- International Student Seminar
19th International Student Seminar
“In times of darkness, science shines bright in leading the way”
The 19th International Student Seminar (ISS) is an event bringing together members of the community within the Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, to share their cutting-edge research in life sciences through scientific presentations.
Since its inception, the ISS has served as a place for budding student researchers to show their excitement and passion for research.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISS has been called off for nearly 3 years. In times of adversity akin to this situation, our hope lies in scientific endeavour which shines a light on the way forward, by discovery and innovation. Thus, the 19th ISS carries the slogan “Science Shines Bright in the Dark”.
Let us bring back the joy of discussing and sharing our research in a physical setting through the 19th ISS, and long may science shine bright in our efforts to understand life in all its forms.
The 19th International Student Seminar (ISS) was held on 1st March 2023, from 9am to 5pm at Shiran Kaikan, with a total of 155 GSB students, faculty and staff participating. Of these, 8 students gave oral presentations, 59 students did poster presentations and 78 non-presenting participants also took part. In addition, 10 undergraduate students from GSB’s Spring School also joined the ISS.
Since its inception, the ISS has served as an annual GSB event to bring together students of diverse fields and backgrounds to share their research in a scientific conference format. It is a unique opportunity for students to learn about the research being done in different laboratories at GSB, to build scientific and social networks among their peers, and to improve scientific presentation skills in English. However, due to COVID-19 the ISS has been cancelled for the last three years. Due to an improvement in pandemic conditions, GSB was able to hold the ISS this year, and a student volunteer committee was formed to organize the 19th ISS. The slogan for this year’s ISS was: “Science Shines Bright in the Dark” to embody the importance of scientific endeavours especially in times of adversity.
The ISS was officially opened with a welcome message from Chun K. Lim, chair of the student volunteer committee, at Inamori Hall, followed by two oral presentation sessions, each comprised of four talks. The talks represented a wide variety of GSB research: developmental neurobiology, cancer biology, DNA replication, plant photosynthesis, transgenic technology for bioimaging, retrotransposon biology, membrane biology, and disease modelling using iPS cells. After a short lunch break, the event resumed with two poster presentation sessions from 2pm to 4pm in Yamauchi Hall.
Like previous ISSs, prizes were awarded to students judged to give the best oral presentation in their session, and to the top five poster presenters. Four senior GSB faculty kindly volunteered to appraise the oral presentations: Professor Imayoshi, Professor Harada, Professor Nakano and Professor Katayama. The top five poster presentations were chosen by votes cast by all the ISS participants.
The event was concluded with a short awards and closing ceremony. The Dean Professor Hideya Fukuzawa began with a short speech, and then some comments to the student participants were given by Professor Nakano, representing the panel of four judges from the oral presentation sessions. The two oral presentation prize winners were Ko Imaizumi (Nakano lab) and Panpan Zhang (Suzuki lab) for their talks “Improvement of the oxygen-evolving activity of photosystem II by a single amino acid mutation” and “Extracellular calcium functions as a molecular glue for transmembrane helices to activate the scramblase Xkr4” respectively. The best poster presentation was won by Akiko Ide (Imayoshi lab) for her poster “Task engagement impact on granule cell dynamics in the olfactory bulb”. The four poster presentation runners-up were: Chuying Zhou (Kengaku lab), Shinji C. Nagasaki (Imayoshi lab), Ceylin Zeybek (Matsuda lab) and Carlos Rodriguez (Carlton lab). Prize certificates were awarded to each of the winners by the Dean. After the presentation of awards, Akiko Ide, vice-chair of the student volunteer committee, delivered the closing remarks, and the ISS was officially ended with a commemorative group photograph.
In summary, the 19th ISS was highly successful and enjoyed by all participants. The Dean Professor Fukuzawa expressed his pleasure with the scientific discussion and lively interaction between the GSB students. We would like to thank all the participants who made the 19th ISS a great success and observed COVID-19 precautionary measures throughout the event, and look forward to the 20th ISS in 2024.