Yousuke Hamai

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
I am currently doing research in the lab of Dr. Ralph Bradshaw of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and am directly under the supervision of Dr. Darren Tyson. I am studying the characterization of signaling mechanisms of the Ror2 receptor in PC12 cells. Ror2 is thought to be the receptor involved in chondrocytes or bone and cartilage forming cells.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

The summer before my freshman year was the first time I got involved in research. One of my friends, who was attending University of Wisconsin, Madison, was a part-time researcher and lab assistant at UCI during her summer vacation. Knowing that I was planning on attending UCI in the fall, she recommended me to Dr. Bradshaw to take her place. I immediately got along with everyone in the lab and I started working in Dr. Bradshaw's lab in August 1999.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

Being a Biological Science major, everything I learn in the lab relates directly to what I am learning in lecture. Furthermore, my lab experience has taught me many different lab techniques and has given me time to practice them. Also, being a visual learner, it is easier for me to grasp and understand certain processes by doing them, and my lab experience has allowed me to do that.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
Though everything in research is extremely fulfilling and educational, I think my favorite experience was when I was trying to create a specific chimeric (mutant) construct. Though at first I was having difficulty, the other people within the lab encouraged me and shared techniques with me that could improve the outcome. When it finally worked, everyone in the lab was just as ecstatic as I was. Another interesting thing about research is that it is global and many times in a lab you are able to meet people from other parts of the world and learn about their educational experiences and their own lab techniques.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

My future plans are to attend medical school and become a physician. By taking part in research, I have been able to see what a team environment is like and, furthermore, have begun to learn the intricacies of microbiology and how it plays a role within the human body.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

I recommend anyone who is interested to get involved as soon as possible. I recommend that you see if you are interested in the area of research and if you can get along with the other members of the lab. Furthermore, be ready to dedicate a sizeable amount of time to your research and, most of all, be ready to make mistakes (hopefully just small), because research is all about learning from your mistakes.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '01 Anna Kaiser
Nov. '01 Sunny Staton
Oct. '01 Kristine Kolkman
Sep. '01 Raquel Fernandez
Aug. '01 Temre Davies
Jul. '01 Krikor Andonian
Jun. '01 Elizabeth Kirchner
May '01 Joshua Neil
Apr. '01 Alia Shbeeb
Mar. '01 Qyana Griffith
Feb. '01 Reshmi Basu
Jan. '01 Yousuke Hamai
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