About us

NLA's leadership foster a culture of innovation and collaboration among employees. They encourage employees to think creatively,
take risks, and pursue new ideas.
  • Dos Sarbassov
    General Director
    Dos Sarbassov serves as the General Director of the National Laboratory Astana. Additionally, he is a Professor and Deputy Dean at the School of Sciences and Humanities, Nazarbayev University.
    His research focuses on cancer biology, cell signaling, and innovative anti-cancer therapies. His work led to the development of ATO/D-VC combination therapy for the treatment of KRAS-mutant cancer cells.
    Sarbassov graduated with a BA from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in 1991 and completed his PhD from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1997. From 1999 to 2006 he conducted research at MIT's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He also served as a professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and held teaching and research positions until 2019.
    Sarbassov has published extensively, with notable papers appearing in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Biomedical Science and Nature Cell Biology.
    He holds the Eurasian patent for his innovative work in cancer treatment.
    He has also been a member of the National Council for Science and Technology of Kazakhstan since 2022.
    From March 2024, he was appointed as the Vice-president of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
  • Ainur Akilzhanova
    Center for Life Sciences, Director
    Ainur Akilzhanova (MD, PhD, DMSci) is a Professor, Chief Research Scientist, and Head of Laboratory of Genomic and Personalized Medicine, as well as Director of the Center for Life Sciences.
    She graduated from Semipalatinsk State Medical Academy (SSMA) in 2000 with an MD degree and ontained her PhD in cardiology in 2004. She later earned a Doctor of Medical Sciences degree in 2010. Additionally, she completed a PhD in Medical Sciences in Japan in 2014.
    Dr. Akilzhanova served as an Assistant in the Department of Therapy at SSMA from 2001 to 2006. Subsequently, she underwent training and worked in the Department of Molecular Pathology at Nagasaki University, Japan, from 2006 to 2009. Since 2009, she has been associated with the National Center for Biotechnology of Kazakhstan, and from 2011, she has been working at the Center for Life Sciences (NLA), Nazarbayev University, Astana.
    Her research interests encompass genomic research in biomedicine, cardiology, molecular, genomic and personalized medicine, public health, and population genomics.
    Dr. Akilzhanova is a member of the European Society of Human Genetics and the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation. She has been honored with various scholarships and grants.
    Professor in Medicine since 2020.
  • Zhumabay Bakenov
    Center for Energy and Advanced Materials, Director
    Bakenov serves as the Director of the Center of Energy and Advanced Materials Science and is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Nazarbayev University.
    Bakenov's research spans materials science, nanotechnology, and electrochemistry, with a focus on rechargeable lithium-ion and magnesium batteries, as well as polymer batteries.
    Notable projects include developing materials for defense and aerospace applications and engineering solid-state batteries.
    He has received prestigious awards such as the Medal of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan and the "Leader of the Science" award by Thomson Reuters.
    Holding a Doctor of Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology and a PhD in Chemistry from the Kazakh National Academy of Sciences, Bakenov has published extensively in high-ranking journals including the Journal of Power Sources and the Journal of Materials Science & Technology, establishing his reputation as a leading figure in energy materials research.