Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.17

Next-generation technical training for structural analysis of microbial populations

Report from Associate Professor Toshinari Maeda
Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering
Kyushu Institute of Technology

For a ten-day period from October 15 to October 24, 2017, a technical training program was held for a group of nine people. The group included one instructor from Swadaya Gunung Jati University (Indonesia); one instructor from the Sultan Zainal Abidin University (Malaysia); one researcher from the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, Institute of Environmental Technology; one graduate student from The Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences; one graduate student from National Taiwan University; two graduate students from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; one graduate student from the Universiti Putra Malaysia; and one graduate student from Universiti Malaysia.

写真1 Photograph taken after the end of the farewell party

The program featured technical training for the next-generation sequencer, which is advanced equipment that is installed in the Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology. The program was intended to convey the outstanding advanced technology of Japan and to create opportunities for academic research exchange. Through exchange, the program seeks to accelerate the spread of scientific technology in developing nations and emerging nations of Asia that lack operating knowledge and know-how for advanced equipment, and to promote the resolution of environmental problems and other issues in Asia.

写真2 Touring the laboratory
写真3 Associate Professor Toshinari Maeda explains the program and activities

写真4 Dr. Nurul Asyifah explains about the next-generation sequencer

When using the next-generation sequences to decipher enormous amounts of nucleotide sequencing, it is necessary to go through a number of complex and detailed processes which include extracting DNA from an environment sample, checking the DNA quality, using the extracted DNA as a template in order amplifying the target fragment via a PCR (polymerase chain reaction), adding an index to the amplified target fragment, purifying the generated product, and adjusting the concentration.

Under the guidance of Dr. Nurul Asyifah Mustapha, a doctoral researcher at the Maeda Laboratory, the nine trainees learned how to correctly perform these procedures and deepened their knowledge on the advanced technology.

写真5 Trainees perform processes for the next-generation sequencer
写真6 Trainees give a presentation on their training results

The following is feedback from trainees who participated in the program.

★Ariestya (Indonesia)

“I am very pleased to have a chance as one of the participants of Sakura Science exchange program. I got to know and to learn much from Japan: its culture, technology, people, system, and many other positive things to apply in my own institution. Especially in this period, I had a great opportunity to learn new technology used in Kyushu Institute of Technology (Miseq) which is important to the development of research and collaboration opportunity in the near future. Thank you.” SAKURA Exchange Program in Science ”

写真7 Ariestya happily holds her training certificate from the SAKURA Science program

★Fatin (Malaysia)

“I had a wonderful experience at this Sakura Science Program and I'm very thankful that I had this opportunity. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other incoming exchange students in other countries like Taiwan, Indonesia, China and Vietnam. I found the Sensei and lab tours great, and that the program was incredibly immersive that allowing us to learn about the Miseq for future. ”

★Guan (Taiwan)

“In sakura plan, I experience Japanese culture and research institutes. I think living, eating and service are high standards in Japan. The research in Japan are rigorous, make a perfect environment for working experiment. Therefore, I learn much experience from Japan. Finally, Japan is a great country, Japanese are a wonderful ethnic. ”

Although we cannot list all of the feedback that we received, it is overwhelmingly positive and shows the value of the training. We truly hope for the opportunity to continue joint research using next-generation sequencer technology.

写真8 A trainee (Guan from Taiwan) holds her certificate while standing next to the Dean of the Graduate School.

In closing, we would like to express our most sincere gratitude to the SAKURA Science program for making the program possible. We would also like to thank the staff at participating facilities for their cooperation, and the staff at the Kyushu Institute of Technology for supporting the program.


Trainees and Japanese students enjoy themselves at the farewell party