Science Summer Program 2012 - Third Day

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Third Day—August 15 (Wednesday)

Lecture 6: Innovation Research Project and Advanced Medical Research Center

Hisashi Hirano (Ph.D.), Prof., Graduate School of Nanobioscience; Director, Advanced Medical Research Center, YCU

Dr. Hisashi Hirano, the director of the Advanced Medical Research Center, introduced the mission of the center, which was established as a university-wide facility in 2011. This lecture was part of the Japan Science Technology Agency’s outreach program.

Dr. Hirano discussed the importance of the innovative science that is demanded by today’s most advanced medical treatment. This science includes translational research, which links fundamental medical science to clinical practice. During his presentation, Dr. Hirano included his own experiences in using proteomics research to create a new field of medicine.

Lecture 7: Proteomic Approach to Protein Alterations Implicated in Aging and Geriatric Deseases

Toshifusa Toda (Ph.D.), Specially Appointed Prof., Advanced Medical Research Center, YCU

Dr. Toshifusa Toda, a contract professor at the university, spoke on the importance of research in which analyses of proteins related to aging and geriatric diseases are used to aid in diagnosis and other areas of medicine.

Dr. Toda, who is a pioneer in proteome (comprehensive analysis of protein) research related to aging, provided an easy-to-understand explanation of the mechanisms of geriatric diseases that have been revealed through electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, and explained recently discovered findings in this area.

Lecture 8: Fascinating Function of AMPA Receptor

Takuya Takahashi (M.D., Ph.D.), Prof., Graduate School of Medicine, Advanced Medical Research Center, YCU

Dr. Takuya Takahashi, a professor at the Advanced Medical Research Center, gave a lecture on the vital influence that stimuli and the environment have on the glutamic acid receptors in the brain.

The students were introduced to cutting-edge research into AMPA receptors, which are key receptors in the brain. The research revealed that when a child is abandoned by his or her mother in infancy, AMPA receptors, which normally move to nerve cells and facilitate transmission, do not migrate; stress hormones increase; and the body’s senses do not function as well.

Lecture 9: The Production of Sperm in a Dish

Takehiko Ogawa (M.D., Ph.D.), Assoc. Prof., Graduate School of Medicine, Advanced Medical Research Center, YCU

Dr. Takehiko Ogawa, who recently announced that he had succeeded in differentiating sperm from cultured cells from the testes of azoospermic specimen mice and that the sperm is fertile, gave a lecture on the latest topics in cellular engineering.

This meaningful lecture taught the students the importance of basic research, and many students asked Dr. Ogawa questions. Students experienced the thrill of science and saw how basic research is shedding light on the clinically important issue of treating male infertility.

Practical Class 2: Mission Rehearsal Type Surgical Simulator

Yoshinobu Kubota (M.D., Ph.D.), Prof., Graduate School of Medicine; Vice President of YCU

Dr. Yoshinobu Kubota—who is a vice president of Yokohama City University and together with public research institutions and private companies developed a cutting-edge simulator to provide training in difficult surgical operations—discussed the importance of incorporating a variety of sciences to inspire medical progress.

Training Description
By operating the surgery simulator at the university hospital, the students learned how simulation science, software development, and cybernetics (getting closer to the human senses) have been fused to create an advanced device that provides high-quality medical treatment and has given birth to a new industry.


After the programs at the School of Medicine and the university hospital finished, the students engaged in a wide-ranging discussion with Professors Ogawa and Toda, reviewing what they had learned and experienced. The way that the Yokohama City University students eagerly posed their questions and the extensive notes of the student from University Sains Malaysia—who was clearly striving to absorb the latest medical science—demonstrated how meaningful and successful this program was.