2023 Activity Report vol.14:University of Tsukuba

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2023 vol.14 (Course A)

Undergraduate Science Course in Tsukuba 2023

Report from the College of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine and Health Sciences,
University of Tsukuba

 The College of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Tsukuba held its ninth Undergraduate Science Course in Tsukuba 2023 from August 27 to September 2, 2023, with support from the JST SAKURA SCIENCE Exchange Program. In the past, we have invited university students from our partner schools in the Asian region (Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc.), but this year we also accepted participants from Egypt, inviting a total of 11 students to the program; we felt that this enabled exchange from a more diverse perspective. The program aimed to introduce Japanese medical research to the world, invite young talents from other countries to Japan, and train the scientists of the future.

Activity Report Photo 1
Group photo after orientation

 During the program, the visiting students were paired up with students from our College of Medical Sciences. They were assigned to a medical laboratory, such as Experimental Zoology, Gene Regulation, Experimental Pathology, Sleep Medicine, Metabolic Endocrinology, Hematology, Immunology, Virology, and Regenerative Medicine, and engaged in learning and research about real‑life research challenges and techniques. Some students were bewildered by the first surgery and the equipment, but the faculty members and graduate students of the laboratories that hosted them offered guidance, and so they were also able to put things into practice. It is our hope that young researchers who have plenty of potential for growth will generate new discoveries and knowledge by stimulating each other.

Activity Report Photo 2
An experiment in a laboratory

 The participants also engaged in observation at the University of Tsukuba Hospital in addition to their activities in the laboratories. They experienced the latest medical technologies, such as proton beam therapy, X‑ray therapy, and brachytherapy, at the hospital's Proton Beam Therapy Center, and observed equipment such as the proton beam particle accelerator. In addition to increasing their practical knowledge of the field of medicine, the participants gained knowledge and insight into their specialist fields.

Activity Report Photo 3
Observing at the hospital

 The students attended lectures by Assistant Professor Cosmin Florescu on presenting in English at our Medical English Communication Center (MECC). The MECC provides education about specialist medical English, and offers a variety of courses and events to help students improve their English, with the aim of global academic exchange. Some of the younger participants in particular had very little experience giving presentations, but we were able to provide guidance that suited each person's level, and they were thus able to learn about presentation techniques and know‑how with the goal of being able to give presentations at international academic conferences in the future.

Activity Report Photo 4
A lecture

 The participants also shared information about their own national cultures and universities, discussed their career plans with each other, and talked about their dreams. This was a valuable opportunity for exchange, in which people from different cultures and backgrounds could gain mutual understandings and new knowledge and perspectives. It was surely a significant experience for the participants.

 Then, on the final day of the program, the participants gave presentations about the outcomes of the research they had experienced in their laboratories. Although they were all nervous, each participant was able to give a presentation in English on their own research topics with detailed explanations and outcomes, and to hold a discussion. Following the presentation session, they were awarded certificates of completion. We hope that this program will lead to more profound exchanges between the College of Medical Sciences and our partner schools in the future.

 The Undergraduate Science Course in Tsukuba 2023 finished successfully, with the leading faculty members seeing the visiting participants off at the airport, where they left Japan. We are very grateful to the JST Sakura Science Program and all its associates for their support.