Prof. Alexei Basnakian from USA visited Saitama University laboratory led by Assoc. Professor Alexandre Loukanov
Prof. Alexei G. Basnakian (Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology Director, DNA Damage and Toxicology Core Center University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences)
Assoc. Prof. Loukanov and I have met at a recent 2nd Global Nanotechnology Congress (Nanotechnology-2016) in Las Vegas, USA. We had quickly realized that Assoc. Prof. Loukanov’s interest in nanomaterial chemistry of new anticancer drugs and my interest in testing of nanomaterial-based drugs for their anticancer specificity and potential toxicity in cells and animals could be combined in very powerful and mutually useful collaboration.
Thanks to Prof. Nakabayashi, Assoc. Prof. Loukanov, and Ms. Hashimoto’s efforts, I was able to come to Saitama University in just a couple of months. Our continued research discussions with Assoc. Prof. Loukanov quickly and almost unexpectedly resulted in a new exciting project that, if successful, has a promise of getting funded both in Japan and USA, and potentially lead to the development of innovative anticancer therapy. My one week visit was enough to prepare a draft of a joint grant proposal.
In one of the days, I had a chance to make a presentation to Saitama students and faculty members about my research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in USA. The lecture was titled “Cellular DNase network in tissue injury and nanotoxicity assessment,” and it was well accepted. I was asked many question and was happy to answer all of them. The follow-up lab tours and discussions with Prof. Nakabayashi, Assoc. Prof. Yoshikawa, Asst. Prof. Kawamura, and Asst. Prof. Kobayashi were very educational and interesting.
Overall, my feeling is that Lab-to-lab program is a magnificent instrument to promote research and collaboration. One thing is to meet a person at a scientific meeting and exchange few phrases and business cards, and another is meeting him/her personally in their environment, surrounded by colleagues, and eager to establish a collaboration. Few days in a lab like this make a lot of difference. I am happy to become now a Saitama University ambassador to UAMS and Arkansas.