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Ten Students and Faculty from the Philippines, Vietnam and China Visit the TUS Kagurazaka Campus to Conduct Joint Research into Nanobiotechnology as Part of the JST-led 'Sakura Exchange Program in Science'

2018.09.10 Monday


For eleven days from August 1st to August 11th, a group of ten graduate students, undergraduates and researchers from the Philippines, China and Vietnam visited the Umemura Laboratory in the Faculty of Science Division II Department of Physics on the TUS Kagurazaka Campus to undertake joint research supported by the Japan-Asian Youth Exchange Program in Science (Sakura Exchange Program in Science) operated by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The group consisted of three members from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in the Philippines, three members from Zhejiang University in China and four members from Hanoi University of Science and Technology and other research institutions in Vietnam.

As this invitation coincided with the third year of a three year plan, the schedule for the group's visit was extended one day longer than previous visits in order to allow everyone to take part in a mini-symposium held as a roundup to the three year plan. In the case of China, although the students who visit Japan each year are different, interactions between the teaching staff have been ongoing. This fact, combined with the use of SNS and other means of maintaining contact with those who visited TUS last year and before, made for smooth planning and preparation of the Chinese members' visit. Also, from the Japanese side, current TUS graduates who had participated in these joint research visits last year and before took time out from their busy work schedules to attend.

During their visit, the group carried out laboratory experiments and other research involving surface treatment technology, which is an area where the Chinese excel. Although the laboratory is part of the Department of Physics, the distinctive biophysics aspect of the research was evident in the outdoor excursion which the entire group took to collect microbes, using the same beach that groups had visited on previous visits. The itinerary of the visit incorporated a great deal more than just research activities, including a tour of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, a visit to a venture business run by a TUS alumnus (Opus Studio, Inc.; Takayuki Suzuki, CEO) and participation in TUS Open Campus events.

A mini-symposium accompanied by a study abroad information session and social gathering were also held. At the mini-symposium, summaries of the group's individual research results, as well as the overall results of the program, were presented. At this point, two students from TUS' counterpart in the Philippines had been in Japan on scholarships to carry out joint research at TUS for three months and one month, respectively.

The teaching staff at the institutions sending the students and researchers are also now quite familiar with and supportive of the aims of the Sakura Exchange Program in Science. For example, the teaching staff at a TUS exchange counterpart in Vietnam are developing a large-scale research project for which they have built a team comprised not only of their own university's faculty but, also, members of national laboratories and other universities. The students from Vietnam who were part of this year's visit were selected from among the members of this team (e.g., students who are part of the research team but are not part of Hanoi University of Science and Technology). This indicates that others see the implementation of the program as being highly effective. Additionally, last year invitations to an international conference in the Philippines were extended to Japanese teaching staff who are part of this program, while this year invitations were received from both the Philippines and Vietnam.

TUS is truly grateful to the JST Sakura Exchange Program in Science for making exchange opportunities such as these possible.

Group photo in front of the National Museum
of Emerging Science and Innovation
Spectroscopic experiment in TUS laboratory

Seaside microbial collection