Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University


Study Abroad Program

The followings are the students' reports on overseas activities including poster sessions, oral sessions, or heated discussions at the international meetings. These precious experiences will provide great benefit for their studies, as well as minds.

*This program is supported by "Takuetsu", one of the subsidies of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan.

Reitaro Tokumasu
Reitaro Tokumasu

Report of The ASCB 2013 Annual Meeting And The Other Destinations

2013.12.8 - 19

Reitaro Tokumasu
( Laboratory of Biological Science, Graduate School of Frontier Bioscience, Osaka University)


It was a long and grateful journey in America. Presenting my research and learning the latest information in the ASCB 2013 annual meeting and visiting other places was truly impressive.

On this trip, I presented my study, titled "Dose-dependent role of claudin-1 in epidermal differentiation and inflammation over time". In General, knock out or knock down strategies are used to understand gene functions, like a switch that turns "on" and "off" gene expressions. However, in the case of diseases, it is easy to consider the reduction of gene expression by any other factors but not a direct genetic problem. So, I focused on claudin1, which has a key role in epidermal barrier systems.

In our previous study, claudin-1 knockout (KO) mice died within one day after birth due to dehydration. It remains unknown how claudin-1 contributes to epidermal homeostasis with aging. To observe these, I established in vivo analysis system 6 pattern mice of expression levels of claudin1. The mice with low claudin-1 expression showed abnormal skin differentiation and inflammation in the infant stage, but significant improvement in the adult stage. I discussed the results with detailed reference to the expression levels of claudin-1 regulating various phenotypes in this trip.

The journey started from New York City, I visited Rakuten Institute of technology (RIT-NY). We discussed our case studies with each other. It was attractive for me to think about IT technology because I usually think "how to use IT" but not "IT research". There is a natural language processing facility in RIT-NY. Rakuten Inc. has many huge societies of Internet shopping websites around the world, especially in Japan. Researchers in RIT-NY showed me their research on collecting precious information from Raketen's database. They have also demonstrated in their studies how the system can give smart suggestions like a salesperson to customers. It was an interesting experience for me to think my future career in the IT industry. I appreciate for Dr. Sekine and Dr. Hagiwara for giving me a chance to visit the institute.

Then, we met Dr. Caplan in Yale University, New Heaven. I listened to the presentation by Yale researchers. Fortunately, I got a chance to introduce my latest research to Dr. Caplan. And he gave me great ideas for my work. It was very impressive.

Finally, I attended the annual meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB) that was held in New Orleans. This was the main event for me. I went to present my research using poster presentation to whoever was interested. I was happy to discuss my study because there are not many researchers in our field in Japan. Of course, I was able to talk with other researchers who majored in other fields related to my research as well. Unfortunately, the flight schedule didn't cover all day of the meeting. But I attended many symposiums despite the tight schedule as long as I can.

Additionally, I would like to write down two important things expected on my presentation. First, technological development is faster than I thought. It means I should work harder. Second, when I walked around the poster presentation of undergraduate students, I felt their passion for science! Recently I got blinded by greed such as degree, paper, impact, etc.... I thought I should reset myself before graduate of my Ph.D course.

Through this journey, I had many opportunities to introduce my research and to learn out-side studies. If I didn't join this trip, I wouldn't be able to experience these. During this trip, I was able to know what other researchers think of my research. It was the greatest achievement for me. Now I am writing a journal, which include the advices and experience I received from various experts and researchers. Lastly, I appreciate the support given by Takuetsu program of our graduate school, which gave me a chance to join this trip.