2018 Miho Sakuma

Miho Sakuma
Hometown in Japan: Yokohama
University in Japan: Tokyo Women’s Medical University
Major & School Year: Medicine, B4
Host Advisor: Prof. Amina Qutub, Dept. of Bioengineering
Host Lab: Qutub Systems Biology Lab

Why TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University?

First, by studying in the US, I will be exposed to various kinds of people much more so than in Japan and it will extend my horizon. Before I was born, my parents lived in Houston, Texas for about a year. Coincidentally, my mother studied English at Rice University. They told me that unexpected ideas coming from people from different countries always inspired their thoughts. I wish to have such exciting experiences at the same place with my parents. In addition, this would help me prepare for my career search in a foreign country. Many female professors in TWMU studied in the U.S. From hearing their stories in the U.S., I yearn to study abroad and work as a clinical doctor and a researcher in the U.S.

Furthermore, I would like to study bioengineering. My dream is to find the mechanism and medication of neurodegenerative diseases. Bioengineering field, especially nanomedicine and genome editing, would allow different approaches to treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. My major is not engineering or physics, but medicine must collaborate with them if we discover new treatments and findings. In Japan, medical students have little chance to meet with students in other fields because their curriculum is much different from others. During this program, I would like to communicate with researchers in other fields, who work for medical issues with physician scientists. After that, it is important for my future research that I will keep in touch with the researchers and friends whom I will meet during this program. Also, I would like to promote interdisciplinary collaboration on medical research fields by sharing my experiences with medical students in Japan. This action may also have influence on engineering and physics students.

Goals

  • I will study skills and techniques, which I have never used in daily experiments in Japan, at Department of Bioengineering in Rice University.
  • I would like to communicate with and make many friends who are from various countries and exchange each other’s opinions and cultures.
  • I hope to know how researchers in the U.S. work, especially women. For example, working hours, motivation and lifestyle.
  • I promise myself to improve my English communication skills, and to be able to convey my opinions to others in English more precisely.

Excerpts from Eria’s Weekly Reports

Week 01: Arrival in the U.S.

Coming this Spring!

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Week 02: First Week at Research Host Lab

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Week 03: Interview With a Female Researchers

Coming this Spring!
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Week 04: Research in the U.S. vs. Research in Japan

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Final Research Poster Presentation

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Week 05: Science & Technology Policy Study Tour

Coming this Spring!
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Final Report

Coming this Spring!

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Tips for Future Participants

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