Kazan University is interested in attracting young scientists and creating favorable conditions for their work in its laboratories. This strategy appears to be successful. Young professionals with Ph.D. from the world's leading universities join the KFU's staff. One of them is our interlocutor Emil Bulatov, a graduate of Faculty of Chemistry of Kazan State University, researcher of Scientific and Educational Center of Pharmaceutics.
- Emil, where did you receive your PhD?
After graduation from Kazan University in 2009 I was awarded a grant "Algarysh" and started my Master's program at the University of Newcastle (United Kingdom). I engaged in the development of anticancer drugs, their synthesis and testing there. In 2010 I was enrolled in the post-graduate school of University of Cambridge where I studied protein complexes using biophysical methods and methods of structural biology, and was involved in search for inhibitors supervised by professors Alessio Ciulli and Chris Abell. The University of Cambridge takes the 2nd position in QS World University Rankings 2014/15. It is ahead of such universities as University of Harvard, University of Stanford and University of Oxford. Last December I successfully defended my thesis Interactions, assembly and fragment screening complex multidomain E3 ubiquitin ligase SOCS2-EloBC-Cul5-Rbx2 E3 ubiquitin ligase. Two articles are expected to be published in Journal of Biological Chemistry (IF = 4.6) and Biochemical Journal (IF = 4.8).
- Are you following the same scientific direction at KFU?
- I work on biologics. This topic comes close enough to my research interests, and all the knowledge I have obtained from the University of Cambridge is relevant and in demand here.
Currently biologics are actively replacing classic synthetic drugs due to their high efficiency and safety; it is one of the most promising areas of pharmacy. If you look at the list of Nobel Prize winners in chemistry for the last 10-12 years you can notice that half of the chemical prizes were awarded for pure biological research. More than the half of top 10 best-selling drugs in the world is biological drugs. Chemistry shifts towards biology; biology comes closer to medicine. It is important that our university should follow this trend.
Now I started working at KFU's Scientific and Educational Center of Pharmaceutics which is headed by a talented manager Yuri Shtyrlin. I work directly with Prof. Albert Rizvanov who leads a large-scale project on gene treatment medication. Activity of drugs is already clinically proven on humans. I have been involved in different stages of the project including search for investors and collaboration with major international pharmaceutical companies. KFU also plans to expand its activities in development and production of protein biologics - enzymes, hormones, and monoclonal antibodies. I am sure that biological drugs are future KFU's success story.
- What attracted you to Kazan University?
- First of all, this is my alma mater. Secondly, it is a dynamic federal university with well -equipped world-class laboratories.
There is no doubt that my choice in favor of the KFU was a conscious and non-random decision. I could work in England or USA but I decided to try here.
I like that everybody has a chance to immediately join interesting R&D projects as a full member.
-Does it mean that KFU launches environment for young scientists to implement their research projects?
I think that young scientists are provided with good conditions for self-realization. Much has changed since Kazan University became a federal university. If these positive changes would have not taken place I would not come back here.
An initiative of financial support for young scientists with Ph.D. from the world's leading universities announced by Rector Ilshat Gafurov is the right decision which provides good motivation. The scholars are provided with good conditions, then everything will depend on the scholar and his/her ability to raise funds.
- Does research take up all your time?
No. Life is not just a laboratory. I am fond of sports. While studying in England I swam a lot in the pool, biked and occasionally played football and squash with friends. I regularly go to the pool, go skiing from time to time. Another passion of mine is travelling. Over the past few years I travelled over almost all of Europe but I do not plan to stop here.