Message from Members

FY 2021
  • Ourlad Alzeus G. Tantengco
    Current Affiliation :
    University of the Philippines, Manila College of Medicine
    Country/Region :
    Name : Ourlad Alzeus G. Tantengco

Good day, here is my personal story about my Sakura Exchange Program way back in 2015. Thank you.

I am a 7th year MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine student at the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine and a predoctoral fellow at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX, USA.

I visited Osaka, Japan in 2015 together with my batchmates in the MD-PhD program of UP Manila for a short-term internship under the Sakura Exchange Program. Our host institution was the Department of Developmental Medicine, Research Institute, Osaka Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Through this exchange program, I was exposed to different molecular techniques and state-of-the-art equipment that are useful in health research. It also allowed me to network and form relationships with different physicians and scientists in Japan who later became my mentors and research collaborators. This experience also allowed me to develop my interest in obstetrics and gynecology research.

Dr. Itaru Yanagihara was our host researcher during our short-term internship in Osaka Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 2015. Dr. Yanagihara continued to provide opportunities for me to learn and expand my research expertise even after the Sakura Exchange Program. I went back to his lab in June 2018 to conduct research in his lab as part of my research elective in obstetrics and gynecology. I did research on HPV (human papillomavirus) genotyping and genetic detection of co-infection with other sexually-transmitted bacteria among cervical cancer patients in our university hospital. I also checked for polymorphisms that are associated with poor prognosis in cervical cancer. Dr. Yanagihara also allowed me to participate in other ongoing researches of his lab which allowed me to become a co-author of several research publications from his lab. I returned again to his lab in January 2019 to conduct more medical researches. At the end of my short stint in his lab, I was able to publish three research articles and one review paper in different international journals.

I am forever grateful to Dr. Nina Gloriani, Dr. Itaru Yanagihara, and JST for providing me the opportunity to visit Japan in 2015. That experience opened a lot of opportunities which helped me in becoming an excellent physician-scientist.