Daniyar Aldabergenov on his journey to the development of pharmaceutical science and industry in Kazakhstan

Daniyar Aldabergenov on the development of pharmaceutical science and industry in Kazakhstan

Daniyar Aldabergenov is currently a PhD candidate at King's College London, conducting research in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. Daniyar plans to apply his knowledge and experience to the development of pharmaceutical science and industry in Kazakhstan.

Since childhood, I have been an assiduous and diligent child. I graduated from the Kazakh-Turkish Lyceum for gifted boys in 2010, for which I took the entrance exams without my parents’ awareness and had been successfully accepted. While studying at the Lyceum, I spent some time studying abroad, where I became interested in medicine as a discipline.

The teaching method in high schools in the United States is unique because it gives students an opportunity to choose subjects independently. In order to make my transition among subjects easier, I enrolled into the same subjects taught in the Republic of Kazakhstan such as chemistry, biology and physics. The school teachers took us on excursions to hospitals as well as invited local surgeons, pathologists, forensic scientists and others specialists of related professions who presented the taught school materials in their work.

Upon returning to the lyceum, I wanted to become a surgeon and began to diligently prepare for the school completion exams UNT (Unified National Testing). During that time, the launch of one of the most ambitious universities of Central Asia, the Nazarbaev University (NU), was about to take place and, hence, my classmates and I decided to apply for it. In the summer of 2010, I learned 2 important pieces of news related to my admission to university: I was accepted to the NU, but did not get a grant from the AMU (Astana Medical University).

During our undergraduate studies, we had been informed that only students with the highest MCAT (Medical Certificate Acceptance Test) and GPA results would be admitted to the NU School of Medicine. Only a few of us were lucky to get in: I know each of those who tried and appreciate their diligence in this challenging phase of their lives.

As a bachelor student, I used to question why the NU School of Medicine did not have a pharmaceutical programme. Without any doubt, pharmacy is a very crucial and beneficial science, covering the creation and production of medicines and medical devices, its pharmaceutical properties and pharmacological actions, preclinical and clinical studies, side effects and the list goes on.

After completion of an undergraduate degree in biological sciences, it was important for me to take steps towards a new direction not only for me but for my country as well. In September of 2015, I made a decision to continue my academic endeavours in the pharmaceutical industry and enrolled on the master's programme "Technology of pharmaceutical production" at the Kazakh National Medical University named after S.D. Asfendiyarov. Achievement of the master's degree reassured my confidence in the choice of the pharmaceutical specialisation and my determination to aim and achieve higher. As a result, my aspirations brought be to apply to the PhD programme in Pharmaceutical and Cancer Sciences at Kings College London.

Regarding my work experience prior to my doctoral studies, I worked and am registered for the period of study (academic leave) in the "National Center for Expertise of Medicines and Medical Devices” of the Committee for Medical and Pharmaceutical Control of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan (further Enterprise). This Enterprise is a state expert organisation which mainly deals with examination and registration of medicines and medical devices. The main areas of speciality are the examination of medicines and medical devices, assessment of the safety and quality of medicines and medical devices registered on a territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as nine technological functions related to a state monopoly. We are an analogy of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Europe or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA. More information can be found on the website: www.ndda.kz.

The topic of my PhD thesis is: “A novel needleless extraction device to detect opioid- substitution therapy compounds in the skin interstitial fluid”. The importance of my research lies in minimizing mortality among patients by non-invasive use of the product and monitoring the concentration of substances in the body. The use of statistical analysis, the study of the 3D printing and differential pulse voltammetry, the preclinical studies - all these will not only allow to improve the quality of examination of medicines and medical devices in the Republic of Kazakhstan but also improve domestic production in general. I am not entitled to provide further details about my research according to the policy of the university. I have three supervisors with extensive experience and impressive backgrounds in various fields of medicine who provide me enormous support and thanks to them I have an opportunity to expand my intellectual horizons in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Before starting my PhD programme, I used to assess the conditions of production and quality provision systems of various manufacturers of medicines and medical devices. Moreover, I conducted laboratory tests of medicines and medical devices with the purpose to confirm the reproducibility of test methods as well as the quality, safety and effectiveness of medicines and medical devices in the manufacturers' quality control laboratories. New methods of approaching the solution of certain problems and tasks will make it possible to evaluate medicines and medical devices before they reach the pharmacies and/or operating rooms of hospitals and clinics of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

My ambition is to make a contribution to pharmaceutical science in my homeland Kazakhstan. First of all, I plan to take part in the development of holistic state programs for the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry in Kazakhstan. This would be achieved through the initiative to increase the number of qualified and highly motivated specialists with an interest in this area. Moreover, I would take part in the development of programs to improve the quality of manufacturing medicines and medical devices by placing tighter control on the examination of medicines and medical devices. I am also interested in applying the acquired experience and skills to the improvement and increase of domestic production, expand the existing ways and methods in the production of the quality control system - these examples are a small part of my bigger plans.

Kazakhstan is a young and developing country and we have much to strive for. Although I am not an international expert, I would emphasise that that taking huge steps forward is a necessity in order to be able to compete with the leading countries in the pharmaceutical field.

The PhD program in the UK is actually very challenging and the decision to do it has to be taken consciously and preferably after a certain experience in the field. It would be fair to say that research is my life: I am completely immersed in my educational process. I have witnessed my academic progress in a short period of time and, therefore, I enjoy studying this program and every day I become more confident in the choice I made.

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