TOMODACHI-STEM Scholars Participate in the First In-Person Exchange Since the Pandemic

As part of the four-week TOMODACHI-STEM Women’s Leadership and Research program, seven TOMODACHI-STEM scholars from Japan joined graduate-level research labs at academic institutions in the United States this spring. Last month, they returned to Japan safely after studying disciplines such as proteins found in neurodegenerative diseases, synthesizing peptides for novel biomaterials, and water purifying treatments in the lab. The young scholars majoring in science and engineering joined the program to explore graduate study and gain experience doing research in the United States. 

“I want to [get] my Ph.D. in the U.S. because when  I joined this program, I found out that my future dream involves research studies, or working in a company, especially in neuroscience,” Arisa Tamura of Tokyo Metropolitan University shared. Ms. Tamura was one of the scholars who worked with Lehigh University’s Professor Daniel Babcock whose research involves studying proteins in neurodegenerative diseases contributing to Parkinson’s disease. She would like to continue her research to address Alzheimer’s disease in Japan.

In addition to the research experience, students participated in cultural activities, engaged in leadership workshops, and visited the sponsoring program partner Dow Chemical in Philadelphia and Space Center Houston. “The whole experience has been amazing,” Maoko Fujisaki of Tokyo Institute of Technology said. “We have formed life-long relationships here, both with each other and with the other friends we met here.”

To learn more about the TOMODACHI STEM Leadership program, please click here.