Gene Therapy for Cancer

Gene Therapy for Cancer

June 20, 2018

On June 12-13, 2018   researchers of National Laboratory Astana with the support of “ALBIOGEN”  company (Moscow, Russia) gave lectures and practical sessions within the framework of "Targeted DNA sequencing from tumor tissues. AmpliSeq ™ for Illumina Cancer Hotspot Panel v2” seminar.

Groups of employees of the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology (Almaty), and  scientists  from Russia and Belarus  took part in the seminar also.

 The material for the practical stage of the seminar was paraffin blocks with samples of esophageal cancer tissues, thyroid cancer, etc. Participants in the master class  worked on DNA isolation, DNA normalization, preparation and validation of libraries for targeted sequencing, sequencing on the MiSeq platform, as well as launch evaluation and analysis of the data.

It is known that "ALBIOGEN" company since 2015 is the exclusive (sole) official sales representative and distributor of “Illumina” company on the territory of Russia,  Belarus, Kazakhstan and  Uzbekistan. The company's goal is to provide customers with full access to advanced “Illumina” technologies and services, including advanced NGS systems and DNA-biochip analysis, software for bioinformatics and a full range of reagents. The newest products of “Illumina” created together with the world's leading scientists  allow to study the genome at a very deep level and provide an opportunity for innovative achievements in science, medicine and consumer genomics.

“NӘR” synbiotic  to put into production in Astana

“NӘR” synbiotic to put into production in Astana

April 25, 2018

9F6A7657Today,  the first batches of "NӘR" functional food product were produced in a package with an improved design at the milk factory of "Agrofirma Rodina" LLP.
It is known that the synbiotic "NӘR" is the first functional food product created by NLA researchers, which has a number of unique properties, including increases immunity and promotes active longevity. Thus, the therapeutic efficacy of the product in people with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity / overweight, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease has been clinically proven. "НӘР" is also indispensable in the prevention of oncological diseases, including colorectal cancer.
The  synbiotic was created at the Laboratory of the Microbiome and Longevity, NLA, headed by Doctor of Medical Sciences Almagul Kushugulova. And this is the first and unique product of Kazakhstani science, which went into industrial production on the domestic food market.
This was preceded by the painstaking work of NLA researchers and technologists of "Agrofirma Rodina", who conducted industrial approbation of the developed technology for the production of the synbiotic on the basis of a new technological line. All technological regimes were worked out, measures for interaction of technological personnel were adjusted. After the industrial approbation, there was improved the design of the product packaging in order to make it more practical for consumers.
At the launch ceremony there were Ivan Sauer, General Director of the "Agrofirma Rodina", Anuarbek Sultangazin, Chairman of the Board of JSC "Science Foundation"  and Zhaxybay Zhumadilov, Chairman of the Board of "University Medical Center", Nazarbayev University, who previously served as the General Director of NLA and  he is one of the creators of "NӘR."

NU researchers to create electric wheelchairs

NU researchers to create electric wheelchairs

April 24, 2018

 фото по коляскам 2Today, Institute of Batteries, NU and NLA researchers   delivered electric wheelchairs designed to disabled people. Four citizens of Astana were  awarded these electrical drives. This project was realized in conjunction and sponsorship of Institute of Batteries, "Zhan Dosym" Fund and Kazyna Capital Management.


University Medical Center to get  a newly appointed head

University Medical Center to get a newly appointed head

April 10, 2018

20180405095957Professor Zhaxybay Zhumadilov was appointed as  the Chairman of the Board of the Corporate fund “University Medical Center”. Prior to his appointment, Professor Z. Zhumadilov held the position of General Director of  «National Laboratory Astana»PI.

 Zhaxybay Zhumadilov graduated from Semipalatinsk State Medical Institute. In 1990, he defended his doctoral thesis at the Institute of Surgery named after A. Vishnevskiy MSA USSR, Moscow; in 2004 – Ph.D. in Medical Science in Hiroshima University, Japan.

