Sakura Science exchange students experience Hokkaido University

University News | August 09, 2018

Graduate student explaining how meteorites are analyzed.

Graduate student explaining how meteorites are analyzed.

On August 6th, 2018, high school students from Thailand, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Japan toured the university’s research facilities as a part of the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, a Japan–Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science run by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The students were split into groups and were able to choose two distinct topics or facilities they would like to learn about.

The students were given the chance to see how meteorites are processed in the Isotope Imaging Laboratory by Professor Kotaro Abe, Creative Research Institution, and one of his graduate students. These students were also introduced to the types of cosmochemistry research taking place at the university.

Dr. Abe and some of the students wearing clean suits

Dr. Abe and some of the students wearing clean suits to enter the laboratory clean areas.

Some students chose to visit the School of Veterinary Medicine. There, they learned about optogenetics from Assistant Professor Chitoku Toda, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, after which they had the chance to design their own experiment in groups. They were also able to check out school’s exhibition room featuring full skeletons and animal specimens.

Group work photo.

Group work photo.

Students in the exhibition room.

Students looking at the items on display in the exhibition room.

The students also had the option of visiting the Arctic Research Center and hearing Assistant Professor Jorge Garcia Molinos talk about the challenges of climate change and how the phenomenon affects biodiversity. In this session, the students were able to brainstorm and discuss which factors are important in determining where species can be found in the environment.

Lastly, those who attended the zoonosis group attended a lecture provided by Professor Yasuhiko Suzuki, Research Center for Zoonosis Control, who talked about the complications surrounding zoonosis research as well as the types of activities happening at the center. Dr. Suzuki then focused on some of the center’s overseas projects and specific types of zoonotic viruses.

Dr. Molinos on climate change and biodiversity

Dr. Molinos talking about climate change and biodiversity

Dr. Suzuki lecturing on zoonoses.

Dr. Suzuki lecturing on zoonoses.

Written by Katrina-Kay Alaimo, Ph.D.