Despite the coronavirus lockdown, researchers from MRC PPU are continuing to attend online meetings, seminars and conferences to share ideas with researchers around the world. Last week, Nicola Darling, a postdoctoral researcher in Philip Cohen’s lab, moderated the Health and Sustainable Development session at the Third Central Asian Research Forum on Sustainable Development and Innovation that involved researchers based in or from Kazakhstan.
The session covered a wide range of research topics including neurodegenerative disorders, human genetic variation and medicine in space. However, there was some focus on coronavirus. Yerlan Ramankulov, Director General of the National Center for Biotechnology and Associate Professor, Nazarbayev University discussed the approach his lab is taking for fighting coronavirus while PhD candidates from Kazakhstan who are currently based in universities across the UK presented and discussed their thoughts on a method for coronavirus vaccine delivery.
“This was a very interesting event as it is unusual to discuss so many different types of research within a single session, this made it a great showcase for the research scientists from Kazakhstan.” explained Nicola.
Whilst one aim of the session was to discuss the research proposals by the PhD candidates, there was also an important focus on the continued development of scientific research in Kazakhstan. Conference participants were able to submit their questions and comments in either Russian or English which allowed for a lively discussion. Indeed, the session reached over 1000 people through its live stream on Facebook as well as attracting the attention of national media outlets, with clips shown on the national news channels Qazaqstan TV, KTK and Khabar24 in Kazakhstan.
“I was delighted to see so much interest and support for the researchers. Hosting this event online allowed many more people to attend and to participate in the discussion."
The Third Central Asian Research Forum on Sustainable Development and Innovation was organized by the Kazakhstan PhD Association in the UK in partnership with the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the UK, Loughborough University, and the British-Kazakh Society. More information can be found here: https://www.kpauk.org/forum-2020/
The session is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/iUE8xHqxRxY