Why did you choose Division of Biological Science at NAIST?
It began when I was a master’s student and was told by UWS, a NAIST alumna, that NAIST is a very good place if I want to continue my doctoral study. She said that NAIST will help me to build confidence in the research world by providing me with knowledge and technique in advanced biology. The research atmosphere and educational system in (Bio) NAIST, she added, is like a training ground that will produce high-quality researchers readily to battle in a global research environment to provide benefit to the society. Also, she mentioned that NAIST where located on the edge of the city is a suitable place to learn and research without being disturbed by busy and rushed city life.
Fortunately, after I am being accepted to work at the Department of Biology, IPB University Indonesia, the same place I got my master’s degree, I have a chance to visit NAIST around 2018 to do an internship. After I witnessed it by myself, I could not agree more with UWS's statements. And if I can add, some former NAIST students, BJL and RIA, already show their shine at IPB University by holding some prestigious positions in academia and research life.
What do you like about Division of Biological Science at NAIST?
In addition to adequate facilities in my laboratory and Bio NAIST as a whole, I can say that I am very like the scientific atmosphere wherever and whenever you go. Especially, the Memorial Panel of Prof Emeritus Yamanaka that indirectly radiates positive energy to me to lift up my spirit in doing my research. I also like the weekly progress report and journal club held in my lab to hear people’s opinions and suggestions on my research and learn the advancement in the related fields.
What is your research topic?
I am mainly working on the herbivory of Golden Apple Snails towards rice. This rice pest can be found both in Indonesia and Japan. In addition, I also have research with some Sorghum mutant resistant to Striga, a parasitic plant. Both of them are an example of biological interaction between two organisms.
How is the atmosphere in your lab?
Overall, it is quite a good ambiance. Lab members are nice and I can interact casually as well as related to research work. Cui-san, an assistant professor, always ready to help the student by directing us on how to use a particular machine or teaching some techniques, and discuss research matters. Also, he is a caring and easygoing friend. Yoshida-sensei always presents in the time of student need, ready to discuss any research or off-research problem, and having her in biweekly research progress meetings is surely help me learn how to do research properly. Her good lab management skill and world researcher network also support the student to conduct the research without being burdened by funding.
What are your goals for the future?
In the time I graduated from NAIST, I hope I already establish a network with the international research community that will help me shape my research career. To be focused, I desire to become a researcher in the field of plant-organism interaction that has a good impact on Indonesia agriculture. Also, by experiencing and learning the educational system in NAIST, I would like to apply or adjust such a system, depending on the need, in my workplace.
What are your favorite places around NAIST?(fun places, highlights)
As for me, a couple of stairs towards Takayama Science Plaza is a good place to relax. When I have a free weekend, I go to some Japanese gardens scattered around Nara city, such as Yoshikien Garden. But, any Japanese garden is actually my best choice to stroll around.
What are your tips for enjoying life at NAIST?
Regarding the research life, I would like to recommend having a discussion with the experts, the professor(s), or the assistant prof(s), to gain some recommendations related to the research progress or problems. Join a scientific society or email overseas researchers also a good way to develop a research network. Some casual talk with another lab member also will help us build a healthy lab friendship. However, interaction with other people outside the lab or NAIST is also an important thing, more friends - local and international - will make our daily life brighter. Moreover, as a NAIST student, reading the student guidebook is a good start to decide how we want to live our life in NAIST. Traveling across Japan also an additional activity that can make our life in Japan memorable. Lastly, as a Muslim, having enough knowledge on how to find halal food is a must. Fortunately, the advancement of internet technology made the finding process easier.
How comfortable is the dormitory?
The couple dormitory I have been lived in is very comfortable. The facilities provided are enough to support our daily needs.
Please praise yourself!
Finally, I landed in Japan, a childhood dream come true, to do something that will provide benefits to my Indonesia.
※The content of this interview is current at the time of publication.