Goodbye Ganesha 10! <3



Now, I’m Officially Afifa Ayu, S.Si. Sarjana Sains. Bachelor of Science. Let’s do some flash back.

Before you begin reading, pardon me for this EXTRA LONG post, it’s really hard to contain all of your feeling for 4,5 years in one blog post.


First year, Tahap Persiapan Bersama.

This year I was faced with the dilemma of entering biology versus microbiology. Adjusting to the harsh education rhythm in ITB that really gave me a shock (I mean who would not be shock if their first quiz score was 30s). Being rejected in two units because the lack of attendance (LOL), but whatever, I prefer to do activities outside school, anyway. Found close friends (Hilda, Irly, Helen, Febe, and Uti). I had Hilda’s farewell to Japan which was teary because I really need her and I had my leg broken (again).

Hilda's Farewell Party!

Hilda’s Farewell Party!

The most hated subject of all time, P.E.

The most hated subject of all time, P.E.

Struggling for my P.E. but I ended up with B, which was astonishing. Struggling for tons of examination and experiment, but after two semesters everything turned out to be fine and I had a good GPA, Alhamdulillah. After that, during the holiday was Ospek Jurusan. And after that I ended up in Microbiology Major (and I am grateful for that).


Second year,  Microbiology ITB First Year.

Getting to know more about Microbiology for the first time and I really loved it. Did my first laboratory work related to Microbiology, Microbiology project, with Helen, Astrid, Cita, and Galang. I got really close with Astrid from that moment. I had an ambition of finishing my study for 3,5 years so I was busy taking extra class. Flunking biophysics! Busy doing music thing still in the middle of my hectic laboratory works. I also had first independent group project which was Penelitian Kecil about Ekstrak Kunyit.

My first Research Project!

My first Research Project!


I also had a subject that I really loved biochemistry and also had the guts to take biosafety (a subject for fourth grader).  I ended this year also with amazing GPA, Alhamdulillah.


Third year, Microbiology ITB Second Year. More and more laboratory works which came from Molecular Genetic Projects. I also had my most inspiring and mesmerizing subject this semester, Enzymology and Food Microbiology. So I really had my thought split on my final project, whether I would want to work with enzyme or work with fermentation. Finally at my 5th semester I could get rid of my first love (tee-hee) and finding new love. I also had my first band album ever through the hectic semester and opening an online cake shop. 6th Semester was truly amazing, breaking up with my second boyfriend and get my third one LOL. 6th Semester was the most extreme semester with huge independent laboratory works (+ its overnight stay) from Prinsip Teknik Fermentasi and Mikrobiologi Analitik. And my class also went to China for the excursion.

with my 'date' in Beijing, LOL <3

with my ‘date’ in Beijing, LOL ❤

I also got accepted until last selection of a student exchange selection to Tokyo Tech Japan. I started teaching violin and I got selected as Mahasiswa Berprestasi from my faculty, SITH and got to participate in ITB-level competition! (Unbelievable! I don’t really think they ever had a band-member Mapres, that often went home at 2 AM after show).

Receiving the Award, it was like dream!

Receiving the Award, it was like dream!

This is it, 12th best of ITB batch of 2009 (why am i there LOL)

This is it, 12th best of ITB batch of 2009 (why am i there LOL)


To made the semester more incredible, I had several really wonderful performances at television and even (with my ex band) got nominated in Anugerah Musik Indonesia. And in the end of the summer holiday, I got the news that I was accepted in Young Scientist Exchange Program Tokyo Institute of Techonology!


Fourth Year, YSEP Tokyo Tech. I spent one year at Japan with this exchange program. Although I had a loads of consideration (like graduating late and leaving all my jobs behind for one year), eventually I departed to Japan. Days were nice, a loads of ups and downs but I learned really lot here. I learned how to stop being a crybaby and take care of all my problems by myself. I learned how to take care of myself without 24/7 driver and housemaid. I learned how to live alone. First it was really tough with all of the language barriers and home-sick thingy. But I’ve managed to nail everything. Despite of my retardation on my research project I guess I still did fine, because on the first time since forever I got straight A ^^ I found new boyfriend.

I also managed to slip inside the school’s orchestra, PPI’s Angklung Team, and even got part time job as a research assistant. I had two amazing symphony orchestra concert with school’s orchestra.

Angklung Team!

Angklung Team!



I got many friends with golden hearts (Apichaya, Shuyin, Jew, Richard, Danielle, Mika, I miss you guys!) and very nice host family.

Dears <3

Dears ❤

Beloved YSEP!

Beloved YSEP!


I traveled to amazing place with friends and family. I even passed JLPT N4. In the end I could finish my research and wrapped it home as my final project. In the completion ceremony I was asked to give valedictorian speech.

Matsuda Ken!

Matsuda Ken!

Officially a YSEP Alumni!

Officially a YSEP Alumni!

My first Valedictorian Speech!

