Her UTokyo

"Her UTokyo" aims to increase the visibility of female researchers at our university.

#1: Erica's Story

Erica Carolina is an Indonesian who joined the University of Tokyo as a doctoral student in September 2019. Her research is in the field of regenerative medicine, and aims to reconstruct liver organ with human-iPSC derived cells.

During the first year of her PhD journey, she faced a huge challenge when her direct supervisor moved to another institution. “Not having a direct person to discuss with on daily basis, I started to lose hope,” she said.

Following an intense 8 months of work, she finally discussed the matter with her principal investigator. Thereafter, she decided to change her research group and restarted her PhD journey from zero.

“Realizing that I started (very) late and having to rewrite a brand-new page, I often find myself getting overwhelmed and stressed for things that did not work”, Erica said, sharing her feelings about difficult times.

Luckily, after every failure, her current direct supervisor always encourages and comforts her by sharing his own past mistakes. Besides, to win this PhD in the long run, she frequently allows herself to take a rest and to develop new hobbies. “I might be slow, but as long as I do not stop, I will complete this race eventually,” she said.

In the future, her intention is to extend her mastery of regenerative medicine by becoming a practitioner in a Japanese pharmaceutical company. She has a passion for science and communication. She believes that through well-crafted explanation, there are no ideas too complicated to be conveyed to any audience.

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