I was officially a PhD student at Professor Manabu Fukumoto's Lab (Department of Pathology, IDAC) and I performed my research in the Ikawa Lab (Department of Project Program). I had an amazing time and a great learning experience in both labs. The best thing I learned from Dr. Shuntaro Ikawa was how to design my own research and to work independently. Furthermore, I had freedom in exploring my own research interests and even if there was a tight budget, I received almost all the support from him. The working environment of his lab was very comfortable and I worked with many nice and supportive colleagues, especially Dr. Yuiko Morita-Fujimura and Dr. Hiroshi Tawarayama. Also, Fukumoto sensei helped me a lot, especially in my academic activities and he was always there for me when I had questions and concerns. I am also grateful for IDAC having a common instrument section with many cutting edge research equipments, and I am particularly indebted to Hiromi Yoshida-san. She was very helpful and I learned to operate many equipments such as the Flow Cytometry, Immunofluorescence and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope.
IDAC is also an excellent institution for researchers who want to discuss their research with experts from neighboring labs. For example, I had the opportunity to talk in-depth about my project with Professor Natsuko Chiba from the Department of Cancer Biology, and Professor Kozo Tanaka from the Department of Molecular Oncology. I received valuable suggestions from them, which helped me quite a lot to improve my research. In addition, Chiba sensei helped me extensively with my research by providing access to many reagents from her lab.
In addition, I took part in a grant writing competition sponsored by IDAC, where I was able to receive funds and support for my research. Surprisingly, IDAC also provided travel support for me when I showed interest in presenting my research at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in the United States. Presenting my research in such a renowned venue was a great experience for me and I had the opportunity to meet international experts in my research area. For this golden opportunity, I would like to thank Professor Ryuta Kawashima (Director of IDAC) for all his kind attention and support.
As for living in Sendai, I found the city very convenient. It is not too crowded and as a PhD student on a budget, housing around IDAC was quite affordable. There are also many nice places to visit around Sendai, especially Matsushima bay and the Mt. Zao area. Almost every weekend, I visited different attraction with my friends. Moreover, commuting is also convenient in Sendai. In addition to the city bus and train, I rode my bicycle throughout my five year in Sendai to go everywhere. Finally, I would like to say that living in Sendai and working at IDAC was one of the greatest life experience for me.
Thank you IDAC for all the great opportunities!