Full-employment Ph.D. program – research, hobby and work
Anna, why did you decide to engage in science?
I am interested in science due to the possibility of intellectual development. In the future, I would like to make discoveries in the field of medicine.
Why did you choose this topic for your research?
Our department has already been studying the problems of chronobiology and chronomedicine for more than four decades. Chronobiology is a science that studies the conditions for the occurrence, nature, patterns and meaning of human biological rhythms. I also study desynchronosis – the phenomenon of discordance of human rhythms with those of the surrounding environment, caused inter alia by overnight work, daylight saving time or rapid change of time zones when traveling by airplane etc. We make desynchronosis conditions for laboratory rats by placing them in a room without windows, creating an artificial light regime. We further assess the state of the cardiovascular system: blood pressure fluctuations, the overall condition of the testee; study the levels of melatonin (sleep hormone). The results are extrapolated to humans, enabling us to analyze how light regime changes affect the cardiovascular system. By the way, cardiovascular diseases now rank first by mortality in Russia.
Upon the completion of my research, I plan to develop recommendations for clinics so that physicians could prescribe a particular regime to patients as an observance of a healthy lifestyle, i.e. how much time they need to be in the light, and at what time they should be in the dark.
What methods do you use in the research?
In my work, I use two methods: capillary electrophoresis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For the first one, I use the instrument "Kapel 105 M" to determine simple chemicals in liquids. The material used for the research is the urine of laboratory rats, collected separately at night and daytime. By the way, the rats we use are unusual – they have high blood pressure.
The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method is carried out with a special device, which is only used in medicine for the detection of antibodies in fluids, it is called "ELISA-reader". This instrumentation research is based on the reaction of antigen and antibody binding. Antigens are substances alien to the organism that cause the production of antibodies (viruses, bacteria), and antibodies are protein compounds in blood plasma, which prevent the growth of microorganisms and neutralize the toxins secreted by them.
Thanks to the Full-employment Ph.D. program, I rapidly mastered both techniques in three months, which allowed me, in the middle of the first year, to start collecting data for my doctoral dissertation.
Why did you decide to take part in the competition to become a Full-employment Ph.D. program student?
My motivation consists in the fact that by means of the program, one can work and study at the department without any distraction, it becomes easier to interact with the faculty: get advice from any teacher on the research subject. Participation in the program considerably helps in writing the thesis. The additional stipend of a Full-employment Ph.D. program student amounts to about 45 thousand rubles per month, and that of a simple Ph.D. student makes about 7 thousand rubles.
Tell about your day of a Full-employment Ph.D. program student
I have a full working day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, sometimes I also come to the lab on Saturdays. In the morning, I collect the material from the experimental animals, start the research device, so that it warms up, and go to class with other students. In the afternoon, I conduct the analysis of the material collected from the laboratory rats. During the day, I have time to pick literature on the topic of research, prepare and hold classes and consultations with students. At the end of the day, I receive the data on the results of the collected material.
Could you share your experiences as a teacher as part of this program?
When you're a teacher training medical students, you be very careful, because they will be responsible for people's lives. There is your share in their future achievements, as well as mistakes, so I approach this responsibly.
Would you like to make any changes to the program?
Personally, I would not add anything to the program; in my opinion, everything is thought out. I am more than satisfied with the working conditions.
How do you assess the program in general?
This is a great opportunity for professional growth in the chosen specialty. Through this program, Ph.D. students can devote themselves entirely to research and acquisition of teaching skills.