For the whole stay of 4 weeks, I participated in a research in the laboratory of professor Toshihide Yamashita. His studies mainly focused on the regeneration of central nervous system after injury. Among them, the project I’ve participated in was about the effect of histone deacetylase inhibitor in the brain injury mouse model.
On the first week I got background information based on previous articles from the laboratory. After understanding the objectives and design of the study, I learned and conducted some behavior tests for mice after the brain injury on my own for two weeks. Additionally, I analyzed and interpreted the data from my experiment. On the last week, I presented my work in front of all lab members.
Even though staying of four weeks is quite short for conducting a well-organized research, it was valuable experience. From acquiring the background information to analyzing the results of experiment, I could experience the whole process of research. The supervisor and collagues helped me a lot during the entire process.
Especially, I could conduct animal experiments on my own after proper education and understanding of the study. Since almost all medical researches need animal models, it could be very useful for my future studies.
Also, the presentation in front of the whole lab members was a nice chance to wrap up my research and improve my presentation skill.]
(Pic1 This is a picture of me conducting rotor rod test on brain-injured mice in the animal facility.)
The hospital tour organized by Campus Asia was held on the Monday of my second week. It consisted of visiting intensive care unit(ICU) of Osaka University Hospital and a translational research laboratory.
When we visited ICU, I could observe the system of Japanese hospital and consider the similarities and differences between Korean and Japan. Also, in the laboratory which focuses on brain-machine interface(BMI), I could learn about the progress on the trial to move external machine by interpreting the signals from our brain.
It was great to meet and communicate other Campus Asia students by getting together in hospital tour. Also, it was good to experience the hospital of Japan and different fields of medical research – other than the laboratory I’ve experience for.
Additionally, I was impressed from the fact that Osaka University Hospital has a huge research center, even though the hospital is much smaller than ours. I think it could be one reason why Japan is more advanced in medical research field than Korea.
(Pic2 This is the picture of brain-maching interface laboratory. By learning the brain signal to grasp and open the hand, the hand model could respond to the brain signal.)
The program I participated in was 'Campus Asia', which is an exchange program for medical students of Korea, Japan, and China. I was interested in studying and conducting research in Japan, as well as the daily life in Japan with Japanese culture. Additionally, I wondered what is the difference between Korea and Japan in the research field. During the stay of four weeks, I participated in a study at Professor Toshihide Yamashita's laboratory, which is focusing on the molecular neurology. Firstly, I read some articles to get enough background information about the study I will join. With a lot of help from my supervisor and collagues, I could understand the objective and design of the study. Then, I conducted several behavior tests for mouse including rotor rod test, reaching test, and ladder walk test to verify that histone deacetylase inhibitor can faciliate the recovery of motor function after brain injury. Also, I've learned about how to analyze and interpret the data. Finally, I gave a brief presentation about the study I've done during the stay in front of all laboratory members. It was quite a short time to conduct organized my own research, but it was great to enjoy basic medical science field.
Before I came here, I have no background information about molecular neurology. In medical school of Korea, most curriculums are focused on clinical aspect. So, it was great to experience basic medical science, especially in Japan - in one of the most advanced country in this field. So, I learned a lot in the whole stay, from getting background information based on the previous articles and actually conducting experiment by my own, to finally deliver it to audience by presentation. Additionally, it was my first time to experience animal experiment. Since most field of medical science requires studies using animal models, it would be helpful for any research I will conduct in the future. As well as those academic aspects, I improved my communication skills with my collagues from this experience.
For the future applicants, I think studying abroad is meaningful even if you don't have a plan to work abroad since these experiences broaden your look. Furthermore, since Japan is one of the most advanced country in the basic medical science field, I would strongly recommend if you are interested in this field. Also Campus Asia program provides lots of convenience such as airplane ticket and pick-up service, dormitory with breakfast and dinner, orientation and hospital tours. I also recommend to find out the field you’re interested in on the website and contact to the professor first. By doing that, you can join the laboratory you want and learn more.