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International Collaboration: launching "NIG-IISER Collaboration"

To promote scientific interactions and exchanges world wide, NIG has been sponsoring collaboration projects and international symposia.This year, select institutions in India were invited to send their graduate students to NIG for a 3 month collaboration project. PhD student Ranveer Jayani from Dr. Sanjeev Galande's lab (IISER Pune) worked in the Sasaki Lab (Division of Human Genetics) from March to May, under the project title "Role of post-translational modifications in function of the global regulator SATB1". 
 
 
Three months of fusion between work and fun at NIG: a memorable chapter in my career
(Ranveer Jayani, IISER Pune, India)

I had always been fascinated by the culture and living of Japanese people and wanted to know what made Japan become one of the leading economy and technological powerhouse of the world. Japan is also known for its talented scientists and for their seminal contributions to modern biology. A short term visit to National Institute of Genetics (NIG) provided an opportunity for me to experience all of the above. I had the privilege of being selected as the first international student to visit NIG under a new program initiated by NIG to extend their collaboration with other institutes, outside Japan. Before going to Japan, I had many worries, especially about the food and being in a foreign land all by myself. But all my worries were grounded in the initial few days of my stay at NIG. During my three months stay at NIG, I found out that the people in Japan are very loving, caring and helping kinds. They will do everything possible under the Sun to help out a person in need (and I have many personal experiences to vouch for this). Sometimes, I used to feel embarrassed by the fact that everyone in the super market would run around searching for a particular type of wheat flour for me or passengers waiting patiently (to get the tickets) while the station master was busy giving me directions to get out of the station! I must mention that I enjoyed every moment of my stay at NIG as well as my life outside the NIG campus.

The visit to NIG, one of the frontier research institutes in the field of genetics worldwide, was a dream come true for me. While working in the laboratory of Prof. Hiroyuki Sasaki, I got first hand experience of many new techniques which will be of great help for me to complete my doctoral thesis. It was a real pleasure to work with the members of the Sasaki laboratory, who were ever ready to help me out with any of my doubts or problems. They also made sure that I had lots of fun during the stay by arranging picnics and outings. The administrative staff was also very helpful and supportive. Although there was a language barrier but it was never a hindrance and I could communicate with people easily. The infrastructure at NIG is also fantastic and I never had any hurdles in my work. I am thankful to Prof. Sasaki, Head, Division of Human Genetics, Department of Integrated Genetics, Prof. T. Sado, Prof. K Ichiyanagi, all other lab members and the administrative staff of NIG for this wonderful chapter in my scientific career. This visit has provided a huge impetus to my scientific career. In addition to the technical knowledge, this visit also contributed towards my overall personality growth. I met several people from related research fields and got the opportunity to interact with them and to know their work. If I were to summarize my experiences, I would simply like to recapitulate my feelings towards the end of my stay - I was wondering why it is coming to an end so soon! Thank you all!!!