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Home › News & Events › CiRA Reporter › CiRA Research Internship Program Student Interview vol. 3 -Five Days of Working on a Research Plan: Strengthened by a Series of Valuable Learning Experiences-


October 31, 2023

CiRA Research Internship Program Student Interview vol. 3
-Five Days of Working on a Research Plan: Strengthened by a Series of Valuable Learning Experiences-

Kazuya Kudo (University of Tsukuba)
at an open laboratory in CiRA

Kazuya Kudo is a fourth-year student in the College of Agro-Biological Resource Sciences, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, in Japan. His current research focus is on the interactions between RNA and proteins regulating chromosomal structure and how they are involved in chromosome movement during mitosis. His interest in phase separation was sparked by an experimental class, and he has been reading books on his own to deepen his understanding of this biochemical phenomenon ever since. He joined the CiRA Research Internship Program to explore phase separation research with Associate Professor Shunsuke F. Shimobayashi (Department of Life Science Frontiers) for five days in early September.

What did you do during your internship?

I started my internship by first observing iPS cells, which surprised me because they are very similar in size and morphology to HeLa cells, a cancer cell line I usually use for my research at the University of Tsukuba. It was somewhat shocking because I had always thought they would be more different.

I also looked at immunostained cells and iPS cells during the reprogramming process using a high-precision microscope. The microscope was so large and sophisticated that I had no idea how to use it initially, but I was able to use it a short while after and was impressed by its ease of use despite its overwhelming appearance.

The main thing I had to do was design a research plan. I was asked to think about what I wanted to do if I was assigned to this laboratory, and I spent the whole internship after the second day trying to create an experimental plan. I had the opportunity to read many papers and discuss various scientific topics with amazing researchers like Dr. Shimobayashi for hours, which was a great experience. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I did not have enough knowledge. I learned the hard way that I should read more papers regularly.

Did anything change from your previous research plan?

I mainly focused at first on the type of applied research I could do with phase separation, but it was suggested I also brainstorm about basic research questions. I would have been happy just to do basic phase separation research, but the idea of using phase separation to unravel various biological phenomena got me super excited and I realized I had to put those experimental plans into action.

Finally, what were your overall impressions of CiRA?

CiRA offers an ideal research environment. The atmosphere in the laboratory is wonderful, and there is a variety of experimental equipment, so basically, everything is possible to do within CiRA. I also felt that everyone comes with a lot of motivation to do research at Kyoto University, so I was fascinated to be surrounded by such ambitious researchers. At the same time, I felt I had to do my best to compete with everyone in CiRA working at the forefront of science.

  1. Interviewed and written by
    Chiaki Yoshino
    A CiRA technical staff and a freelance writer and editor with experience writing and editing over 200 articles, including on-demand media, press releases, and interviews. Her topics of interest are corporate mental health and science.

(Translation: Kelvin Hui Ph.D., Research Promoting Office, CiRA)

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