Liaison (会員通信)

four seasons

News Letter

P Volume 4 (September 15 2018)
  1. Asmaa's Memories in Sapporo
    Ms. Asmaa Elnagar (Academic Researcher, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt)
  2. 環境科学院で培った考え方で、社会に貢献する
    近藤 広隆 (積水化成品工業株式会社)
P Volume 3 (June 13 2018)
  1. Memories about life in Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University
    Chunmao Zhu (Scientist, Japan Agency for Marine-earth Science and Technology)
  2. 研究を次の世代につなぐ
    吉田 怜 (札幌市立八条中学校 理科教諭)
P Volume 2 (March 11 2018)
  1. Memory of Hokudai
    Tika D. Atikah (Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences)
  2. 学術研究から企業の研究へ
    杉目 康広(住化エンバイロメンタルサイエンス㈱)
P Volume 1 (December 25 2017)
  1. 環境科学院での経験から
    田原沙弥香 (一般社団法人北海道再生可能エネルギー振興機構)
  2. GSES - The Shaper of Environmental Scientists
    Md. Tajuddin Sikder, PhD (Assistant Professor, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh)

4.1. Asmaa's Memories in Sapporo

Ms. Asmaa Elnagar (Academic Researcher, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt)

Asmaa Four years have passed quickly since I joined Hokkaido University. I was enrolled in the Laboratory of Bio-materials Chemistry as a master student in Graduate School of Environmental Science, under supervision of Prof. Nobuo Sakairi.
Although it was a kind of challenging journey, it was really interesting to me. It was my first time to travel abroad and visit Japan. My first impression when I arrived in Japan was that the super helpful Japanese airline. In addition, cities were clean, comfortable, and the public transportation was convenient. It was very cold and snowy as well. Even I know that Sapporo is colder than Egypt, it was more than what I was expected. Thus, I got a kind of "culture shock".
However, I was lucky to join Sakairi-sensei’s lab. He was dealing with me typically like his daughter, and I felt that very well in many things. As he knew that I am Muslim, he showed me a "prayer room" from the first day of my coming to the lab. Moreover, he was usually asking the lab-members about me especially when I was pregnant.
Asmaa My thesis was entitled "A synthetic glycoconjugates approach on LPS O-antigen of Pandoraea pulmonicola". This polysaccharide has a trisaccharide repeating group, which contains unusual highly modified quinovosaqmine (3-amino-3,6-dideoxy-D-glucose) residue. I developed efficient synthetic route to the qinovosamine derivative from D-glucose. I also carried out selective modification of the amino group to introduce a pyroglutamic acid derivative. I had abilities to carry out organic synthesis of complex molecule such as conducting reactions, isolation of products, and structure determination by NMR and IR spectroscopy. During my research, I won Hokkaido University scholarship for international students and HIECC scholarship. Although I worked in lab for long hours daily, I had never felt bored or tired. I still remembered all events in-and/or outside campus and PQ parties which I participated in. Sakairi-sensei taught me the basic principles of research and scientifically guided me during my study. He encouraged me without hesitation to participate in conferences with oversea and Japanese students to represent my data. I always remember his kindness. Such an environment would definitely make very good interactions for me on a daily basis for enjoying and improving my research. In a reality, Sakairi sensei is a very good professor in both social and academic sides.
Asmaa The surrounding environment in Sapporo was super attractive with very beautiful trees colors. I was so interested to notice the complete difference in seasons "summer, spring, autumn or winter". For the first time, I saw "sakura tree" and picked many photos with. Japanese in nature are so polite, lovely and helpful. Wherever in the streets, work, university lab., or markets, I found many Japanese volunteers were offering their help. They always encourage international students to study in Japan. When I came to Sapporo, I was pregnant. At that time, I started the challenges and adventures of future mother as well as a researcher. Every day I had a new interesting adventure with lab and family. However, it was so nice that Japanese government can accept kids of sixty days old to enter nurseries and let parents go their work without interruption. I cannot ignore the great help of Sapporo English Medical Interpreters (SEMI) with me until delivery of my baby and their following me up. In addition, the great help of Hokkaido University to give me a full exemption of tuition fees during my study. They always support and offer advices to the foreigners’ families and put them in a suitable atmosphere for an excellent research. Therefore, Japanese always urged me to respect them. Although my Japanese language was poor, I liked to communicate with this language; like "ohayo", "arigato", "wakarimasu", "daijobu desu", "sumimasen" etc., and worked on these as some basic words within my Japanese friends in the lab. Japanese language helped me a lot for making friendship. I liked the culture of mutual respect of Japanese. I liked so much the Japanese food like "suchi", Japanese tea and seafood soap. For the first time, I wore Japanese "kimono" which made me happy. Also, I played Japanese baseball. In addition, I really miss my bike that I was riding there. Moreover, I visited Tokyo which was very impressive, and visited many places around Hokkaido like Tomita Farm, Blue Pond, Maruyama Zoo, Otaru Aquarium etc.
All in all; the life in Japan was not only interesting and safe but also was in a systemic manner based on restricted rules particularly in traffic laws and scientific research principles. I learned how to be self-dependent and creative. Together, that provided me with a unique experiences and I gained first-hand knowledge on how to designate paths and therefore to achieve my goal. My study visit to Japan was a key step to improve my current career plan by allowing me to take an active contribution and to be qualified enough to be a researcher in Egyptian university right now.
I conclude that Japanese people can do the impossible with their insistence and cooperation. In addition, my journey to Japan has a positive impact on my current career and life-style.
Sorry to hear about the news of typhoon and earthquake in Japan in September 2018. Japan is a favorite place to visit, make an interesting research and to live. My prayers, thoughts and hearts are with everyone who has been affected, for speedy recovery. Honestly, I have a great hope to return back to Japan to meet Sakairi sensei and all my Japanese friends to only say "Thank you"!
3/1. Memory of Hokudai

