Specialty: Medicine. Internship: Yale University, US.
When he was a little boy, he asked many questions, wondering who we are and how we are arranged, he was a fan of encyclopedias for kids, finding simple answers to his questions there. Thus, gradually and steadily he has paved his path to the medical university, successfully winning an educational grant of the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation and went to Yale for an internship. Today he is researching the genome of coronavirus on the shore of the Red Sea.
Mukhtar, what do you choose: practice or science?
So far I have chosen science, because ambitions to discover, to study the unknown, to increase universal knowledge live inside me. But I don’t give up practicing either, the scope of my doctoral program is related, so I’ll return to my stethoscope.
What was the strongest challenge in your life? Did you handle it and how?
Each period of life had its own difficult times. Speaking of the past 5 years, it was difficult for me to make a choice of my craft. After another 5 years, it will be clear whether I have handled this challenge.
Why do you think the Foundation experts have chosen you out of hundreds of scholarship applicants?
Both my CV and the interview played a significant role here. Besides, perhaps they saw the fire of Aries in me. The horoscope says that Aries never forget about their goals and, as a rule, sooner or later achieve what they want.
How was your internship, what did you do?
In the summer of 2019, I joined Professor Halene’s group, which focuses on blood cancers, in particular myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). 70% of the time I was engaged in data analysis, the remaining time – conducted experiments. MDS is characterized by the fact that about half of its cases are associated with mutations in the genes responsible for creating new combinations. We studied the effects of these mutations in the cell. That summer, an old friend of mine, Alexander Pak, came to me. He was completing his PhD program in the United States, he had something to tell me, and I had a lot to ask him about. We had a great time.
What were your achievements as you came home?
In a nutshell: I gained a new experience, made new friends, met a professor, a true expert in the field, became a co-author of two scientific publications. We lifted the veil of secrecy over the role of mutations that are responsible for the MDS cell phenotype. Finally, I got the motivation to go to my PhD studies.
What’s next, Mukhtar?
A couple of days before the internship, I got married, so immediately after America I flew to my wife in Saudi Arabia. She is a biochemist, studying for a PhD degree at KAUST University. I also entered this university, I work in the group of Professor Pain. The subject of my doctoral studies is genome and transcriptome analysis. Now, just as across the globe, we have quarantine. We work from home on the most relevant topic today: I conduct a bioinformatic analysis of the coronavirus genome. This work will help to learn more about the origin of the mutations occurring in it and to find patterns.
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