My first Valedictorian Speech!

Everything was so heavenly, it was really hard to leave for Indonesia, because I was already too comfortable with all of the things in Japan >.<


Fifth Year, Bachelor Final Year. Starting again in Indonesia was not as easy as I thought. I had to go inside unfamiliar class with my junior and this creepy feeling of being left out by my batch’s friends was raging. I mean everyone else was graduating except me and 3 other friends (2 were exchange participant as well and 1 was still working with the final project). To made things worse I was being kicked out by my long-term band without any explanation. I spent quite a lot of time grieving but well, life must go on.

Eventually I think with all the struggles, everything started to get better. I got along quite well with my new classmate, and the study was not horrendous at all.  I made a clean start over at music and started playing jazz and everything. I started teaching English as a part time job. I applied to 3 master program (IGP A Tokyo Tech, Erasmus Mundus Lotus Unlimited, and TOTAL Scholarship). I got accepted in IGP (A) and half accepted on the rest (I mean I’ve stopped the selection process of the rest due to my acceptance in IGP (A) Tokyo Tech). I wrote my final thesis pretty well and somewhat somehow I succeeded in my bachelor seminal and final defense, and graduated with cum-laude title ^^ and again a valedictorian speech, but this time, spontaneous! 😀



my cum-laude medal!

my cum-laude medal!


Thank you very much for all of those who had helped me through this bachelor chapter of my life! My wonderful family, my siblings, my besties from ITB, outside ITB and YSEP, SITH ITB 2009, Mikrobiologi ITB 2009, and all of my lecturers, especially my supervisors. Without the support of everyone I definitely would not pass this chapter of life with flying colors. I certainly had learned a lot and I hope this learning process could further be beneficial for my life ^^

Now it’s time to take a little rest before starting my new chapter of life as a graduate student in my dream university, Tokyo Institute of Technology!

Probably, some people’s dream universities are as high as MIT or Harvard or Oxford but I’m grateful for what I have. And surely I don’t have the guts nor has adequate intelligent to follow the rigorous graduate education of those world top 5 Universities. But whatever, in some world-ranking, Tokyo Tech is 11th and in case you really want to enter MIT or Harvard or Oxford, you can always try exchange program ^^


Embrace your last months in Indonesia, Afifa! You will surely miss it!

Thank you Institut Teknologi Bandung! Bakti kami, untukmu Tuhan, Bangsa, dan Almamater! Merdeka!




Afifa Ayu Koesoema, B.Sc. (LOL)



Finally Bachelor of Science!

Hello everyone!

Maybe you have noticed from the title of this post.. yes, I am finally a Bachelor of Science, alhamdulillah!


Finally after 4 and a half year, struggling to study Microbiology and Bioengineering plus travelling back and forth from Bandung to Tokyo. Long sleepless night at the laboratory in ITB, frustration over my thesis, frustration over failure and language barrier at TIT. that creepy homesick feeling in winter when you still have to go to lab on a heavy snowing day. frustration of graduating late and be left by my fellow friends.

Well, I can’t believe that i can go through it all, and pass it with (probably) flying colors~ Alhamdulillah, I am a Bachelor of Science!! aku sudah Sarjana Sains!! 私もすぐ卒業する!

Afifa Ayu Koesoema, B.Sc

Afifa Ayu Koesoema, B.Sc

I had my final defense on 27th of February 2014 so this post is however, 2 weeks late, since i’ve spent almost the entire last week in Bali 😀 But I guess it’s never late to tell a little story about what happened on my final defense day and also to give some acknowledgments 🙂



So I was judged by Bu Pingkan, Bu Maelita, and Bu Dea. The presentation session was smooth, as i had run through the presentation almost everyday. The Q&A session was a bit of a struggle, I think i have an OK understanding about my topic but I am not very good at memorizing all the subject for comprehension.

I have some feedback from the lecturers, it’s a constructive criticism. As a person you have to be able to listen to critiques and that’s why I think we have 3 lecturers to give you feedback. They will tell you what’s the right thing to do especially about developing a research.

Like they said, my research might not be something really triumphant nor does it get nears excellence. I am aware that I still have to learn A LOT, really A LOT. But I guess I should be (a little) proud and give (a little) appreciation to myself, to be consistent on finishing it 🙂

Try to adsorb the advice implement it on my future research and learn from the past mistakes! #positivity


So that day was such a joyful day. My parents and my aunt were there to support me. Some of my friends also came and give me surprise and present after my final defense. I’m so happy! 🙂

Thank you Mommy and Daddy for continuous support! You both are the best, Love you!

Thank you Mommy and Daddy for continuous support! You both are the best, Love you!


with my wonderful aunt, De Lilly :)

with my wonderful aunt, De Lilly 🙂

Thankyou for all the guidances, Ibu Pingkan and Ibu Dea <3

Thankyou for all the guidances, Ibu Pingkan and Ibu Dea ❤


double A :*

double A :*

Thankyou Microbabes :*

Thankyou Microbabes :*

I also would genuinely say my thanks to my siblings my professor sister Mbak Allya Paramita, my artsy sister Mbak Azisa Noor and my musical-genius brother Mohammad Ilham Akbar.

