Faculty and Research

Arman Saparov, MD, PhD, DSc
Associate professor
Office Phone:

Research Interest

Immunology; Inflammation; Cardiovascular Diseases; Stem Cells; Drug Delivery Systems; Tissue Engineering; Regenerative Medicine.

Selected Publications

In 1994, Dr. Arman Saparov was invited to the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, to complete his Post-Doctoral training under the mentorship of Professor Casey Weaver. In 1998, he was promoted to a permanent faculty position at the same institution.

From 2001 to 2007, Dr. Saparov held various leadership positions at Xenogen Biosciences, located in the greater Princeton area, New Jersey. During his employment at Xenogen, he led research projects in the areas of immunology, inflammation, cell technology and genetic engineering. The main focus of his research was to determine the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and to define the effect of genes on the initiation and development of various diseases including cardiovascular diseases, lung inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, encephalitis and others. Dr. Saparov also managed research that tested new drugs for the treatment of these diseases. In his projects, he collaborated with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies of the world, including Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Schering Plough.

In 2007, Dr. Saparov joined Partners HealthCare System, a not-for-profit integrated health system founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They are a global leader in quality patient care, medical education and biomedical research and a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

After joining Nazarbayev University in 2010, Dr. Saparov served as a Director of a newly created Directorate of the Integrated Academic Health System, an Acting Dean of NU Foundation, a Pre-Medicine Program Director, an Acting Chair of the Biology Department, a Chief Executive Director, a Vice Dean of Admissions and a Director of the Bachelor of Medical Sciences Program at the School of Medicine.


Research interests:

The pathological progression following myocardial infarction is very complex and involves a number of cell populations including cells localized within the heart, as well as cells recruited from circulation and other tissues that participate in inflammatory and reparative processes. These cells, with their secretory factors, have pleiotropic effects that depend on the stage of inflammation and regeneration. Excessive inflammation leads to enlargement of the infarction site, pathological remodeling and eventually, heart dysfunction. Stem cell therapy is considered a promising approach in treating coronary heart disease including myocardial infarction. However, harsh conditions at the site of injury, including hypoxia, oxidative and inflammatory stress, increased fibrosis and insufficient angiogenesis, and in some cases, immunological response or incompatibility, are detrimental to stem cell survival. To overcome the complexity and deficiencies of stem cell therapy, drug delivery systems are being investigated because they offer a controlled and sustained release of bound growth factors and cytokines. Moreover, targeted delivery of stem cells preconditioned with hypoxia and/or oxidative/inflammatory stimuli or pre-differentiated cells in combination with controlled release of immunomodulatory and wound healing factors will treat myocardial infarction more effectively than the transfer of factors alone, by reducing the infarct size and inflammation, and generating more functional cardiac tissue.