Professor Z. Zhumadilov started his career as a surgeon in the first city hospital in Semipalatinsk. He worked as Head of the Faculty Surgery Department, Pro-Rector of the Semipalatinsk State Medical Institute. In 1999-2004, he worked as a Visiting Professor at Hiroshima University, Japan. From 2004 to 2008, he worked as Pro-Rector on scientific and medical work at the Semipalatinsk State Medical Academy.

From 2008 to 2011, Professor Z. Zhumadilov was the Executive Director of JSC “National Medical Holding” (NMH), Astana, and Rector of the JSC “Medical University of Astana”, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC “Medical University Astana”.

In January 2011, he headed PI “Center for Life Sciences” at Nazarbayev University. Since September 2015, Professor Z. Zhumadilov has been the General Director of  “National Laboratory Astana”, Nazarbayev University.

Prof. Z. Zhumadilov is the author of more than 550 scientific works, including 5 monographs and more than 30 inventions. Over 200 of his works were published in English and Japanese. In addition, he was the head of five doctoral and 22 master theses.

 Z. Zhumadilov is a member of the editorial board of the prestigious American journals “Rejuvenation Research”, “International Journal of Probiotics & Prebiotic”, “Central Asian Journal of Global Health”, and “Gerontology & Geriatrics Research”.

In the 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR, Professor Z. Zhumadilov made a great contribution to the development of healthcare in the region. Through international charitable organizations, he attracted medical equipment and medicines for hospitals. In conjunction with the US Cancer Institute, Professor Z. Zhumadilov worked as a Co-Director of the first international project for screening thyroid diseases, and reconstructing radiation doses in the Semipalatinsk region.

As part of the activities of the international fund “Ecology, Radiation, Health”, Professor Z. Zhumadilov conducted work on attracting American investors to the Semipalatinsk region. Moreover, he did a lot of work on organizing internships in U.S. and Japanese clinics for doctors and nurses of Semipalatinsk.

Professor Z. Zhumadilov was the first in Kazakhstan to start using a fine needle aspiration biopsy method to diagnose nodular thyroid diseases in the regions adjacent to the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. It was the first time when minimally invasive precision methods for the treatment of nodular thyroid diseases were developed. Together with Japanese scientists, the statuses of thyroid function and iodine deficiency in a number of settlements adjacent to the test site were studied.

 Z. Zhumadilov made a great contribution to the development of science and public health in Kazakhstan. In particular, he was a founder of Nazarbayev University’s Center for Life Sciences, a center with a modern infrastructure to carry out scientific research in accordance with high international standards.

Thanks to the contribution of  Z. Zhumadilov, NU has successfully developed partnerships with the world leaders in biomedicine. Under his guidance, the scientific bases of genomic and personalized medicine, bioinformatics, regenerative and translational medicine in Kazakhstan, as well as the concept of development of the modern paradigm of clinical practice, education and science were developed.

Battery research at Nazarbayev University

Battery research at Nazarbayev University

April 9, 2018
Research Seminar_BakenovOn April 11, Zhumabay Bakenov, Professor, Chemical Engineering, Nazarbayev University; Director, Center for Energy and Advanced Materials Science, National Laboratory Astana will present current projects of his Research Group on preparation and characterization of new materials for next generation rechargeable batteries. 

Prof. Zhumabay Bakenov is an internationally recognized scientist in fields of materials science, electrochemical engineering, and advanced energy storage system. He was the first faculty of the School of Engineering to arrive in August 2011. Since that time, Prof. Bakenov have pro-actively engaged both in the academic and non-academic life of NU, National, and international programs and organizations.

Prof. Bakenov established the largest and successful Research Group at Nazarbayev University, which received a large number of research projects from local and international governmental and industrial funds (EU FP7 Program, World Bank, the Government of Kazakhstan, British Council, National Companies, and international private companies, NU internal funding etc.) with the total requested funding exceeded USD10M. Prof. Bakenov established the first successful startup company at NU, and was the first PI at NU hired international postdocs to his Group.