Chunmao Zhu
(Scientist, Japan Agency for Marine-earth Science and Technology)

Zhu1 Zhu2
1. Research scene: seeing mountain Rishiri in the observatory, photo
taken in July 14, 2011. 2. Life scene: Genghis Khan party in front of
the graduate school in June 26, 2010

Nine years have passed since I joined Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University. I was enrolled in the Course of Geochemistry as a PhD student in April 2010. It turned to be one of my best experiences in life. Both the facilities and the researches are of the top levels. The three-year study allows me to be well trained to be a scientist. I was lucky to study with professor Hisayuki Yoshikawa, who supervised me not only how to conduct specific research topics, but also the way of scientific thinking. Featured by fieldwork studies, I had the chance to conduct observations at Rishiri Island, the northernmost Hokkaido. Such experiences trained me to realize the importance to understand what is really happening in the fields by conducting observations in the fields. Another invaluable experience is that the students I worked with in the same laboratory are all enjoying the study and life. They are working hard in research, and they are kind, caring, energetic and easygoing in life. As a large part of our studies were conduct based on chemical analytical techniques, we had a very interesting event - the annual competition to accurately use pipette to transfer liquid. This one-day recreation event has become to be a good memory. The study and life are so fruitful, and the people in the laboratory are so nice that I never felt homesick as a foreigner.
The graduate school provided a lot of chances for graduate students to experience various ability-up activities. Being support by the graduate school, I went to Washington DC, the United States to study atmospheric transport model. I also went to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to join a summer school on the environmental change of the boreal forest, and to Beijing, China to participate in an academic conference. Meanwhile, the campus of Hokkaido University, Sapporo city, and the whole Hokkaido are charming. Energetic professors and students, caring people, beautiful nature, all these elements make my PhD memorable. I am proud to be an alumnus of Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University.

