The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research
Before coming to Japan I was working in a laboratory at the Université de Perpignan (France). The two professors in charge of that laboratory spent one year as JSPS fellows some years ago. For them the experience was highly positive, especially for their professional carriers. Since I was looking for a post-doc position to improve my knowledge and abilities about biosensors research, they encouraged me to apply for a JSPS fellowship under the supervision of Prof. Karube.
Our main aim was to develop a SPR-based biosensor system for okadaic acid detection. After some preliminary studies, we developed a SPR strategy able to detect okadaic acid under the limits set by legislation. However, we found some alternative detection systems able to achieve lower detection limits. In this way, it has been very interesting the collaboration with different laboratories from my host institution. The developed strategies enable to determine okadaic acid at the lowest theoretical limits of detection, being confirmed by the measurement of spiked mussels and scallops samples. Our research work was presented at two international congresses.
Advice to new fellows
It is very difficult to find some general advices since fellows are coming from very different research environments and they will be working as well in different working places. Nevertheless, based on the politeness and fair behaviour of Japanese people, I think that being honest and kind can be the guarantee to feel comfortable in this society. From my point of view, always is very helpful when arriving for the first time to a new working place, to be prepared to learn a new working way. But also, it is very fruitful in many aspects to be involved as much as possible in a new culture. Finally, I really encourage fellows to participate in different kinds of activities, related to work or leisure. As an example, the Science Dialogue Program offers a good opportunity to share impressions with teachers and to interact with high-school students.