Don’t miss an opportunity to attend an interesting lecture! 
Date and time: April 11 (Wednesday) at 1:00 pm.
The venue: Nazarbayev University, Block 6, Room # 6.105  
UNDP supports Kazakhstan to provide Official Development Assistance to help develop capacities of women public health professionals from Afghanistan

UNDP supports Kazakhstan to provide Official Development Assistance to help develop capacities of women public health professionals from Afghanistan

April 2, 2018

 A two-week workshop in maternal and child healthcare for public health professionals from Afghanistan has commenced at Nazarbayev University. The workshop marks an important milestone in the cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on capacitating Kazakhstan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) system within the framework of joint project “Promoting Kazakhstan’s Official Development Assistance Cooperation with Afghanistan”. 

The project serves the purpose of piloting Kazakhstan’s ODA initiative by developing capacity of Kazakhstan Government in designing and implementing development projects, whilst also expanding economic independence and building capacity of Afghan women. Kazakhstan shares experience and best practices with Afghan counterparts in the area of maternal and child healthcare.  Over the course of the workshop the participants will learn from leading experts at Nazarbayev University’s School of Medicine, National Laboratory Astana, and the National Research Center for Maternal and Child Health. The workshop will focus on the affordable and easy ways of maintaining equipment and practices to increase the relevance of knowledge acquired in the course of the workshop, whilst also taking Afghan context into consideration.

“Over the past two decades Kazakhstan has accomplished tremendous developmental progress in numerous areas, including maternal and child healthcare. The maternal and child mortality figures saw dramatic improvement due to the dedicated effort of the government and the international community. For example, the country has achieved a two-thirds reduction in the deaths among children under age 5, whilst maternal mortality rate fell from 55 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 12.6 in 2013.  These achievements are evidence of hard work and strategic vision, and we commend Kazakhstan’s willingness to share its knowledge and experience through the official development assistance initiatives,” said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Norimasa Shimomura.

Kazakhstan is working towards establishing national ODA operator agency (KazAID), which will further professionalize Kazakhstan’s ODA system by ensuring accountability, efficiency and sustainability of Kazakhstan’s development assistance effort.

“Kazakhstan is an active and important member of the international community. Earlier this year under Kazakhstan’s Presidency of the UN Security Council, a cornerstone of the agenda was bringing peace and prosperity to Afghanistan. An effective way to do this is by offering development cooperation now that Kazakhstan has joined the ranks of donor countries. Over the past two decades, Kazakhstan has provided significant amount of foreign assistance,” said Norimasa Shimomura.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko, the Ambassador of Japan to Kazakhstan H.E.   Ichiro Kawabata, the Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Republic of Kazakhstan Khayri Mohammad Humayun,  General Director of NLA Zhaxybay Zhumadilov and others attended the opening ceremony.

“НӘР” to put into production

“НӘР” to put into production

December 7, 2017

NQBQ1963 Yesterday, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan,  launched the production of an innovative food product based on  "НӘР" synbiotic drink during the nationwide TV bridge "The New Industrialization of the Country: Leap of the Kazakhstani Leopard."

"Research made by Nazarbayev University scientists have become in demand for real business. One of our projects went from development to industrial production. We want to present a new innovative product to the country on the basis of the "НӘР" synbiotic," said Kanat Baigarin,  Vice President of Nazarbayev University.

Ivan Sauer, Director of "Agrofirma Rodina" LLP said that this is the first functional food product to be produced in our country.

"НӘР possesses a number of unique properties, raises immunity, promotes active longevity. I ask you to start the production of the drink on the basis of the agrofirm "Rodina," - said Ivan Sauer, addressing the President.

It is need to mention that "Rodina" farming company started to produce the "NӘR" synbiotic beverage on the basis of its existing dairy plant.  This year a trial launch of the beverage and its sale is expected around the territory of Astana and Akmola region.

 “NӘR” was created by the scientists from the Life Science Center, NLA. The production of this synbiotic, which is a product for the high-quality longevity, is a long-awaited event for the National Laboratory Astana. The probiotic leaven is recommended as an auxiliary therapy for diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension and obesity. The drink will also be recommended as the part of a five-day diet into Kazakhstan's pre-school and school educational institutions, medical and social institutions, health resorts and sanatoriums  of the country.

