A Year in Review: 2020
2020 was a historic year with the coronavirus pandemic limiting work at office and business trips, and letting conferences, meetings, and lectures online. Even in this turbulent situation, many results were brought about by continuing the activities as usual.
We published our first video article on Journal of Visualized Experiments. By exploring expression in video medium instead of the conventional paper media, we strengthened research communication.
Liu Y, Liang Y, Wang M, Wang C, Wei H, Naruse K, Takahashi K. Model of Ischemic Heart Disease and Video-Based Comparison of Cardiomyocyte Contraction Using hiPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes. J Vis Exp. 2020 May 5;(159). doi: 10.3791/61104. PMID: 32449739.
Takahashi was awarded Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The research fund carries an award of ~$140K to uncover the common mechanism for myocardial infarction, stroke, and damage after kidney transplantation.
Okayama University has appointed Takahashi as a Research Associate Professor. The university established this position to promote a researcher who has excellent research ability to play an active role as a principal investigator.
UNCTAD Researcher Development Program
In a collaboration between the United Nations and Okayama University, researchers from Africa and ASEAN have been decided to participate in a new human resources development program. Takahashi was assigned as a host researcher for this program.
Takahashi gave two lectures about organ-on-a-chip research for the Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering and the Chem-Bio Informatics (CBI) Society. At the CBI Society, he gave a symposium lecture.
Takahashi K, Wang M, Liu Y, Liang Y, Wang C, Naruse K. Development of microfluidic cell culture system in preparation for human organ on a chip. 59th Annual Conference of Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering. May 26, 2020.
Takahashi K. Evaluation of organ function using human organ-on-a-chip. Chem-Bio Informatics Society Annual Meeting 2020. October 27, 2020.
Although it was a difficult situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcomed Dr. Cherry Maung, recommended by Ministry of Health and Sports in Myanmar, for a month.
Takahashi has been appointed as an editorial board member and a reviewer of 3 and 1 international academic journals, respectively.
To contribute to the development of science and medicine, Takahashi has performed 35 peer reviews for international academic journals. (Publon record is here)
2 rounds from Nov 2020 to Dec 2020 for Current Molecular Pharmacology
Reviewed: Dec 2020 for International Journal of Molecular Sciences
2 rounds from Nov 2020 to Dec 2020 for Molecules
Reviewed: Nov 2020 for Pathophysiology – Reviewed: Oct 2020 for Life Sciences
Reviewed: Oct 2020 for International Journal of Molecular Sciences
3 rounds from Aug 2020 to Oct 2020 for Life Sciences
4 rounds from Jun 2020 to Sep 2020 for Life Sciences
Reviewed: Sep 2020 for AIMS Biophysics
Reviewed: Jul 2020 for Journal of Biomechanics
Reviewed: Jul 2020 for Medical Science Monitor
Reviewed: Jul 2020 for Journal of Clinical Medicine
2 rounds from Jun 2020 to Jul 2020 for Antioxidants
Reviewed: Jul 2020 for Life Sciences
3 rounds from Apr 2020 to May 2020 for Applied Sciences
2 rounds from Apr 2020 to May 2020 for AIMS Biophysics
Reviewed: Apr 2020 for Journal of Visualized Experiments
Reviewed: Apr 2020 for Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal
Reviewed: Mar 2020 for Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal
2 rounds from Dec 2019 to Mar 2020 for Journal of Physiological Sciences
Reviewed: Mar 2020 for International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Reviewed: Feb 2020 for Insights on the Depression and Anxiety
Reviewed: Feb 2020 for Annals of Biomedical Science and Engineering
Reviewed: Jan 2020 for Biomedicines
Takahashi joined JSPS-LEADSNET Research Exchange Meeting to deepen exchanges with active, talented researchers.
Takahashi gave lectures to foster the next generation of researchers, doctors, and medical professionals. Due to the influence of COVID-19 pandemic, all lectures were given online. In some lectures, video lectures were prepared for the first time.
Apr 2020: Human Physiology (Master’s Course, Okayama University)
Jul 2020: Physiology Lecture (Dept. of Medicine, Okayama University)
Jul 2020: Physiology Practice (Dept. of Medicine, Okayama University)
Jun – Jul 2020: Physiology Lecture (Okayama University of Science)
Sep 2020: Myocardial Infarction Special Lecture: Cause for Arteriosclerosis (Ph.D. Course, Okayama University)
Sep – Oct 2020: Pathobiochemistry Course (Dept. of Medicine, Okayama University)
Oct – Dec 2020: Medical Research Internship (Dept. of Medicine, Okayama University)
Jun 2020: Anatomy and Physiology (Okayama Medical and Welfare College)
In order to promote clinical research at Okayama University, Takahashi participated in the monthly meetings of Clinical Research Ethics Committee. Besides, Takahashi reviewed application documents for clinical research weekly as a committee member.
Looking ahead to 2021
Many results were achieved in 2020. Here is what Ken Takahashi is most looking forward to in 2021.
By actively promoting the UNCTAD Researcher Development Program, I would like to contribute to the promotion of the SDGs and lay the foundation for further international activities.
In research, I would like to achieve greater results by expanding the network of joint researches while strengthening the research capabilities of team members and streamlining the activities of the team.
I will further strengthen the development of heart, kidney and brain organ-on-a-chip systems.
About publication, I aim to publish articles in high-impact journals by promoting research with higher academic quality and practical values. I would like to increase the number of publications by strengthening the writing ability of team members and streamlining co-writing. Also, I would like to work on a Special Issue in cooperation with collaborators.
About peer review, I aim to peer review quality manuscripts in high-impact journals.
About research funds, I will prepare for the next opportunity by making a detailed plan with leading collaborators.
About conference presentations, I aim to give lectures at high-level conference such as European Society of Cardiology. Also, I would like to plan a symposium in cooperation with collaborators.
About lectures and practices for students, I will review the contents in 2020 and further improve the quality by strengthen interactivity.
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Takahashi Lab at Okayama University uses principles of physiology, cellular and molecular biology, and biophysics. The purpose of the lab is to develop science and medicine by unveiling the mechanisms of diseases through collaborations with scientists, epidemiologists, and corporate alliances. The alliance includes Harvard University, Boston University, Tokyo University of Science, and PD Aerospace, Ltd.