Journey to Science
How did you become interested in science?
My interest in science was ignited by my chemistry teachers and the spirit of the Science Olympiad. In my middle school, there were student subject competitions on different levels ranging from regional to international. By coincidence, my chemistry teacher was a key figure in the Ukrainian Olympiad movement. She introduced me to this entirely new world – full of studying advanced and fascinating concepts, the spirit of competition, and many bright personalities. At the National University in Ukraine, professors and directors of private chemistry companies have been teaching me and have demonstrated a great will to improve the world by scientific means. Even though Ukraine’s economy is not strong, and the government doesn’t support scientific projects, researchers still pursue their goals relentlessly, and I decided to join them.
Academic and Professional Ambitions
What’s the larger significance of your Amgen Scholars research? What’s your ultimate career goal?
My ultimate goal is to extend the lives of people diagnosed with an incurable disease. After enduring such a stressful period, many people reconsider their lives and what they’ve done so far. They might decide to become better parents, children, spouses, workers, and people in general. Thus, I would like to contribute to curing diseases by creating new drugs or finding ways to produce drugs more quickly or cheaply.
Even though I didn’t work on drug design in this program, Nakamura Lab and Japan in general taught me one very crucial thing: how to work. I saw people putting their soul into their projects and generating new ideas every single day. They were passionate about their projects and didn’t just work; they did something they enjoyed. Their work ethic helped me realize there is no limit for what I can do.
Why did you apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?
Initially, I was looking for an opportunity to obtain crucial lab experience and do research that was limited at my home university. Moreover, I wanted to try full-time lab work. I also knew that such a highly regarded program would allow me to work with leaders in their fields and see cutting-edge science. The Amgen Scholars Program proved it did all of that and also gave me even more – inspiring new ideas.
What aspects of the program did you enjoy most? What do you love about the Amgen Scholars Program?
The program was extremely well organized. University of Tokyo staff members all did a great job throughout our stay in Japan. They gave us the freedom to live our own lives but always were there for us to help with any general questions we had. Also, as I mentioned before, everyone in the lab was working hard to obtain their desired result. People in my lab were relentless, and I greatly enjoyed working with them, as they were always ready to help teach aspects of laboratory work. Finally, I love the team of Amgen Scholars 2017 at the University of Tokyo. These guys were interesting, intelligent, and funny all at the same time. They are all passionate with their own projects and majors, which made me feel like I belonged there. Eventually, I made a lot of friends all around the globe, which is very important for me.