Doctor Eiko Iwakoshi Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life
Can you please describe your field of research?
My field of specialty is neuroendocrinology. I’m interested in the biological diversity and uniformity of animals. I try to understand those things from the point of view of biologically active substances, mainly peptides. Different animals have different functions of the same peptide, chickens and fish have oxytocin for example. I think it is closely related to evolution.
What got you into this field?
I graduated from Hiroshima University for both my undergraduate and PhD, I feel like it’s my destiny to work here! I worked in Osaka for a medicine manufacturer designing packages and working on patents, but I wanted to get into science.
Both me and my husband work in biology and my daughter was never interested in becoming a scientist. Now after learning it in school she wants to be a chemist!
What achievement you are most proud of?
I discovered a brand-new substance! It is an almost impossible task, almost everyone fails at it. Now I have a new peptide that I got to name, neurosecretory peptide GL (NPGL), that exists throughout vertebrates.
Can you describe some challenges of your work?
I like my position! A part of me says I want to become a PI (principal investigator) like most scientists but the other part of me says I don’t. I am working towards being a PI, I have gotten many grants and some awards. The reason I am saying no is because I wouldn’t have any choice in where I will be situated. If I was appointed as a PI I would have to go to the place they decide. It is almost certain that I would have to live separately from my family.
What motivates you in your research?
There are many good things in my position. I can take huge chances, in other words, I can do tasks that are impossible for a PI. It’s ok if I fail at something! Moreover, I can spend most of my time on my experiments because I don’t have classes, or the many meetings PI’s have. As a result, I could find the novel peptide NPGL.