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The 2nd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Genome Editing & The Conference for BioSignal

Shinkansen (super rapid train) passing Mishima Station

I attended the 2nd annual meeting of the Japanese society of genome editing in Osaka. Fortunately, our topic was selected for a talk, so I gave both oral and poster presentations, which I think went well. The biggest achievement in this meeting for me was to get to know other scientists, especially PIs, who use/study genome editing. To do so, giving a talk was huge, as I was able to easily talk to other scientists about our research. To be selected for a talk, we had to submit a good abstract, and to do so, we had to do good science. Good science is the basis of success (yes, of course). In the field of genome editing, it is not unfair to say the innovations have happened outside of Japan. We tended to be just users of genome editing in Japan. However, now innovations have been happening in Japan, such as MMEJ-mediated knock-in by Dr. Yamamoto's lab, TET and dCas9-mediated targeted demethylation by Dr. Hatada's lab, deaminase-dCas9-mediated genome editing without cutting DNA by Dr. Nishida's lab, and so on. Hopefully, our lab will contribute to this list in the future.

I got a lot of inputs that directly help our project. I would like to participate in the meeting with the other lab members next year.

After that meeting, I attended the Conference for BioSignal and Medicine 2017 organized by Dr. Shibasaki in our Institute in Atami. I rushed into a Shinkansen at Shin-Osaka station, but still missed all the talks in the 1st day of the conference. I joined the conference during the dinner (which was great), and enjoyed onsen (Japanese hot spa). I gave a talk next day. This talk was a bit more on general focus of the projects in our lab, as the purpose of the meeting is to seek for potential collaborations and applications. It was nice to know people who work on applications that could help us in the future. Dr. Mizokami from IBM talked about their AI, Watson, which was impressive. I believed that the scientist is one of the most difficult jobs for AIs to replace. However, are we (or probably am I) really that creative and imaginative? I hope so. Isn't it possible for AIs to go through all the literatures in this world to come up with new hypotheses? I hope not, but I do not know.

Atami is one of the most famous onsen places in Japan, but this was my first time to visit the city. I was able to enjoy sushi for lunch after the 2nd day.

Atami is in between Osaka and Tokyo, although it is way closer to Tokyo. Therefore, I took Shinkansens (super rapid trains) from Shin-Osaka to Atami. However, I had to change trains from Hikari (means "light") to Kodama (means "echo") at Mishima station. This was my first time to change two Shinkansens. While I was waiting for Kodama, several Nozomi (means "hope") passed Mishima station. It was rare to see Shinkansens running, as I usually get on Shinkansens at terminals like Tokyo, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, and etc. Moreover, when Shinkansen is running, I am usually on that train. And, of course, the Shinkansen is so fast.

I gave two talks in two different meetings in two days. I was busy. While I was waiting for Kodama at Mishima station, I thought "yeah, now I am very PI-like".  大阪での日本ゲノム編集学会年会に参加しました。幸運なことに口頭発表に選んでいただいたため、ポスター発表と合わせて研究発表を行いました。最大の収穫は、ゲノム編集の研究をされている他の研究者の方々と知り合いになれたことです。その意味では、研究内容について話しやすくなるため、口頭発表に選ばれたことが非常に大きかったです。日本でもかなりゲノム編集の技術が開発されていることに感銘を受けました。近いうちに私達の研究室も貢献したいと思います。来年は研究室のみんなで参加できるといいと思いました。

 大阪での学会後、医学研の芝崎先生が主催されている熱海でのCBSM2017に参加しました。新大阪で新幹線に飛び乗ったのですが、一日目の夕食からの参加になりました。ホテルの温泉に入ることもできました。翌日に講演を行いました。研究室で進めている研究について、少し一般的な話をして、共同研究や応用への可能性を他の方々に探ってもらうことを目指しました。二日目にはIBMの溝上敏文先生が人工知能のWatsonのお話をしてくださり、大変面白かったです。研究者は人工知能で置き換えにくい職業のはず、と信じていました(信じています)が、どうなんでしょうか。熱海に行ったのは初めてでした。二日目の昼に食べた寿司はおいしかったです。  新大阪から熱海に到達するため、人生で初めての新幹線乗り換えを三島駅で経験しました(ひかり→こだま)。待っている間にのぞみが何回か駅を通過していきましたが、新幹線は速いです(当たり前)。普段なかなか全速力で走っているところを見ないので(駅を通過しているので、多分本当の全力ではないのでしょうが)。  二日間で二つの異なる学会のそれぞれで口頭発表があり、かなり忙しかったです。三島駅でこだまを待ちながら、「今、すげえPIっぽい」と思いました。

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