughters of doctors, Dr. Gurur Biliciler-Denktas and Dr. Suur Biliciler, were born to follow in their parents’ footsteps, caring for and treating patients and advocating for women in their professional and family life.
Dr. Gurur Biliciler-Denktas is a professor of pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston; staff pediatric cardiologist at Memorial Hermann Hospital; interim co-chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, CHI, Director of Advanced Pediatric Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging/Pediatric Echocardiography Laboratory, McGovern Medical School UT Health (McGovern Medical School), Division of Pediatric Cardiology; Program Director, Advanced Fellowship in Pediatric Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging, McGovern Medical School, Division of Pediatric Cardiology; and Director of Outpatient Services, McGovern Medical School, Division of Pediatric Cardiology.
Born in Turkey, Dr. Biliciler-Denktas earned her M.D. at Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, where she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. She did her Residency in pediatric and adolescent medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, her fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic, and her fellowship in advanced imaging at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Being the child of doctors, becoming one herself seemed inevitable for Dr. Biliciler-Denktas. Speaking about her childhood, she says, “Our parents were doctors, and we grew up at the dinner table talking about diseases and patients. Our mom was a pediatrician, and our dad was an ENT surgeon. So I think it’s what I was born to do.”
Dr. Biliciler-Denktas has been affiliated with several professional organizations and has contributed to various national and international committees. Here is a sample of her current service on McGovern Medical School and Memorial Hermann Hospital committees/clinics: Medical Staff Quality Review Committee member, Faculty Senate Chair, and U.T. System Faculty Advisory Council Chair. She also founded and is a past chair of the Women Faculty Forum at McGovern Medical School, which mentors and leads women in the medical field. Dr. Biliciler-Denktas has always been an avid supporter of women in science.
In service to the community, Dr. Biliciler-Denktas was Houston Representative for the American Robert College Alumni Association from 2010 to 2014, has been a Community Associate for Martel College at Rice University - a career advisor for students since 2011, and has been a board member of the American Turkish Association since 2020.
In recognition of her teaching abilities, Dr. Biliciler-Denktas received the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award from the McGovern Medical School multiple times. In addition, for the past ten years, she has been voted as one of the top pediatric cardiologists in Houston by Houstonia Magazine.
Dr. Suur Biliciler is an associate professor of neurology at McGovern Medical School, staff neurologist/neuromuscular specialist at Memorial Hermann Hospital, and program director Neurology Residency Program at McGovern Medical School. She is one of the few neurologists in the country who is board certified as a neuromuscular pathologist. Committed to the care of underserved populations, Dr. Biliciler also performs EMGs and provides neuromuscular consults at Harris Health clinics.
Born in Turkey like her sister, Dr. Biliciler earned her M.D. at Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine and did a residency in neurology at Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine. Encouraged by her sister, Dr. Biliciler did a residency in neurology at St. Louis University and received her fellowship in neuromuscular diseases from Baylor College of Medicine.
Echoing her sister’s sentiments about being fated to become a doctor due to the example set by their parents, Dr. Biliciler says, “Our parents were very dedicated – their hobbies were the two of us and their jobs. We ended up talking about medicine all of the time . . . I don’t see us doing anything else.”
Dr. Biliciler is and has been active on many McGovern Medical School committees. A small sample of her past and current involvement is: faculty interviewer for the Neurology Residency admissions; faculty interviewer for the Neurophysiology Fellowship admissions; Neurology Department Education Committee member; Woman Faculty Forum-Clinical cochair; and Neurology Department DEI council member. Dr. Biliciler is also the program director of the Neurology residency program, one of the country’s largest training programs with 48 residents, attracting many trainees from around the United States and overseas. In addition, she is an active advisor and mentors McGovern Medical School residents and fellows.
In service to her community, Dr. Biliciler is the community associate for Wiess College at Rice University, an advisor for Rice Pre-Medical Society DOSE, and the faculty advisor for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Student Interest Group in Neurology and Psychiatry (SIGN/P).
In recognition of her teaching abilities, Dr. Biliciler received the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award at McGovern Medical School for 2011, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. And in recognition of her professional skills, she has been voted one of the top doctors in Houston by Houstonia Magazine.
Respected for their knowledge and expertise, Dr. Biliciler-Denktas and Dr. Biliciler have both contributed chapters to numerous texts, been the guest lecturer at many symposiums and congresses, refereed and contributed several articles to professional journals, and presented at scientific exhibits.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Dr. Gurur Biliciler-Denktas and Dr. Suur Biliciler have been named Top 20 Dedicated Sisters Impact Makers for 2023.