The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research
One of the main reasons why I have chosen Japan is due to my current research interest focusing on the genetics of asthma and related respiratory diseases. The incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases are continually on the rise especially in developed countries. Many large cohort and family studies have been done in the Western countries like UK, USA and Australia but relatively little have been done in Asian countries. My aim is to compare and contrast genome wide scan results in two cohort study (Australian and Japanese). The expertise and facilities in my host laboratory is the other reason why I have come to Japan.
I have completed a full genome-wide scan using around 30,000 markers in an Australian cohort. Some of the results have been summarised and submitted to the American Thoracic Society Conference which I am hoping to attend in May 2006.
Advice to new fellows
Savour this opportunity given to you by making the most out of your stay in Japan, academically, socially and culturally. Despite of any language barrier, try to remain academically active by presenting your work, attending local meetings and discussing work with colleagues both within and outside your host institute. Remembering that you are also here to experience Japanese way of living, their customs and culture, therefore be prepared to accept and respect certain things done the “Japanese” way. Remain socially active amongst your Japanese colleagues and friends, you will be amazed how much more fun life in Japan will be once you become part of them. Not only will you learn so much more from them than from any Japanese cultural text books but at the same time your Japanese colleagues will also learn more about you, your work and your country too.