Whether I was able to conduct my research according to my plan:
Despite the relatively short research time that I had in Japan, I was able to get preliminary results on the study that I arranged prior to my departure. Not only that, but also thanks to the excellent guidance that I got from the host institution supervisor and colleagues, I was able to fully design and set a completely new approach to study my protein of interest. Due to this I would like to say that my stay in Japan exceeded my research plan.
Accomplishments and experiences I would never have gotten unless I joined the Summer Program:
Regarding my research, I developed very valuable cell-lines for my project at home and I have learned very useful lab techniques that will definitely be helpful in future projects. About my personal experience, I had the chance to discover a completely different culture and meet very interesting people that otherwise would not have met. Also, I travelled to different places in Japan often with other Summer Program fellows. The chance to meet and live for a weekend with a native Japanese family was a very rewarding experience from which I learned a lot.
How do I make good use of this experience in my future research:
This experience has given me the tools to push my research forward in various ways. First, I can keep working with the cells that my colleagues and I developed during this summer in Japan. Second, I have gained invaluable experience just by learning and working side by side with so many amazing people, both professionally and personally. Third, this great experience opened up the possibility to establish collaboration between my group in Sweden and my host institution in Japan in the future.
Message for future participants:
Do not waste your time. Work, learn and travel as much as you can. Be open-minded and experience this amazing country every single day of your stay. It is totally worth it. This whole program is a unique experience that nobody should miss.
Name: Julen Goicolea Title: PhD-student Institution: Karolinska Institutet Host Institution in Japan: The University of Tokyo