UNFORGETTABLE: SCIENCE AND SKYDIVING
Science is a research process, inventions and constant development. Probably, that is why this field of activity attracts more and more young people. Today there are many women among graduate students, junior staff of various laboratories, and young scientists. All of them are interested in their profession and speak about it with sincere love.
Polina Bobyliova graduated from the Biology Department at Lomonosov Moscow State University and finished her postgraduate course in Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) RAN. Now she works as a research associate in the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology. Last year she got her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. The topic of her dissertation was ‘The influence of allogeneic mononuclear cells of human peripheral blood on multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells’.
“The process of Ph.D. defense gives fantastic feelings. It's very exciting, as your public includes outstanding people in science, and it would take a long time to list all their achievements and inventions. For example, Adilya Kotovskaya, who personally took part in the selection and preparation of Yuri Gagarin and other crew members of spacecraft for their flight, joined the examining committee. During my defense, I understood how necessary it was to properly perform the results of my activity and prove that my work deserves the attention of the honorable public. I remember how much I worried. Even after my successful defense, everything was for me as in a fog. To receive high appreciation from such respected and authoritative people was the greatest fortune”, she said.
Polina Bobyliova developed an affinity for science in later school years. But when being a student she really fall in love with science.
“We had very interesting lectures conducted by teachers involved in science at that time. They provided us with relevant data and information. During seminars and practical classes, we had the opportunity to literally touch science with our own hands, conduct experiments, observations, and research. It's very addictive. I'd like to think that all knowledge that we got during our education will be useful and will be used operationally. That is why I’ve chosen the field related to stem cells. This area provides inventions really required in medicine’, she said.
Today Polina under the guidance of professor Lyudmila Buravkova takes part in several science projects related to interaction of multipotent mesenchymal and immune cells derived from human blood. She also plans to launch her own project devoted to the study of immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stromal cells.
“Mesenchymal stromal cells have the ability to transform into various types of tissues, so they have a huge potential for transplant purposes. They also have a number of other interesting properties, for example, they can suppress the immune response. This is very useful for transplantation of any organs or for the therapy of autoimmune diseases. Thus, when a foreign object is in a human body, for example, when a bone marrow or other tissues and organs are transplanted, an immune response (transplant rejection) arises. Nowadays, to mitigate the situation pharmaceuticals and chemicals affecting the immune system are used. The use of mesenchymal stromal cells in this area will be a great step in the development of medicine. That is why we continue active research on them”, said Polina Bobyliova.
According to Polina, major part of science projects is being implemented through a system of grants. Scientists fill in special applications to receive financial support for the implementation of their projects. Then they step by step perform work on the established plan and report on the progress of their research.
“Grants are peculiar stimulating mechanisms. They contribute to the realization of new ideas, and help choose the right direction and get useful results. This is due to the fact that after receiving the grant one works within certain limits. One sticks to the plan and keeps the promise given in the application”, she added.
In Polina’s opinion, grants are very useful for the science projects. However, sometimes all involved in this system should wait for support for a long time.
She is interested not only in science.
“I'm fond of extreme sports. For example, Skydiving. I made my first jump with a parachute under the father's guidance when I was 15 years old. I liked it, and several years later, I finished special training in the flying club. Skydiving gives indescribable feelings. Your heart is beating and all processes in your body accelerate because of adrenaline. All feelings intensify. There's no feeling like it”, she said.
By now, she has made more than 260 jumps. And she noted that that was only the beginning.
In her opinion, the main thing is never to be scared of anything. If one likes extreme sports, one should overcome his fear and enjoy energy and adrenaline provided by this activity. The same thing is with science. One shouldn’t be afraid of numerous complicated issues and a huge flow of information. One should move forward step by step, and then research will bring satisfaction.
Agata Korovina, Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women's Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov