AUTHOR

OTS

DATE

August 21, 2014

CATEGORIES
SHARE

Looking for something?

  • Category

Get the Latest News!

Interview with Takenori Shimo, Doctoral Candidate at Osaka University

Takenori Shimo received both his B.S. and M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Osaka University, Japan. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University. His research interests include nucleic acid chemistry, especially modulating splicing by using antisense oligonucleotides.

Q: How did you become interested in the field? Q: Who were your early mentors?

A: When I was an undergraduate student, I was able to have the opportunity to learn from Prof. Satoshi Obika, a well-known Japanese researcher in nucleic acids chemistry, who informed me about nucleic acid therapy. After that, I came to know that he and his colleagues had succeeded in synthesizing locked nucleic acid (also known as 2’-O,4’-C methylene bridged nucleic acids) in the late 1990s. I was fascinated by the potential of LNA and various artificial nucleic acids for the treatment of genetic disorders. Finally, in 2011, I decided to join his laboratory as an undergraduate, master’s and doctoral student conducting biological experiments.

Q: How did you become involved in OTS?

A: When I was studying for my master’s degree, I had the opportunity to attend my first OTS annual meeting held in Boston in 2012, thanks to an invitation by Prof. Obika. I was very impressed by the splendid research related to nucleic acids therapy that had been gathered worldwide from both academia and industry. I believe that being involved in OTS is key for discussing with experts hot topics ranging from chemistry to biology related to nucleic acids therapy. Finally, I decided to be a member of OTS, and I am going to have a poster presentation at the annual meeting held in San Diego in October, 2014.

Q: Why do you continue to support the society?

A: To strengthen my knowledge about nucleic acid therapy, it is necessary for me to continue to be a member of OTS. I would like to submit an article to the society journal, Nucleic Acids Therapeutics, and try to do a presentation at annual meetings as much as possible. I also believe that OTS has an invaluable mission to spread knowledge and promoting public understanding about nucleic acids therapeutics.

Q: What is special about the type of research you’ve conducted?

A: My research currently focuses on modulating splicing by using antisense-oligonucleotides. Recently we submitted a paper about the design of LNA based splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSO) in vitro (Shimo, T., et. al., (2014) Design and evaluation of locked nucleic acid-based splice-switching oligonucleotides in vitro. Nucleic Acids Research, 42, 8174-8187.). In my future plan, I would like to evaluate the efficacy of SSO with various artificial nucleic acids in my doctoral research.

Q: In your free time, what do you like to do?

A: My hobby is running, especially full marathons. I have participated in around 20 city marathons in Japan, such as in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Okinawa, and so on. In the near future, I would like to try popular international races like in New York City, Berlin and Melbourne.

Q: What is one characteristic of your student life?

A: I am a member of the Cross Boundary Innovation (CBI) program*, Osaka University, which is a competitive sub-program for Ph.D. students in Osaka University. The CBI program assigns a variety of coursework to participating students in order to produce both multidisciplinary and international leaders from Japanese Ph.D. holders. Thanks to this program, I could have a lot of opportunities to study abroad and learn about recent trends in drug development. I am focusing on an alliance between industries and academia in Western countries. I had the opportunity to visit the Center for Drug Research and Development, Canada, and both the BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH and European Screening Port GmbH, Germany. I found each company had well-organized collaborations with pharmaceutical industries, academia and local government. Two years later, I have a chance to study abroad as a long-term internship student. Right now, I am looking for internship opportunities in both academia and industry.

*The program is specially supported by the Japanese government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Related articles