Increasing the visibility of female researchers at our university.
#8: Momo's Story
Q1. Where are you from? Which department are you in?
I am from Tokyo and I belong to the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies.
Q2. Why did you choose UTokyo? What was the most attractive point to you? What do you think are the shortcomings of being a student at UTokyo, if there are any?
I made this choice because Komaba campus is easily accessible, and the College of Arts and Sciences was attractive to me. UTokyo also has a great library with excellent services, and I knew that students taking the UTokyo entrance exam would have their names hidden during scoring (laughs). I enrolled in the undergraduate program 10 years ago, so I am not sure about the situation now, but one disadvantage at that time was the limited number of student circles open for women to join.
Q3. Where is your favorite spot on campus?
I like the road from Komaba Campus to the West Exit of Komaba Todai-mae station.
Q4. What's your research topic? Would you mind sharing one exciting moment in your research?
My work focuses on ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) related to genome research. Since my own viewpoint is inevitably limited, I find it both challenging and at the same time very enjoyable when I receive feedback from people with diverse backgrounds in seminars and conferences and think about how I should reflect it in my own research.
Q5. Have you faced any difficulties as a graduate student? How did or do you overcome them?
When I was a master's student, I had a hard time deciding whether to pursue higher education or get a job. In the end, the thought that "this is the only time I can get a job as a new graduate” won. Luckily I was assigned to a section related to my research in my organisation and I was fortunate enough to be able to begin a PhD. However, my decision might have been different had the support system for doctoral students been better.