Exclusive. Art de Vivre with Tatyana Shevchenko: Interview With the Famous Expert on Genetics Elena Baranova
«Aging» in English doesn’t sound so threatening. Aging (biological), is the process of age-related changes in the body that reduces its adaptive capabilities. At the heart of aging are changes in the genetic apparatus of the body. No matter how hard we try, no matter how right we eat, we run — in the literal and figurative sense — for health and youth, but as my friend says: «Nobody has yet repealed Newton’s laws.» I will agree with that. If you meet Elena Baranova, there are opportunities to age correctly, if I may say so?
Remember how in the Soviet film about Cinderella: «I’m not a magician, I’m just learning.» So here. All subsequent regalia prove that I met the Sorceress, who had already learned so much: Prof. Dr. Baranova, MD, PhD, HDR, EU Commission Expert for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, International Expert for Anti-Aging and Preventive Medicine, President of the EU Institute of Personalized Prevention and Health. Professor Baranova knows how to transform the energy of our genes into the energy of our lives. It can make us out of the genes and, finally, give us the golden key of our body … Initially, I went to her in Monaco for this «key». But Elena became the heroine of my interview not because of her professional power, but because of that Woman with a capital letter, which she is.
Elena, my traditional first question: what is “the art of living” in your understanding?
Enjoy life! And to do what you like and want. This is for me — and the biggest «luxury» and the basic rule. In my life I have had to make sure more than once that it is impossible to be good for everyone, and even less so to follow the destructive “what will people say?” It would seem — it just sounds so simple. However, every day I see in consultations people who have earned themselves a lot of problems both with health and in life just because they tried to live by the principle of «being good for everyone.» And in the case of women, «to be perfect.» Ideal people are so boring! And unnatural.
You have gone from a St. Petersburg student to a professor in Monaco. Was he thorny?
There were a lot of things: the refusal to retake the top three (the only one!) In the history of the party to receive an honors diploma, and, nevertheless, passing immediately to the residency after winning the competition for scientific publications, and “escaping” from his first husband (departure from St. Petersburg to London in 1992 with 34 pounds 75 pence from the younger brother’s piggy bank), and the quick receipt of the first grant for the best scientific work, which gives additional freedom, and London suitors at Ferrari in that distant 92th, which they could not understand, why genetics interests me more than their machines (by the way, it’s so inconvenient there — too low to sit), and even more so — the refusal to marry and instead go to work in France. But this is the sweet word «freedom» … And the ability to do what you want. I think that is why I had fast professional success, which brought me the 1998 prize for the best publication of scientific work (in Canada) at the world level, after which I am quoted by the most prestigious international reference books on genetics.
But that was never an end in itself. Then I defended two dissertations and early received the title of professor. And later, in 2003, the title “Woman of the Year” in France for an outstanding career. There were interesting meetings, including with Valerie Giscard d’Estaing, who supported me in creating the first diploma in France and Europe (2000) for doctors in personalized predictive medicine and the first international Congress for specialists in this field. Many meetings with various famous scientists, and with princes and princesses. Carnivals in Venice. World congresses and reports. Golf and compulsory hats at the racetrack. Long working weeks of 30 days. Creating your own expert system on genomics. New Orleans: night clubs at night, conferences during the day. Vancouver, Toronto, Granada, London, San Diego.
The publication of my first (and successful!) Book in French and the envy of those for whom I did not fit into the framework of their vision of the world, and even less so genetics. Lecturing: New York, Boston, Geneva, Vienna, Lausanne, Paris, Moscow. Passing through the competition with obtaining the status of “expert of the European Commission on new genetics, health and personalized medicine” (2002). And later — the unexpected invitation of the Government of Monaco to live and work in this country — again for professional services. The publication of my first (and successful!) Book in French and the envy of those for whom I did not fit into the framework of their vision of the world, and even less so genetics. Lecturing: New York, Boston, Geneva, Vienna, Lausanne, Paris, Moscow. Passing through the competition with obtaining the status of “expert of the European Commission on new genetics, health and personalized medicine” (2002). And later — the unexpected invitation of the Government of Monaco to live and work in this country — again for professional services. The publication of my first (and successful!) Book in French and the envy of those for whom I did not fit into the framework of their vision of the world, and even less so genetics.
For all the years of my life in Europe and even after my second marriage, I never changed citizenship, therefore I always represented 2 countries in all international commissions and presidiums — the country of residence and Russia. Maybe for some it sounds naive. However, for me it was always very important. By the way, my 2nd husband, an Italian by birth, is deeply convinced that you need to marry only Russian women.
Did you act according to plan or follow the river of life?
Initially, there was no plan. There was a study visa for 6 months in England and a great desire to live. But accident, as you know, is a known necessity.
Did you act according to plan or follow the river of life?
“Forced to do” is not for me. Nothing ever forced me. We always have a choice. These were my desires and interests. And learn French, because I had to give lectures at the university, and this needed to be done in the state language of the country, and defended two dissertations in France, and studied psychology, specifically, the technique of orientation to the future and activation of psychological and mental potentials. It was important in my work to learn how to explain to people how to use their own genes and resources.
