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For Researchers and Students Seeking Research Opportunities

A Message from the Professor

Research teams are more powerful when individuals with different expertise, skills, and perspectives are blended together. Such a team can draw on a wide range of resources to overcome the obstacles faced by its members. Scientists with different specialties who work together can achieve better results by addressing the problem from multiple perspectives. The Dezawa Laboratory provides an active and vibrant research environment for students and researchers from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. We welcome graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Our laboratory offers a variety of research opportunities with different levels of commitment required. If you are interested, you are always welcome to contact us.

PhD Degree Program

This four-year course invites students who have, or will have by the end of next March, a bachelor's degree in medical, dental, or veterinary science or a master's degree in another scientific field. The application deadline is in early August. For further details, please visit the University's website at:

Research Participation of Undergraduate Medical Students

Undergraduate medical students have an opportunity to join our laboratory during their third-year basic research assignment program. We welcome interested undergraduate medical students through other avenues as well. Those who are interested in basic research are welcome to contact us. Several undergraduate students are actively pursuing research in our laboratory, and publishing results in international peer-reviewed journals.

Contact Person for Postgraduate Programs and Undergraduate Participation:
Mari Dezawa, MD, PhD,
Professor and Chair,
Department of Stem Cell Biology,
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine,
Seiryo-machi 2-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575
e-mail: mdezawa*med.tohoku.ac.jp
(This e-mail address has been disguised to avoid spam. Please amend it by replacing the asterisk [*] with ‘@.’)

Our Laboratory's Principles for Research and Education

Prof. Dezawa's Research Mottos

  1. Failure is an opportunity in disguise. Failures are an important step toward success. Analyze the consequences, and find clues that point the way to new challenges.
  2. Study hard. Then, set aside what you have learned, and carefully observe the phenomena, trusting your eyes and guts. Sometimes, knowledge may hinder understanding more than ignorance. Textbooks are not always right. New ideas come from observations free from stereotypes.
  3. Perseverance increases your chances of success. Persistence is an academic virtue.
  4. Pay attention to your inspiration. Hunches and instincts sometimes play a significant role in research.

Principles for Academic Guidance and Supervision

  1. Research themes. Topics will be decided based on consultation between the Professor and the student. The rule of thumb is that topics will be chosen in relation to the current projects of the laboratory. Proposals on new areas may be accepted, provided that the student who proposes the work can clearly define the research strategies.
  2. Lab meetings. Lab meetings are held at 9:30 am every Tuesday. Meetings will generally be over in 10-15 minutes, and will rarely last longer than 30 minutes (lengthy and disorganized meetings are the last thing the Professor wants). Researchers make a data-driven presentation of their progress in English every Tuesday at 10:00 am. We have journal clubs aimed at sharing information about recent publications once a month. Each presenter will be assigned a scientific journal linked to their areas of research.
  3. Output. Each researcher is expected to publish at least one first-author paper in English in 2-3 years. The number of papers means less than their quality. Important projects may take longer periods.
  4. Mentorship. Graduate students are mentored on a one-on-one basis. The responsibility for providing technical instruction is shared by all staff members, each of whom has different technical expertise.
  5. Presentation at academic meetings. Researchers who have made considerable progress are encouraged to present their results at meetings and seminars sponsored by the Japanese Association of Anatomists, the Japanese Society of Microscopy, the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine, the Japan Neuroscience Society, and the Molecular Biology Society of Japan. Willingness to participate in other academic meetings is also recommended. Chances to attend international meetings will be offered for those with fluency in English.
  6. Recreational activities. Work should be filled with joy and fun; pessimistic or gloomy outlooks are not welcome in our laboratory. A stress-free, delightful environment is important for concentration and efficiency. We have self-appointed fun planners in our laboratory who organize picnics, barbecue, and other activities. We take every available opportunity to communicate and have fun together over drinks and food.
  7. Students WITHOUT medical backgrounds. The achievements of our laboratory are the results of collaborations between researchers with educations in science, engineering, medicine, and other fields. We aim to integrate multiple disciplines in our research. Students without medical educations have equal opportunities for promotion, and their prospects depend solely on their performance and achievements.