Ken Takahashi won the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education for his continuous effort for internationalization of Okayama University.
The O-NECUS (Okayama University-North East China Universities platform, Graduate Student Exchange) program has a short-term study abroad program with five universities in northeastern China. The affiliated universities include Harping Medical University, Jilin University, Chinese Medical University, and Dalian Medical University. This program has a history of over 12 years. However, As Okayama University’s name recognition was not necessarily high in northeastern China, the acquisition of international students was not always sufficient. Takahashi has improved the public relations activities of O-NECUS and has made the O-NECUS program a great success.
For example, the number of applicants for the O-NECUS program increased rapidly due to effective PR activities by Takahashi, and the number increased to 25 in 2018. In addition, the Post-O-NECUS program has brought the total number of students who have advanced from master’s degree to doctor’s degree to 19 people.
Takahashi Lab at Okayama University uses principles of physiology, cellular and molecular biology, and biophysics. The purpose of the lab is to unveil 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.