I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time — all my work and career was formed in parallel with the implementation of the global project «Human Genome», dedicated to the decoding of our genes and ushered in a new 21st century medicine. But psychology fascinated me so much that I even worked for some time in Lausanne in Switzerland, where the famous professor Salem, the star of Erickson hypnosis and also my teacher, invited me. At the same time, the newly emerged Society of Anti-Aging Medicine and Hormone Therapy began to invite me, which I later began to use a lot in my programs in combination with the gene regulation of rejuvenation. The most interesting thing was to combine these different approaches — genomics, hormonal therapy, psychobiology — in my personalized anti-aging and rejuvenation programs.
People from different countries are striving for you, you need to "stand in line." What is the secret of your successful work?
I love my work, I love to see how my patients are transformed and return to an active life. Indeed, people from different countries of Europe, America and Russia come to my consultation to do an effective examination and get their highly individualized recovery / anti-aging or rejuvenation program. Some clinics, including American ones, send me difficult cases for examination when patients have already tried a lot, but nothing really helps. In addition, in the course of my research, I created a professional line of fairly unique gene regulation drugs with a high therapeutic effect against fatigue. My personalized programs also use bioidentical hormones and other professional drugs for effective recovery. Everything is done on a highly individual basis. We are able to quickly and effectively recover patients, because the main problems these days are chronic stress and fatigue, leading to weight gain, sleep disturbance, and aging. I also have many male patients.
What personal qualities lead you to the goal?
You see … I’m on a horoscope — Fire Horse. Girls born in the year of the Fire Horse in Japan in the Middle Ages were simply killed — they were considered wayward and too independent. But it was the Fire Horse that always carried me through life.
Do you believe in fate?
Of course! Moreover, we create it ourselves … I had occasions in my life when, to put it mildly, they “threw” me, and the alignment of forces was not in my favor. And even “ordered” Peruvian shamans. At such moments, I always said to myself: «life will put everything in its place.» And so it was. Inexplicably, new opportunities and horizons opened up, new meetings took place, and strange things happened to the “offenders”.
The modern wife of a modern successful man, what is she?
A true life partner. By no means a doll (fashionable character in the 90s). If people do not have common interests and goals, they part. This does not mean that you must necessarily dive together 30 meters with scuba gear, if you do not want to. Mutual respect, including the personal space of everyone, is necessary. And if a man asks you, “What do you think about this person, tie, proposal, restaurant, etc.”, then your life together was a success.
Man and woman. Is there such a thing as a “perfect couple” in our time?
Oddly enough it sounds, but it does. And my 2nd marriage confirms this. This year is 10 years since we were together, and these years passed like one day. It was love at first sight, and my husband proposed to me before he began to care for me. True, then he proposed to me 3 more times and chased me all over Europe — the Fire Horses really do not like the restriction of freedom, which, as it seemed to me then, was a marriage. Fortunately, he managed to convince me that this is not always the case.
What compromises can a woman go to, which, in your opinion, never?
Someday I will write a book about men and their characteristics (in every country where I had to live or work). After all, all my life I work almost exclusively with men. Very often I happened to be the only female speaker at major international conferences and meetings. However, I never intuitively wanted and did not adapt to the world of men. Neither externally nor internally. And they treat this with respect, regardless of the country.
As for the compromises … How to explain … To the question: what will you drink, coffee or tea, a man can say — cocoa! Never argue, be sure to make him cocoa, and he himself will want to take you to Milan for shopping! This is the biggest and most successful compromise. But if a man says: I won’t come today, I can’t tomorrow, but on Wednesday from 13:15 to 14:00 we will definitely see each other if … Of course, we must agree gently, not argue and not ask anything, but by no means go. And turn off the phone. And one more thing: never communicate with men in white socks — this is not a compromise! If this, of course, is not a tennis court.
France and Monaco, two worlds - two childhoods?
Two diametrically different worlds. Monaco is a cosmopolitan society of successful people. And successful people, as a rule, wish you the same. France … Before I moved to France from England, I came across one phrase about this country: if an expensive car is driving along the street, a man in an elegant suit and a beautiful woman is sitting in it, and an American and a Frenchman are walking along the street, then the first he will think “what should I do to have the same car, suit and so on.”, and the second “what should I do so that this type walks along the sidewalk with me and does not drive around in his posh car ?!” Fortunately, there are pleasant exceptions to this rule.
Your 3 favorite places in the south of France?
I love the old Nice, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and the road along the sea from Nice to Monaco — it always reminds me of Crimea.
How do you relax?
Very little. But your favorite vacation is trips! My husband and I love to run away on weekends when possible. I love the south of Italy and Turkey, where you can have a wonderful rest and recover. Everyone asks: where do you go to rest from Monaco? Answer: to Turkey! It’s funny to see the reaction of people.
The secret of youth?
Love! .. And the individual Haute Couture Prevention programs from Baranova Monaco, of course!