Leader’s Voice 01
Yu Toguchi
Pilot Student Who Took on the Challenge in the First Year
This Program Is for Your Own Growth

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Leader’s Voice 01<br />Yu Toguchi<br />Pilot Student Who Took on the Challenge in the First Year<br />This Program Is for Your Own Growth

Hokkaido University Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Department of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Biological Chemistry Lab
Doctorate Course, Second Year

Yu Toguchi


Specialized Research
 I am trying to clarify new functions of tumor suppression with protein p53 (most important for preventing cancer), approaching it from the biochemistry and cellular biology perspectives.

●My Path for Taking the Course
I truly felt the university’s sincerity at the information session.

After being assigned to a laboratory, I awoke to the fun of biochemistry and proceeded to the Master’s Degree Program. Subsequently, around November 2013, I started hunting for a job. However, on my advisor Professor Kazuyasu Sakaguchi’s recommendation, I attended the pilot student recruitment information session for this program. Even as the session was being conducted, I decided to apply.
From the information session, I felt the university’s sincerity regarding training young leaders. Further, more than anything else, I was eager to take up any one of the various curricula, which included some on international collaboration! Attending the many lessons conducted in workshop and conversational formats was a mouth-watering prospect. Even if it is not of help instantly, such wide-ranging knowledge and experience will surely serve me well in the future. This is the optimal curriculum for an inquisitive person like me.

His hobby during his time as an undergraduate was bicycling, and he travelled to Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Southeast Asia. Mr. Toguchi is foremost in the photo.

●Deeply Impressive Curriculum 1
Learn “the Ability to Involve People” by Managing Large-Scale Events.

Students perform all the planning, preparation, and management of the National Student Meeting of Leading Graduate Schools. When I participated in the second meeting in Kumamoto, I was stimulated by the outstanding talents who had gathered from all over the country. I then tried my hand at being the chair of the executive committee at the third meeting held in Hokkaido.
In addition to the workshops on task creation during this two-day period, the all-English proceedings were popular with international students. Upon receiving resounding applause from the participants at the closing ceremony, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Personally, I truly felt that I was able to develop “the ability to involve people” (necessary for the ideal image of a leader) by managing a large-scale event attended by more than 150 people.

The Third National Student Meeting of Leading Graduate Schools conference. Mr Toguchi, chair of the executive committee, is seated front row, center.

●Deeply Impressive Curriculum 2
Directly Connects to a Harvest Obtained by Enough Language Skills
to Take Part in Discussions.

In March 2014, I went to the U.S. for one week, using Overseas Networking Support. I visited three laboratories; however, I strongly felt that if I went abroad for an internship before mastering enough language skills for discussing research content, my harvest would be low. This meant that the benefits of learning at top-class overseas laboratories would be weaker.
Thanks to this overseas journey, I devoted myself even more to English lessons after I returned home and obtained a TOEIC score of 820. During a 74-day overseas internship, I was able to enrich myself every day at the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), where I was accepted. I believe it was greatly significant that I was able to appreciate and act upon the necessity of language skills in advance.

●Message to My Junior Colleagues
Have an Attitude of “I Play the Leading Role” Instead of Feeling Obligated or Compelled.

What made me decide to move to the industrial world after obtaining my doctoral degree was Seminars at Companies. When I listened to Mr. Atsushi Nanasawa from the Asahi Kasei Corporation High-Function Polymer Technology Development Center, a visiting professor at this program, I was deeply impressed by these business people’s perspectives—they keep their eyes peeled on global trends.
We pilot students had some trials and errors peculiar to the first year, and even though I tried to prepare before I applied, the schedule was even harder than I had imagined. The bonds of camaraderie and mutual help in our class were deepened. However, it is essential for students in any class to have the strong will to “make use of this program and try to grow.” Self-awareness and following the precept “Leadership is within me” is important.