A potential way to treat tuberculosis is an innovation by Dzenan Kovacic, a second-year student at the Genetics and Bioengineering Department at Burch International University, a scientist and winner of the first BiH Innovator Competition. His innovation will find its place in November at the International competition in Berlin. This is a competition of BiH young innovators called “Falling Walls Lab Sarajevo 2019”. The hope and ultimate goal of this young innovator is to make a cure, as he said, for the deadliest infectious disease in human history.
He got the idea to develop a cure for tuberculosis in the third grade of high school, since he went to medical high school, where he had contact with various medical cases during practice, but also through the study of theory in professional subjects, says Dzenan adding: “Being aware of the fact that tuberculosis is a civilization problem that is only getting worse, I started to wonder why it is like that. The answer fascinated me and aroused the curiosity that brought me to where I am right now,” at the doorstep of the discovery of the cure.
Dzenan was given a unique opportunity to present the innovation he has developed in the meantime at the competition that is, according to him, a lifetime opportunity for innovators who want to bring their ideas to the world stage: “Winning first place gave me the opportunity to participate in one of the biggest and most reputable scientific conferences, whose purpose is to bring innovators and visionaries together with the industrial and academic giants nowadays. Just exposing yourself on the world stage in front of the greatest scientists of today is invaluable, and definitely, an opportunity whose wise and smart use can change and advance the entire scientific career of a young person. I have also teamed up with top scientists with whom I am currently working on several extremely large projects in the field of medicine,” Dzenan points out.
The path to developing the idea was not easy because the scientific world is evolving rapidly, and without access to highly recognized institutions it is extremely difficult and discouraging for scientists to go to the field of innovation. “I have faced failure and frustration in all my research projects. My opportunity to develop the idea happened when I came to Burch University where I got the lab, professors, contacts, support and all other things that had been discouraging up to that point in realizing the idea. Moreover, I have learned that it is crucial to be guided by the facts on which the idea came from, wisdom and calmness are also crucial, but with discipline, work and effort, the results will come,” Dzenan added.
Finding a research body with the capacity to carry out such a study for medicine use is another challenge for Dzenan because the risk of tuberculosis, and the nature of this study, is such that there are not too many institutions in the world addressing this problem.
“It is encouraging that, with the help of IBU, I do get in touch with certain pharmaceutical companies and research groups with interests in the study of deadly infectious diseases. The support of my professors, my university, and anyone who can contribute to stepping forward is desirable and invaluable, as it is necessary to make a cure physically. Computer simulations, based on which I came to conclusions and assumptions regarding the physical and chemical properties of the medicine, should be tested on living tissues, but in theory it is ready,” proudly points out Dzenan.
About a third of the world’s population has tuberculosis, which is alarming, and the number of patients is only growing. “The goal of all this is, to put it simply, the eradication of tuberculosis – to reduce tuberculosis to a disease just as rarely as, for example, polio. If this comes to life, the value of nanotechnology as an indispensable component in medicine will become indisputable, and we will be able to treat a range of infectious and malignant diseases using the technology of the future, not technology of the past,” concludes Dzenan.