Marzhan Nurlankyzy

Specialization: General Medicine. Internship: University of Oxford, UK.

A little girl in Zaysan who adored the nature of Eastern Kazakhstan could hardly imagine how far her professional path would take her away from her home. But now, Marzhan is 23, and not only has she won the grant of Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation, but also successfully worked in one of the universities of big Oxford. The Kazakh student was exploring molecular fluctuations of our biological processes related with the alteration of day and night.

Marzhan, why someone needs to study fluctuations of our biological processes?
Our researches will give provide you with the answers to the questions related, for example, with progression of oncology, II type diabetes mellitus, menstrual disorders, eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases etc.

When did you understand that you would choose medicine?
I understood that I would choose medicine only in the sevenths form. As a child, I remember that I often used to play various erector sets, spend a lot of time in the lap of nature, take drawing classes, play basketball. Nothing presaged that I would choose it, moreover, it seemed for me to be the most challenging profession. When I started school, my mom presented me a book “My First Encyclopedia”. Since then my interest to organization of our body and the way it works has awakened.

I know that you are planning to study ophthalmology…
I like sophisticated and amazing organization of a human’s eye. I was planning to become a practicing ophthalmologist and inclined to microsurgery, but at the last year of studies I decided to continue researches in this sphere.

What else apart from the scientific knowledge have you learned within the internship?
More than anything, I liked Oxford. I have visited almost all museums of the city. What an atmosphere reigns there! A cosy campus bodes for studies. Since I adore the books and films about Harry Potter, I devotedly visited all the colleges where this movie as well as “Alice in Wonderland” were filmed. Over one weekend I even travelled to Cambridge. Within these three months, I found friends and mentors who I keep on consulting.

What did you do during the internship and what are the results?
I served internship supervised by Dr. Aarti Jagannath at the pathology school laboratory (Sir William Dun School of Pathology). My task was to learn the function and role of SIK1 gene in retina physiology. The work continues until now. The most important for me was to gain experience in the laboratory where students and employees of various countries worked. It was my first experience at this level. I have also learned working with various microscopes and tools as Prism, ImageJ, and learned immune histochemistry. Now I can extract an eyebulb, brain as well as make microscope slides correctly. Within the internship, I often visited professors’ lectures for students and specialists.

What next, Marzhan?
This year, I have successfully completed the bachelor’s programme on general medicine and entered the school of medicine of Nazarbayev University. Now, I’m working with those spheres of knowledge where I was weak at. Further, I want to become a Ph.D candidate and study retina neurobiology and optogenetics.

2.09.19, Success stories

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