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Report on Short-term Visiting Program in Taiwan

Yuki Miura: M1, Master's Program in Medical Sciences

Major: Physiolagical Chemistry

Accepting Laboratory:Dr. TL Shen Laboratory

Report on Short-term Visit in Taiwan

   I went to the National Taiwan University (NTU) through the Short-term Student Sending Program for two weeks from Aug.28 to Sept.10,2011.
   For the first week, I participated in the Center for Biotechnology Summer Course held at the NTU and learned about the basic experimental methodology such as gene expression and immunostaining through lectures and practices. The lectures and the practices were all conducted in English. For the practices, we paired up with the NTU students and cooperated in conducting experiments. In the lectures, I willingly questioned to the teacher on the field of confocal microscope which had interested me and was able to hear a more detailed description of it. In another lecture, I was impressed by the talk of the lecturer who was working at the pharmaceutical company in Taiwan to develop an antibody drug. This lecture had given me an opportunity to think of my career. But the greatest experience for me that week was conducting the experiments with the Taiwanese student. In Japanese, it was simple for me to explain or question, but in English, I had many trouble making myself understood in English. Even so, I tried hard to make myself understood and when the student finally understood me, I was overwhelmed by the fact.

   In the second week, we were appointed to the laboratories we chose and were given a theme on the research content of each laboratory. I conducted experiments on in vivo using the animal in the laboratory which was conducting researches mainly on Focal Adhesion Kinase, a cell adhesion related molecule. Normally in my own laboratory, I only conduct experiments on a cellular level, thus had trouble in using animals. Though I was not used to the experiment, I completed it without any big mistakes and was able to gain a good result. In this laboratory, I conducted other experiments which were not conducted in my own laboratory and had been a fruitful experience.

   On the last day of the program, we gave an oral presentation of the week's research achievements. Since we only had a short time to prepare, I could not sat that my presentation had been a good one, but I was happy for being able to answer questions from the students and that I was awarded an Outstanding Presentation Award.

   The two weeks of the short-term visit in Taiwan went by really quickly and I was busy the whole time. Life in Taiwan was all new to me but I enjoyed my stay thanks to the teaching assistants of NTU students. They took me out to dinner and sight-seeing in Taipei during weekends. At the end of the program, they held a farewell party for us. I am truly grateful for their support. Through the program, I became friends with many Taiwanese students. The students in CBT summer course in the first week, TAs who took care of us and the students who taught me and conducted the researches with in the laboratory during the second week. We ate and drank together, talking about Japan and Taiwan, and about ourselves; debated on research results and had discussions during the presentation. It was such a short time but I had a fulfilling time. In the beginning, my main objective in participating in this program was to improve my English. But after completing the program, I feel that the greatest thing that I gained from the two week stay was "friends and rivals across the sea". Compared with NTU students, I still need to study harder on my English and I also feel that I lack the constructiveness, ingenuity and ability to think in the discussions on Science. To work as a researcher, realizing that there are rivals all around the world including Japan was something that I could not have realized if I did not have this opportunity. This opportunity has motivated me to improve my English as well as my experiments and researches as not to fall behind of the Taiwanese students. Becoming friends with the Taiwanese students have motivated me in every aspect. I would like to stay in touch with my friends and rivals and hope to meet them again. And with the participation in the Long Distance Course by the University of Tsukuba, Kyoto University and National Taiwan University, I will have chances to have discussions on Science with them and hope to acquire professional skills to have meaningful discussions.

   Lastly, I would like to show my gratitude to the teachers at the National Taiwan University, Professor Irie, Assistant Professor Ohniwa and Associate Professor Yoh for organizing this program and our teachers at the University of Tsukuba for giving us this opportunity and Ms.Sakuma and the International Office for arranging our stay. Thank you very much.

(From report)


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