Student Voices(Athulya Aravind)

The contents of her interview as of May 2010

I wish to develop the effective medical methods of breast cancer by the most advanced bionanotechnology and to contribute the future of India and Japan.

Athulya Aravind

Athulya Aravind

New Science Bio-Nano Science Fusion Course

Q. What made you to choose Toyo University for your research studies?

I had completed my Masters course in Biotechnology and had been working as a lecturer in India for 1 year. During that time I had been to Japan for a three-month-training and had an opportunity to meet Dr. Kumar, Professor, Bio-Nano Electronic research center, Toyo University and through him, I came to know about the various facilities and opportunities available at Toyo University. I was inspired by sensei's talk and due to my interest in research I joined at Toyo University in autumn 2009.

Q. What is your present research? Can you briefly explain?

My research is on breast cancer. The present cancer therapy utilizes chemotherapy and surgery, a non-specific treatment option which harm the cancer cells as well as the normal cells. Hence my work focuses on exploiting the bionanotechology options for synthesizing nanosized delivery particles which specifically targets the tumor cells alone. I believe its going to be a happening and important research area in future.
I consider it to be a great luck to study in this great institution which provides all the required research facilities and to work under visionary faculties.

Q. Were you a self financing student?

Yes, I joined Toyo University as a self financing student in the autumn term of 2009. After joining here I applied through university for various scholarships and after lot of search, from the month of April 2010 I am awarded Monbukagakusho scholarship. As this scholarship comprises of the full tuition fees, living expenses and return ticket to my country after studies I feel at ease and could concentrate more on my research work. Monbukagakusho scholarship selection through university was highly competitive and I heard that this year only one student from Toyo University was admitted for this prestigious scholarship and luckily that was me. I wish to contribute my research work for the development of Japan and India.

Q. What are the hardships you faced while coming over to Japan for higher studies?

I had been to Japan before for a three-month-training in Japanese language and culture so that Japan was familiar to me. Also I had the opportunity to meet my sensei, Dr. Kumar and know about Toyo University and the research facilities. Hence I didn't have much difficulty to cope up with the environment. My work is guided by Kumar sensei and since the communication is mainly through English we don't have language problem. My little Japanese language knowledge also helps me to mingle and request help from other students and staffs while working in other labs. Everyone in the campus is so friendly and very helpful.

Q. What are the surprising facts you found while comparing India and Japan?

There are lots of surprising similarities between Indian and Japanese culture. We too have the same offering prayers during the time of harvest like the Japanese customs. When I came here before each and everything was surprising for me. Japanese people are very loving and hardworking people. I live in Tokyo with my friends, compared to Tokyo, India is more populated but the Japanese people maintain the public places very clean and neat.
I hail from Kerala, the southern part of India. Compared to Delhi, Kerala doesn't have winter hence winter and snow in Japan was a new experience for me.

Q. Your research is 3 years right? You plan to return back to your country after studies?

I plan to go back to India after studies and wish to continue my research along with teaching profession. Research in bionanotechnology is a never ending process. I don't know how much far I can proceed with my work within these 3 years but I wish to complete as much as possible at least up to invitro experiments results using rats. Breast cancer is a serious health issue among women even in India hence I focus all my efforts for developing effective treatment strategy for breast cancer.

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