Role Models

Initiative for Advanced Research – Reika Kawabata – Assistant Professor

It is important to keep accumulating results. It helps if you have a fulfilling daily life.

Reika Kawabata

Reika Kawabata, Assistant Professor

Division of Integrated Oncology Research, Research Program for Omics-based Medical Science


After graduating from the Department of Biological Science and Technology at the Tokyo University of Science, Kawabata was employed as a research assistant at the National Cancer Center Research Institute, where she did her graduation research during her senior year. After completing her doctoral thesis, she was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow at the center.
She has been serving in her current post since October 2014.

Q1: Could you briefly describe your research?

A1: I am working on the development of gene/genome information aimed at achieving individualized medicine, based on an exhaustive analysis that combines cancer genome research and clinical data.

Q2: What do you find most appealing about research?

A2: I was impressed when my initial hypothesis based on experimentation and analysis was able to stand up to testing. If the research is able to play a role in helping patients, I can feel a genuine sense of satisfaction.

Q3: What inspired you to pursue a career in research?

A3: I was studying on a humanities track until midway through high school, but then I learned about the many unknowns in the field of cancer research. I became deeply interested in cancer itself, and I thought I would like to conduct research.

Q4: What makes you feel glad to be a researcher?

A4: I think that it fits my personality of always wanting explore the truth of things.

Q5: How do you balance your research with your private life?

A5: I make it a point to clearly define the line between "on" and "off". Even when I am in "off" mode, I still have flashes of inspiration related to research.

Q6: Do you have a book that changed your life, or any books that you have written?

A6: I contributed the article entitled "Haigan ni Okeru Genomu Kaidoku to Chiryou e no Hashi-watashi" (Building a Bridge Between Cancer Genome Sequencing and Treatment for Lung Cancer) in "Jikken Igaku, Cancer Genome Research, July 2014 Extra Edition".

Q7: What are your hobbies?

A7: Tennis. I started playing after I got married, with my husband's encouragement. It has been really fun, and I have expanded my circle of friends.

Q8: Where has been your favorite place to travel?

A8: Yakushima. I had always wanted to go, and it was my father's birthplace. I was impressed by the majesty of the Jomon Sugi tree.

My Career Path & Life Events

Graduated university

Employed as research assistant


Completed doctoral thesis

Employed as researcher


Favorite Photo

This photograph was taken just after my husband and I won our first tennis match together.