Ayjan Urazbayeva

NIGINTERN program is a great opportunity for young minds who pursue science. Being part of this program was a truly exciting experience. I am thankful for NIG selection committee and General Affairs/Education team for providing such a unique chance and exceptional organization throughout the internship.

For six weeks I have been working under the guidance of Sawa- sensei, whose lab is currently focusing on asymmetric cell division. The primary objective during the internship was to investigate how several proteins impact Wnt secretion and localization. As it was my first time conducting research with model organism C.elegans, I was instructed in a stepwise manner starting with basic techniques of maintenance proceeding with the analysis of mutant organisms and preparation of mutant strain. Besides providing a thorough insight into theoretical and practical aspects of the research, Sawa-sensei taught me how to interpret experimental results, especially unexpected ones. It would be also challenging to accomplish given tasks without the help of other lab members, who were very friendly and kind. Moreover, I would like to highlight the diversity of research undertaken at NIG with which I acquainted during the lab visits.

My stay in Japan became unforgettable thanks to the warm atmosphere of NIG and people from various parts of the world. It was a pleasure to become friends with other interns, PhD students and lab members, with whom we keep in touch even after the internship. During weekends, we spent time together exploring the enchanting nature of Japan, visiting Yokohama, Hakone, Kamakura, climbing Mt.Fuji and attending the local fireworks display. Yukata day organized by Matsuo-san was also remarkable.

For individuals willing to be committed to science and immersed into Japanese culture, I would recommend this internship without hesitation.