Global COE Study Abroad Project

Rieko Ajima(Organismal Biosystems / Developmental Genetics Group)

Date 2012.2.7-15
Purpose Collaborative study in the Optical Microscopy and Analysis Lab. NCI-Frederick, NIH

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Title: Visiting collaborators at National Cancer Institute-Frederick, NIH
Name: Rieko Ajima
Affiliation: Developmental Genetics Group (Hamada-lab)
Destination: National Cancer Institute-Frederick, NIH (Frederick, Maryland, USA)
 I joined Dr. Hamada's lab about one year ago as a GCOE postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Hamada generously allow me to continue my projects, studying about mechanisms of mesoderm formation in mouse embryos, which were started in Dr. Yamaguchi's lab in National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Frederick. I am still collaborating with previous colleagues and collaborators in NCI-Frederick about my projects.
 I have successfully established labeling system of the mesodermal progenitors in early developmental stage mouse embryos and observed their behavior through live imaging in this year. Currently, I am trying to establish the methods to analyze the data with my collaborators. But, it is really difficult to explain and discuss about live imaging data over e-mails.
 The main purposes of this trip were to discuss about future direction of my projects including how to wrap up my data into paper(s) with my previous boss, Dr. Terry Yamaguchi in the Cancer and Developmental Biology Lab in NCI-Frederick, and to discuss about the methods to analyze the live imaging data with my collaborators, Dr. Stephen Lockett and Dr. Prabhakar Gudla in the Optical Microscopy and Analysis Lab in NCI-Frederick, and Dr. Yanling Liu in the Imaging and Visualization Group, ABCC, 

 Terry and I spent a good deal of time to discuss about my projects. Terry was really excited about my recent data and gave me great amount of advises. We planned when and how we will finish up the projects as papers. I also discussed with him about the projects, which are currently on going in Terry's lab. Furthermore, he had arranged for me to give a talk at the Cancer Developmental Biology Lab Meeting. There were a lot of great developmental biologists including Dr. Alan Perantoni, Dr. Mark Lewandoski, and Dr. Susan Mackem, participated to the meeting. So, it was great opportunity for me to give talk in front of them and got feedback from. My talk brought active discussions, and was taken very positively. I had opportunity to meet with Mark in person later and we exchanged opinions about mesoderm specification.
 The discussion about the live imaging data analysis also went well. Dr. Gudla already tried several programs for me and selected software for the cell tracking. Furthermore Dr. Gudla and Dr. Liu are planning to establish automated 4D image alignment and cell tracking program using my data. We discussed how to proceed data analysis and decided division of roles for the analysis.
 I took advantage of this trip to collect samples using a valuable mouse line, which is only available in Terry's lab. With my previous colleagues' help, I succeeded to collect embryos at several different stages, which I can use for my future experiments in Japan. The samples were arranged to ship here soon.

 Overall my trip was fruitful and I accomplished a lot during my stay in NCI-Frederick. Especially the efficient discussion about live imaging data with Terry, Dr. Lockett, Dr. Gudla, and Dr. Liu could not be done without visiting and talking directly with them. I believe that this trip would make the further collaboration very productive.
 I sincerely appreciate GCOE program and Dr. Hamada giving me this opportunity and financial supports for this trip.

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