Nazarbayev University Selects Pitt School of Medicine as Strategic Partner To Establish Medical School in Kazakhstan

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has been chosen to guide the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University (NU) as it establishes its own medical school, which aims to educate physician-scientists to become the nation’s next leaders in health care, medical education, and biomedical research.
It is the School of Medicine’s most ambitious educational partnership undertaken to date and meets the university’s goal of building its presence on the global health stage, said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., University of Pittsburgh senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean, School of Medicine.

“Nazarbayev University sought a strategic partner to provide consultation and technical assistance in developing its medical school, which will be built in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana,” Dr. Levine said. The site selected for the Nazarbayev University School of Medicine is near NU’s main campus and in close proximity to the hospitals of National Medical Holding, also part of NU, which will serve as clinical rotation sites for the students.  Dr. Levine added, “We will provide the knowledge and experience they need to institute a U.S.-style curriculum to train their republic’s new doctors and biomedical researchers.”

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine experts will advise NU officials on how to design and develop teaching facilities for a medical school curriculum; recruit and train school leadership and faculty; plan organizational and administrative structures, policies, and procedures; and develop courses, syllabi, and clinical experiences with the participation of physician-educators from the hospitals of National Medical Holding.

“In collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, we will establish a new model of medical education that trains superb clinicians,” said NU President Shigeo Katsu. “Our aim is to establish Kazakhstan’s first integrated academic health system and, ultimately, to transfer this model to other regions of the country to improve the overall health care of the people of Kazakhstan.”
The medical school, which will use English as the language of instruction, is expected to open in fall 2015. Applicants will be expected to meet admissions requirements similar to those of U.S.-style medical schools that have been developed in other countries, such as an appropriate premedical foundation and completion of the Medical College Admissions Test.
Kazakhstan’s utilization of Pittsburgh’s biomedical expertise began in June 2011 with the short-term training of principal investigators and other research personnel from NU’s Center for Life Sciences and Center for Energy Research. Collaborative activities expanded in July 2012 when UPMC announced that it was selected by Nazarbayev University to assist its development of a national oncology treatment and research center, which is expected to include a 300-bed hospital, outpatient care, a research facility and a hotel complex.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
As one of the nation’s leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1998. In rankings recently released by the National Science Foundation, Pitt ranked fifth among all American universities in total federal science and engineering research and development support.
Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region’s economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see

About Nazarbayev University
Nazarbayev University is a new university in Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakstan, dedicated in June 2010 by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. In establishing this new university, President Nazarbayev seeks to promote a qualitative leap forward in the preparation of the next generation of national technical and scientific elites in order to assist in the industrial-innovative development of the country. The mission of Nazarbayev University is to advance the development of education and research in the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as to contribute to Astana’s aspiration to become the research and educational center of Eurasia. NU’s vision is creating graduates prepared according to the highest international standards in order to contribute to research, education, and the national economy.  Nazarbayev University is the only university in Kazakhstan holding the status of an autonomous organization of education. The university’s managing bodies are the Managing Council, Academic Council, Research Council, Board of Trustees, and Supreme Board of Trustees. The Supreme Board of Trustees is chaired by President Nazarbayev.

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