2/1. Memory of Hokudai

Tika D. Atikah
(Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences)

My first impression when I arrived in Japan was that the cities were clean, comfortable, and the public transportation was convenient. I came firstly to Hokkaido on August 2001 to take examination and secondly on early October. It was very cold. I knew that Sapporo is colder than Indonesia but it was more than what I expected. It was 7 years ago when I entered into Plant Ecology Lab at Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University and started the challenging journey, which is out of my comfort zone. Since there, everyday was new adventure. I still remembered, my sensei, Takashi S. KOHYAMA had picked me up at Sapporo airport while my lab members have been waiting at Sapporo station, carrying banner with "Yokoso Japan". At that time I was touched by the warmth of my lab friends, how attentive they were. I had no idea initially how to operate something in Japan since I could not speak Japanese. Frequently, I had to seek help from the people around me. Friends and my sensei supported me well so my life in Japan was going smoother than I thought. So whoever will be going to Japan, I think you should study Japanese in advance and do not hesitate to interact with local people to improve your Japanese language skill. Since I came back to the Indonesia, I returned to my previous work at the Research Center for Biology. Currently, I have a good career as researcher and also member of PME (Planning Monitoring and Evaluating team) in my office. I realize that studying abroad for some years at Hokkaido University Japan is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. It brought me out of my nest. My experiences studying in Japan made me grow into more confidence, open minded, and be an independent person. The person who influences me the most is KOHYAMA sensei. He assisted, encouraged me, provided a good atmosphere for study and research and also motivated me to be a good researcher. It completely changed my perspective on life. Overall, I want to apply the learning during study in Japan into my current career. I am also blessed that I still have good communication among the lab members. In the future I wish that I have opportunities to collaborate with them on some projects etc.

1/2. GSES- The Shaper of Environmental Scientists

Md. Tajuddin Sikder, PhD
(Graduated from Division of Environmental Science Development
in March 2013)

In a snowy afternoon 8 years back, I entered into the Graduate School of Environmental Science (GSES), Hokkaido University for the first time, and started a terrific journey with new hope, challenges and better expectation. Now, when I reflect on my three years of PhD program in this graduate school, I conclude that the experience not only made me an environmental scientist, but also contributed in unpredictable ways for my career. Having been shaped by my graduate school, I achieved a rewarding career as a faculty member in the 2nd largest University, Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. I now teach both undergraduate and graduate courses, work on the thesis of my students, carry out my own researches and deem for a changing future. When I look back to find out the sources of spirit on which I am now standing on, I uncover nothing but the support and encouragement of my professors and peers who are nothing short of champions; incredibly supportive lab and lab-mates; a few awards, couple of fellowships and recognitions of my research endeavor; few internationally flavored projects implementation; a healthy research environment of this graduate school, and my best efforts. I was lucky to have an outstanding supervisor, Maasaki Kurasaki Sensei, who assisted, encouraged, pushed, challenged and nourished me till to date. I learnt to be motivated and dedicated in researches from here and in return, GSES honored me by nominating for the Matsuno award in 2016.
I do recall my PhD tenure which always seemed to me like a puzzle to solve. Only they are the winners who can solve it within the given time with perfection. Being an international student, I never felt it an easy task. To make it easygoing, one international student should do few things one after another. Firstly, to adjust with the new environment quickly; secondly, to learn Japanese language, customs, etiquette and culture sharing as much as possible; thirdly, ‘determination’, ‘dedication’ and ‘hard working’ the most three important things in research and finally, a good understanding and trustworthiness relation with the supervisor. If one can materialize these attributes then PhD puzzle will become water like simple. This graduate school will surely provide you the friendly and stimulating intellectual environment to cross every hurdle and to reach you in your desired height.
My experiences at GSES shape everything I do now at both Bangladesh and Japan. It was a wonderful time in my life, and the best educational experience I’ve had. The relationship with this graduate school brought me again here in the same platform with new identity, 'foreign researcher' in GSES and JSPS post doctoral fellow in Faculty of Health Sciences. I am looking forward to being more deepened and enriched with new knowledge, insights and a sustainable relationship with my loving graduate school.

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