First Student from Kazakh National Medical University Arrives at the Buck Institute

Buck President Brian Kennedy, PhD and Professor Victoria Lunyak, PhD, with Kazak student Adai AmirbekovBuck President Brian Kennedy, PhD and Professor Victoria Lunyak, PhD, with Kazak student Adai Amirbekov

October 2, 2013, Novato, California Adai Amirbekov Serikkhanovich has begun a year-long course of study in age research at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. He is the first of five students from the Republic of Kazakhstan who will be immersing themselves in the science of healthy aging prior to returning home to continue their studies.

The Buck Institute and the Kazakh National Medical University (KazNMU) have forged a relationship that is sending Buck faculty to teach at the University, located in Almaty, as well as having students come to the Buck campus to gain laboratory experience. Serikkhanovich, who has a Master’s Degree in Biotechnology, will be working under the guidance of Buck Associate Professor Victoria Lunyak, PhD, who studies epigenetic principles of stem cell aging.

Serikkhanovich is funded through the Bolashak Programme, a scholarship which is awarded to high-performing students from Kazakhstan to study overseas all-expenses paid, provided that they return to Kazakhstan to work for at least five years after graduation. At some point the Kazakh government hopes to establish an aging research facility at KazNMU with the Buck Institute playing a major role in planning and collaborating on research aimed at preventing and treating age-related disease.

Kazakhstan, once part of the Soviet Union, is more forward-thinking than most other countries when it comes to tackling age-associated chronic diseases. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has challenged the country’s scientists to excel in anti-aging medicine and has made the pursuit of treatments to extend healthspan a national priority.

“I am very excited to get this training program off the ground and to encourage its growth,” said Buck President and CEO Brian Kennedy, PhD, who worked with Joseph Antoun, MD, Buck Adjunct Professor of Health and Public Policy to set up the program. “Aging is a global issue and the Buck is committed to be a global player in efforts aimed at forestalling the maladies associated with growing older,” he said. “I congratulate officials in Kazakhstan for their innovative approach and I look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”

About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
The Buck Institute is the U.S.’s first and foremost independent research organization devoted to Geroscience – focused on the connection between normal aging and chronic disease. Based in Novato, CA, the Buck is dedicated to extending “Healthspan,” the healthy years of human life and does so utilizing a unique interdisciplinary approach involving laboratories studying the mechanisms of aging and those focused on specific diseases. Buck scientists strive to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, macular degeneration, diabetes and stroke. In their collaborative research, they are supported by the most recent developments in genomics, stem cell technologies, proteomics and bioinformatics. For more information: www.thebuck.org.

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