One Step Closer to Better Medicine at TIT
One Step Closer to Better Medicine at TIT
  • Reporter Song Sung-chan
  • 승인 2019.02.11 22:56
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From Jan 19th to 22nd, the members of The Postech Times visited Tokyo, Japan. On the third day, we stopped by one of the most prestigious technology university in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT). At TIT Suzukakedai campus, we had the honor of interviewing professor Nobuhiro Nishiyama at the Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science.
Prof. Nishiyama’s main research is on the biomedical application of synthetic polymer. In other words, he aims to use polymers in nanomedicines. When asked about his motive for the researches in the polymer-based nanomedicine, Prof. Nishiyama underscored his interest in chemistry and a newspaper article by professor Kazunori Kataoka, who later become Prof. Nishiyama’s laboratory professor.

Have you ever conducted a research with Korean universities before?
Prof. Nishiyama has not conducted a research with Korean universities yet. However, he does have many Korean friends, including a POSTECH Chemistry professor, Kim Won-jong, whom he met at professor Jindrich Kopecek’s laboratory in the University of Utah. Also, he had the opportunity to meet other Korean researchers by working at Kim Sang-won’s laboratory. Prof. Nishiyama mentioned that he is “very interested in collaboration with Korean researchers.”

How accessible are professors to their students?
As of the relationship between the professors and the students, Prof. Nishiyama has “three assistant professors in my laboratory who take care of the students.” Also, on Saturdays, the Prof. Nishiyama meets with three or four students, and with 20 bachelor and graduate students in his laboratory, that means that “each student can meet the professor once a month.”

Have you ever considered the Flipped Learning?
According to the professor, flipped learning is a government policy for the bachelor students. Students are “given a problem and students look for the solution and invent some stuff and the reviewer from the company evaluate their stuff.” As of the graduate students, they are given credits for internships at companies.

Are textbooks in English or Japanese? How about the lectures?
At TIT, the bachelor students study in Japanese while the graduate students study in English. However, if there are foreign student in the class, a “special class in English” opens. But, “most of the students in bachelor take the entrance examination in Japanese,” so Japanese class is not a considerable problem.

What are the usual career paths for the TIT students?
For TIT students, most student prefer master’s course over Doctor’s course. The reason, according to Prof. Nishiyama, is that “in Japanese society, the company do not respect the Ph. D so much because chemical companies want to educate their employee by themselves.”

What are your goals in the future after you finish your research in progress?
When asked about his future goals, he claimed that it is important “not only to publish the paper but also to commercialize many stuff.” Because the pharmaceutical companies do not use the polymer, Prof. Nishiyama wants to “change the society…and distribute this concept to the field of the drug discovery and development.” He is considering “foundation of the venture company as one way to realize his goal.”
To the readers of The Postech Times, Prof. Nishiyama said that he wants to visit POSTECH in the near future and “have not only the research but also the human exchange.”