前田伸子オフィシャルサイト~これが私の生きる道~
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A Japanese page
Can I survive as a researcher of pure study?

It was unspeakably lucky that after graduating from the graduate school, I was called back to my old school. I worked as a part-timer lecturer in oral bacteriology for the first 1 year, and then got a full-time position. However, my main work as a lecturer was to give lectures and practical trainings to the undergraduate students and to direct the research of graduate students. It took up much of my time away from conducting my own research. As I read study results by researchers of other universities in the same field in papers or academic meeting presentations, I began feeling anxious about being left behind as a researcher of fundamental study.

At that time Prof. Ayako Kato was in the oral bacteriology lab of Tsurumi University. She should be called a role model for female researchers. I had admired her since my school days because of her unique and attractive air. She was feminine as well as a strong researcher and faithful educator. Working in the same department, we didn’t have an opportunity for several years to conduct collaborative research. On one occasion, however, we got together in directing the research of a graduate student. After that, until she died of disease, we conducted several collaborative research projects by using inbred-mouse models. Furthermore, at around the time I finished writing a research paper on the results of our research, I had the privilege of studying molecular biology for one year as a post-doctor at The University of Florida, on saliva-protein under the direction of Dr. Michael Humphreys-Beher. Thus, when feeling like I was a lost researcher, it was Dr. Kato and Dr. Michael that guided me. Now I believe that my job at the university is “the reason for my being”. Whenever I’m distressed, I remember the two, who died young of disease. They had the ardors for research till the very end and never gave up.

As for being Dean of Students

At present I also take care of the undergraduate students as Dean of Students at Tsurumi University Dental School. This isn’t an easy job at all. In particular, before and after the time when promotion approvals are given, I’m busily occupied in consultations not only with the students but also with their parents. On the other hand, I also have gratitude for being able to do this tough job. From the first-year to the sixth-year students, time length for contact is different depending on the grade year and each student, yet I’m glad that I can see with my own eyes their definite growth in six years.

Recently the number of female students in most dental schools has increased to nearly half the total number of students. I wonder why the ratio at our school is lower now, regardless that it originally started as a women’s university. Yet, we seem to have more women in our faculty staff and no other dental school has as many as three female professors. There is no way for me to approach the level of the late Prof. Ayako Kato, but I want to be one of the role models too. I wish female students, by seeing us the female professors of Tsurumi University, would choose, as one of their career options, to become a professor.

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