Message from Current Members

yogiMy name is Yogi Umbarawan, I am a medical doctor graduate from Indonesia. I joined this lab in October 2013 as a PhD student after Professor Kurabayashi kindly accepted my application. I have been doing research in this lab under Dr. Iso and Dr. Koitabashi supervision. My research topic mainly is about heart failure, especially, cardiac metabolism in heart failure, using defective fatty acid utilization animal model, such as fatty acid binding protein 4 and 5, CD36, and fatty acid synthase knocked out mice. It has been always my dream to learn to do a research in cardiovascular field. Putting yourself in a research field was not easy task for me to begin with, as I did not have any basic in conducting experiment, yet the people in this lab were eager to help me learning many skills more than I expected, yes more than I expected. Before joining this lab, I have a list of what skills that I want to learn during my PhD program, and it turns out that I learnt a lot, more than what I expect on the list. Not to mention from making various cardiovascular disease animal models, basic molecular biology lab skills, and step by step on how to conduct a proper research and generating research ideas through mentoring and intensive discussion with the supervisors, and so on. In general, PhD student life itself in this lab is flexible, you can arrange your own experiment schedule, do experiment as you wish, means you can practice all the skills anytime using all the facilities provided 24/7 (yes, you have your own key to access the lab), and one of the most important things, in my case, is that the supervisors will always be there for you, means you will always have someone you can talk to and discuss with about experiment-related problems you’d deal with, thus you won’t be off the track. The lab provides everything you need for your research project purpose, the staffs who has different specific skills you can learn from, and in case no one in the lab has particular skills you need for your project, often you will be sent or just ask to be sent to another department or university to take internship as necessary. Another best part is that after your hard work, with your research data, you can go to attend big cardiovascular scientific conferences inside and outside Japan. With all those flexibilities, facilities, and supports provided by this lab, I would say that your research achievement here heavily depends on yourself, your hard work after all.

What about the language barrier? Yes, the problem indeed existed in daily life, especially when you come to Japan with zero Japanese skills like me, but it exists just in the beginning, of your first 6 months. In daily lab activity and PhD student life, I had barely significant problem related to language barrier in this lab since the professor and supervisors are fluent in English. I started learning Japanese through practicing with lab members who prefer Japanese to communicate, in addition to Japanese course provided by the university, so basically they’d be your Japanese conversation teachers. So don’t worry, you’d be able to overcome the language barrier way better after 1 year more or less.

In my perspective, if you are interested in research, this lab is more than enough to fulfill your expectation on what you want to learn during your PhD program in cardiovascular field. I’d probably say that this lab is one of the best lab in this university, I chose the right one, no regret.