This synbiotic yogurt drink consists of probiotic leaven, pectin, prebiotic ingredient inulin, fish collagen, which  is a source of essential amino acids, vitamins, trace elements, and completely natural milk.

The effectiveness of "NӘR" has been confirmed in pre-clinical and two phases of clinical trials, the drink has also the biosafety report. This project was financed with the support of the Science Foundation of Kazakhstan.

NLA researchers to have State Prize of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of science and technology named after al-Farabi

NLA researchers to have State Prize of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of science and technology named after al-Farabi

December 7, 2017

Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, signed a decree on awarding the State Prize in the field of science and technology named after al-Farabi, the Akorda website reports. The President awarded the state prize in 2017 in four categories.

In the fourth category, for the series of works on "Scientifically based methods of ensuring active longevity", the prize went to:

Valery  Banberin, Head of the Medical Center of the Office of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor;

Amir Ahetov – Director, Hospital of the Medical Center of the  Office of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences;

Zhaxybay Zhumadilov - Chief Consultant, Medical Center of the Office of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, General Director, NLA;

Alexander  Gulyaev - Leading Consultant, Hospital of the Medical Center of the Office of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Leading Researcher, NLA;

Almagul  Kushugulova - Leading Consultant, Hospital of the Medical Center of the Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Human  Microbiome and Longevity, NLA;

Talgat Nurgozhin - Leading Consultant, Hospital of the Medical Center of the Office of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Rector of the Kazakh Medical University named after S. Asfendiyarov;

Ertai Sarsebekov - Advisor, Chief Specialist, Hospital of the Medical Center of the Office of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor;

Gulnur Tanbaeva - Deputy Chief Doctor of "Central Clinical Hospital" JSC, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor.

Maxat Zhabagin to win the prize named after D.A. Kunayev

Maxat Zhabagin to win the prize named after D.A. Kunayev

December 6, 2017

мавераннахр фотоYerlan Sagadiev, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan,   awarded Maxat  Zhabagin, junior researcher, NLA by the special prize named after D.A. Kunayev  for the best work in the field of natural sciences. The prize was awarded for the scientific work “the Connection of the Genetic, Cultural and Geographic Landscapes of Central Asia".

This work Maxat Zhabagin,  Laboratory for Population Genetics, NLA in cooperation with  Oleg Balanovsky, Elena Balanovska, Zhaxylyk Sabitov, Marina Kuznetsova, and others published  in Scientific Reports 7, article number: 3085(2017).

Authors have analyzed Y-chromosomal variation in populations from Transoxiana, a historical region covering the southwestern part of Central Asia. They studied 780 samples from 10 regional populations of Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmens, Dungans, and Karakalpaks using 35 SNP and 17 STR markers. Analysis of haplogroup frequencies using multidimensional scaling and principal component plots, supported by an analysis of molecular variance, showed that the geographic landscape of Transoxiana, despite its distinctiveness and diversity (deserts, fertile river basins, foothills and plains) had no strong influence on the genetic landscape.

The main factor structuring the gene pool was the mode of subsistence: settled agriculture or nomadic pastoralism. Investigation of STR-based clusters of haplotypes and their ages revealed that cultural and demic expansions of Transoxiana were not closely connected with each other. The Arab cultural expansion introduced Islam to the region but did not leave a significant mark on the pool of paternal lineages.

The Mongol expansion, in contrast, had enormous demic success, but did not impact cultural elements like language and religion. The genealogy of Muslim missionaries within the settled agricultural communities of Transoxiana was based on spiritual succession passed from teacher to disciple. However, among Transoxianan nomads, spiritual and biological succession became merged, leading to the formation of haplotype mini-clusters among nomadic clergy.

More about the article on 

Read NLA Newsletter 2017 vol.2

Read NLA Newsletter 2017 vol.2

November 10, 2017

READ NLA NEWSLETTER 2017 vol.2Dear readers,

We are happy to present you a new issue of NLA newsletter.
Enjoy your reading!