Dr. Masashi Yanagisawa

Researchers with technical courage

I like people who are courageous, specifically those who have technical courage. Technical courage is a term coined by Joe Goldstein, my mentor when I was in Texas. It is difficult to explain its meaning, but in short, it is a type of courage that makes you willing to do anything to advance toward a goal you have set, regardless of its specialized field. Researchers tend to work in specialized fields that have several subdivisions, and many of them are comfortable working in their own field. Researchers with technical courage have an attitude that makes them think they can do anything to solve a problem if necessary. They can even dramatically change their specialized field that they have been working on throughout their research career. For example, my father had an engineering degree and was an engineer at a measuring instrument manufacturer. However, in order to solve a problem he was facing once, he decided to study basic medical sciences to get a medical degree. I like people who do such things when they have clear reasons to do so and are not being capricious. It may be difficult for students with little research experience to do such things; however, the HBP can offer students the opportunity to gain research experience.

Advice with dialogue with students

[ Expertise and Multi-discipline ]

To control the threat of global health, we must combine multiple related disciplines, starting with the field of biology based on broad collaboration and integration with various multi-disciplinary methodologies to develop global leaders who can contribute to the society in the next generation.

HBP established the unique program by promoting the collaboration and integration of life science, medical science, computational science and material science to thoroughly understand the mechanisms of sustainability, adaption and inheritance of Human Life and then to develop leaders who lead to contributing to the society.

Takato Honda

Motto gives courage to young researchers

An aim of the HBP is to nurture global leaders. While I am in an environment where I can receive instruction from multiple teachers, my supervisor, Professor Yanagisawa, is my role model as a leader. Professor Yanagisawa established the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (WPI-IIIS) based on his lengthy research experience in the United States. Following the vision of elucidating the control mechanism of sleep, he has gathered a global team of researchers with the same objective. As an active researcher, Professor Yanagisawa continues to be challenged by the mystery of sleep. The laboratory has become a platform for creating many collaborations - from basic research to clinical applications -, and it is making significant progress in the academic field. I am honored and grateful to be able to study directly under this teacher who sees things from a higher and wider perspective.

One of Professor Yanagisawa’s mottoes is, “Do not be afraid of being different from people.” When a researcher pursues the science thoroughly, he or she naturally becomes different from others. Accordingly, a researcher can create new values and share them with the world. In other words, researchers must be different. Although, initially, the professor’s motto may sound difficult to practice, I recognize that I cannot be a top researcher unless I achieve such distinctiveness. Despite the difficulty of pursuing this path, the motto gives courage to young researchers who are looking for uniqueness through various research experiences.

Smile together at farewell party

[ Multi-Tiered Teaching System ]

In order to make HBP's various actions realized, it was required to have a group of teachers and experts across the borders of fields of expertise and countries. Moreover, it was necessary to assure the quality of the members for the quality assurance of the degree.

HBP built up the liaison and adjustment meeting to discuss and improve the methods and skills for education with partnership universities. Moreover, HBP has been conducting the teacher assessment including peer reviews from external experts as well as HBP students.