Adina Tasbolat

Specialization: Сhemical Technology of Organic Substances. Internship: Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

Adina finishes her Bachelor degree at Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi. Upon winning a grant competition for research internship, this summer the would-be chemist from Almaty (nowadays – student) modified proteins in the laboratory of Professor Alan Russell.

How did chemistry become your main professional interest?
I loved chemistry as soon as I begun to study this discipline at school. In high school, I participated in the Academic Olympics at various levels, twice became the winner of the National competition. And I am grateful to my teachers and mentors for helping me find my calling.

What are you interested much except chemistry?
In addition to professional skills, in order to succeed in any field, the one has to have so called soft skills — skills of personal effectiveness. And, as I am constantly interacting with people, I am interested in learning and developing my communication skills. Therefore, I like to read books related to personal growth and Kazakh fiction too by the way. I liked “Parasat Maidany” by Tolen Abdikov and “Makhabbat Kyzyk Mol Zhildar” by Azilkhan Nurshaikhov very much.

How do you remember the Foundation’s grant competition?
I applied for the Program twice, but in the first year I didn’t find my name in the list of the winners. The experience served as a great lesson for me, and next year I was able to show myself in full capacity. I remember the second round: communicating with ambitious and purposeful guys gives a new impetus to me for further implementation of my goals. As if it was not a stage of the competition, but a scientific Symposium, where young scientists share their first success, revealing their best sides to others.

What did you do during your internship?
During my internship I was studying proteins. By modifying proteins and enzymes, we can improve their various properties. Modified proteins are widely used in medicine and nano – and bio-technologies. Every week I made a Presentation about the work’s progress to the scientific supervisor, so it was easier for both of us to follow the progress of the whole research. My mentors were researcher Dr. Hironobu Murata and my compatriot, the student of doctoral studies – Bibifatima Kaupbayeva. Both people are demanding. Instead of giving ready-made answers, they asked me the right questions and thus ensured that I came to the right decision on my own.

What has been achieved?
The results of the internship are generally positive. The outcomes will be presented in a scientific article, which we plan to publish immediately upon the project’s completing.  At the end of three months, I presented the results to all 13 employees of our laboratory. In June, I took part in a Symposium on protein engineering, which brought together scientists from various American universities. It is curious that well-known Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski attended the event. He discovered the method of radical polymerization, which is used by laboratories around the world and even in the KazNU.  There I got acquainted with the works of scientists -chemists, learned a lot of interesting things and established useful connections. For 3 months my experience has significantly increased. I learned to work on all sorts of spectrometers and other equipment. I also learned to express my thoughts clearly and stopped being afraid of public speaks.

What’s next, Adina?
Next I want to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. I think a good letter of recommendation from a Professor will increase my chances of enrolling into a Doctoral program. I plan to enter American Universities, because I really liked their system of education. And in the field of science, I want my research to be related to the use of polymers in Biomedicine. At the end of October I pass IELTS, after that — GRE. These are my immediate plans.

20.09.18, Stories

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