A recommendation for overseas research

Wataru Katagiri
Year: 2nd year of PhD candidate / RA2015
Belonging: Graduate School of Science and Technology
Destination: Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School
Duration: April, 2018 to March, 2020

1.First major research field

I am investigating biophysical-immunological reaction by laser. I am working to develop a near-infrared laser device for clinical applications while elucidating the detailed mechanisms of this action and exploring other application possibilities involving immunity for patients.

2.Reason for choosing study destination

In order to pursue medicine-engineering orchestration, I moved my research from Yagami to Massachusetts General Hospital, which is one of the most renowned large hospitals in the United States. My current laboratory was introduced to me by a professor who does joint research. My primary mission is to clarify the in vivo movement of vaccines using imaging technology that was developed by my laboratory. The biomedical field is one in which research takes time. Nonetheless, I am making maximum use of my extremely advantageous environment and taking the next step toward further exploration and practical application.

3.Achievements and difficulties experienced through international study

Boston is a place where people of truly varied backgrounds—students, researchers, businesspeople, and others—gather and routinely interact (= go drinking). Going abroad to do research provides fewer opportunities to interact with people of other countries than going abroad as a regular student to take courses and the like. However, networking among Japanese is extremely active. What people hope to get from overseas study differs depending on the individual. However, I think doing overseas research in Boston provides an excellent chance to, in particular, gather information on, gain an overall view of, and reexamine Japan’s society and economy.

The institute containing my laboratory
A PET scanner owned by the research center I belong to
On the campus of the Harvard Medical School
A tour of IBM Watson Health’s headquarters, which was made possible through the kindness of our mentor, Professor Shigeki Ishikawa