Akiko Kogo, Assistant Professor
Anatomy and Cell Biology/Embryology
Graduated from Ochanomizu University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology/Completed doctoral program at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Science, Department of Biological Sciences/Special Researcher (PD) at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science/Postdoctoral Fellow at National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki National Research Institute/Assistant Professor at Fujita Health University, School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy/Present post
Q1: Could you briefly describe your research?
A1: I am researching a gene known as "Dlg1", which is not very well-known. In mice in which this gene is inactive, deformities occur in many organs, causing them to die soon after birth.
Embryologists around the world are researching the functions of countless genes involved in the origination and development of organisms. I am one of those researchers.
Q2: What do you find most appealing about research?
A2: I am overcome with joy and excitement when I realize that I may have discovered something that nobody else in the world knows about. I first experienced this during my first year as a doctor, and the joy I felt drove me to complete the paper at once.
Q3: What inspired you to pursue a career in research?
A3: My parents were researchers, and I had thought about it vaguely since I was in elementary school.
In high school, my chemistry teacher told me, "I wish people like you would get into chemistry and become researchers." It made me extremely happy, and that is when I started thinking about becoming a researcher.
Q4: What makes you feel glad to be a researcher?
A4: I appreciate that I can make the most of my abilities in my job, and that it has been unexpectedly easy for me to strike a balance between work and family.
Q5: How do you balance your research with your private life?
A5: I live close to work, and only a one-minute walk from the nursery school. I am always looking for ways to create a more balanced environment in daily life, such as by using convenient home appliances and child care support services.
Q6: Do you have a book that changed your life, or any books that you have written?
A6: "Madame Curie", the biography of one of the world's greatest, most famous female scientists. When I was in the fourth grade, I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted the biography of Florence Nightingale for Christmas, but for some reason, Santa gave me this book instead. I was skeptical when I first started reading it, and I did not think a book about a physicist would make any particular impression on me. In the end, though, I turned out just as my parents wished.
Q7: How do you relieve stress?
A7: I relieve my work stress at home, and I relieve my home stress at work.
Q8: What are your hobbies?
A8: I started playing violin a year ago.
Appointed as Special Researcher at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, moved away from home, and got married↓
Husband transferred to Nagoya, searched for employment in same prefecture, appointed as postdoctoral fellow (2-year term) in Okazaki, became pregnant just before end of term↓
Assumed post at Fujita Health University, gave birth to daughter (returned to work after maternity leave), raised her for 8 years before giving birth to son (returned to work after maternity leave)↓
Assumed post at Gunma University↓
This image shows the first discovery of abnormal cardiovascular development in a Dlg1 gene-deficient mouse. This mouse died soon after birth for unknown reasons. The discovery of the heart deformity was extremely important in subsequent research.