Studies on Infectious disease got my attention from the day I was a first year at Kazakh National Medical University. My first research projects in biology and parasitology courses were devoted to Echinococcus infection in Kazakhstan, and during the following years, I was involved in projects based on viral hepatitis infection in Kazakhstan. My Professor of Internal Medicine and Immunology Dr. Kurmanova, with whom I had been working since my internship in 2008 at Internal Medicine, aroused my interest in viral hepatitis. From the beginning, we started our research based on the “comparative study of two antiviral schemes of chronic viral hepatitis.” She had been practicing treatment with Interleukin-2 and Interferon, which has been sustainable medications for patients in Kazakhstan compared with the standard antiviral Ribavirin and Interferon treatment, which was too expensive for most of our patients who cannot afford the total cost of the therapy. Results of this paper were presented at the annual graduate student’s competition, where I was rewarded as the “top graduate student” of my university. Furthermore, I had the privilege to be selected as a participant in a clinical clerkship at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University. I was allowed to learn in person there, seeing patients with chronic viral hepatitis C (HCV) 1b-genotype where they had medical insurance system, which provided patients standard antiviral treatment. At the same time, I participated in a research related to the new treatment approaches and the development of the new generations of antiviral medications. Also, at this hospital I had learned a diagnostic approach for HCV, the IL-28B test, which is still not available in my country.
Personally having this experience was crucial for my future career, when I decided to develop my own priorities in my practice of medicine. After coming back to my country, I decided to work as a volunteer doctor at the Republic Internal Medicine and Cardiology Institute, where I had a chance to get involved in clinical practice under the management of Dr.Nersesov, who treated only chronic viral hepatitis patients with complicated histories of diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. The patients were from all parts of Kazakhstan, and I participated in research work related to the “Viral Hepatitis Delta” in Kazakhstan. Further results of this study, “Clinical Peculiarities of HDV-Infection in Kazakhstan,” were published and presented at a monothematic conference of European Association for Study of Liver in Istanbul, Turkey. Dr.Nersesov has inspired me as one of the most famous hepatologists, who has devoted his life to fight against viral hepatitis. He was one of the brightest people who in the year 1998 played a main role in implementing a Vaccinology program against viral hepatitis B as a required and essential part of our National Vaccinology program.
My next experience, at Nagasaki Medical Hospital, funded by the NASHIM project, expanded my view of the problem of viral hepatitis by presenting new aspects of the prevention of that disease, which leads in most cases to hepatocellular carcinoma. The lack of advanced treatment and diagnostic methods such as interventional radiology, mini-invasive methods of treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, advanced tumor markers all these factors are worsening the conditions of our patients, who were already deprived of the opportunity to be treated by antiviral medications. After that, I realized the huge impact viral hepatitis has on our patients and their surroundings lives. This was the highlight of my life experiences, which motivated me to apply to a master’s program to achieve my future goals.
I am fascinated in the study of viral hepatitis C, the treatment and prevention that remains as one of the unresolved problems not only in my country, but also all over the world, where scientists are working on the development of new antiviral drugs and finding crucial mechanisms of hepatocellular cancer development. I am looking forward to be play a major role to work in the laboratory of a faculty member Tianyi Wang who has interested in understanding of entry mechanisms of HCV. I am also curious about a project that has focused on HCV-associated liver diseases. The city of Pittsburg got my attention with the nice view from the top of the hills, which reminds me my city Almaty. This Master’s of Science program offered by the University of Pittsburg is a perfect opportunity that integrates my desire to be a successful medical practitioner through learning public health concepts and later help me pursue a PHD degree hopefully in the same institution.