Hi, I am Nikita from Kazakhstan. I am studying biology at Nazarbayev University in Astana (our capital). I have heard about this program from another VISRA participant – Alex Pak. He was convinced that VISRA is one of the best summer programs available. Well, now I am in Nashville and I can surely say that Alex was right. Spending a summer in one of the best biomedical research centers. Working together with top people in cancer biology, learning from them. Sounds good, isn’t it. So, do not hesitate, apply to VISRA and enjoy your summer in Nashville!
My lab is studying abnormal cell populations in blood cancers. The big goal is to provide a basis for new highly selective cancer therapies. My specific goal for this summer is to test the effect of JAK/STAT inhibitors on both cancerous and normal leukocytes in Myelodysplastic syndrome. The inhibitors can be used in combination with other drugs to maximize anti-tumor effect. An important feature of our approach is selectivity. We want to find an efficient drug combination with minimal effect on normal cells of the immune system. The project is fascinating and I enjoy working in Irish lab. I am very thankful to all lab members, my supervisor and our PI for a wonderful summer.