Also to my best cousin Rafdi Ahmed,, my best Aussie girl Palmira Vidya Mumpuni, my music inspiration Mas Ammy Kurniawan, Associate Professor Matsuda Tomoko and all members of Matsuda Laboratory Tokyo Institute of Technology, YSEP Tokyo Tech 2012-2013, all friends of SITH and Mikrobiologi ITB 2009,  my partner on stage Syarif Maulana and all the bassist of Bandung String Trio (lol), Klabklassik, Klabjazz and Ammy Alternative String Bandung, and of course all of you, readers!



Some people said that getting your bachelor degree is nothing compared to the ‘real life’ out there. But I bet when they were also on my state, they also considered this process as something quite tough 😀 And i should appreciate and embrace all of this, Alhamdulillah 😀

And anyway, my ‘real life’ is still way too far, after graduation i will soon enter academic life again. I’ll be flying to Tokyo on September for Integrated Master-Doctoral Program! I will catch my dream to be an academic! I am so happy and grateful to have the scholarship. Yet I am very anxious at the same time, concerning the rigor of graduate education 😀


But I have to have faith to do this, just like what Coco Lee said..

Remember, you are amazing and you have to believe that you’re gonna go far!




Afifa Ayu Koesoema


Cheery 2013!

Hello all!

First post in 2014, i will write about my 2013 review 🙂 Although it is a bit late since it is already the January the 12th. But, whatever, i have just came back from a family holiday to Bali and Surabaya 🙂

So 2013 was such as challenging year, let’s see what had happened 🙂


Experiencing Winter and Summer at Japan

One of the most exciting experience is to feel winter and spring in Japan. For Summer it was just hot, (really) hot, and i also did not have a chance to see any fireworks (due to my final report experiment). So I played ski with my laboratory, got bruises everywhere, but it was fun.


winter snow!

winter snow!

ski ski ski! :)

ski ski ski! 🙂

And during spring time, i had the chance to see Sakura in Kyoto and Osaka with my sister. Totally beautiful!


beautiful sakura at 大阪

beautiful sakura at 大阪

Not forget to mention visiting flower field near Fuji Mountain with my best friends. Totally astonishing!




Completing my Young Scientist Exchange Program

After a struggle, desperation, tears, and laughs finally I can complete my exchange program, Young Scientist Exchange Program at Tokyo Institute of Technology. It was a really good year with amazing new experiences, amazing friends from all of the world. I am really feeling blessed to be part of YSEP 2012-2013 🙂


with my Mom, Dad, little brother, host mother, and YSEP coordinator, Sato Sensei :)

it’s such a blessing to have my family on my graduation!

YSEP Certificate :)

YSEP Certificate 🙂

with my laboratory members :)

with my laboratory members 🙂

Oh, and I was selected to give a speech at the graduation ceremony 😀 unbelievable 😀


a Good and Brand New Musical Journey

2013, is a quite good year of music. I’ve lost something but i’ve learned so many new things and new experience. I am still inside Ammy Alternative String of course, which was fun. I also created Bandung String Trio II with my bestfriend, Syarif. We practically started everything from zero, and i think it is also a fruitful experience for me 🙂 Oh, he was also kind enough to put me inside his band, Posmodernisme dan Akhir Filsafat (it was cool to be the only girl :D)

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I also learn so many kind of new genres and new atmospheres of playing music, thanks to several bands that have collaborated with me. I had more music jobs, and i have started working as a regular musician in Fresco Restaurant Hilton Hotel Bandung 😀

2014-01-02-17-59-57_deco 2014-01-02-18-07-46_deco

Well, there’s always a rainbow after the rain. Just play music with your heart 🙂


Examinations Year

This year I followed a lot of examinations and hopefully it all ended well 🙂 I followed JLPT N4, Grade 5 ABRSM Music Theory, and TOEFL iBT 🙂


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Scholarship Hunting Year

Well, this year is also a scholarship hunting year for Master and Doctoral Degree (probably altogether). I am right now in progress of 3 scholarship selections, and probably will apply for 2 more 😀

Of course I followed the selection of International Graduate Program A Tokyo Institute of Technology for Master and Doctoral Integrated Program, back there in Matsuda Laboratory, continuing my bachelor thesis. I have had the interview and apparently waiting for the good result to come 🙂 I hope i can get the MEXT Scholarship 🙂

I also followed selection of TOTAL Scholarship 2014 to study in France. I have passed until first interview and still waiting for a good result to come in February, whether i could go to the panel interview or not 😀

I followed Erasmus Mundus Lotus Unlimited Selection. My target was University of Groningen, studying biocatalysis and University of Ghent, studying human nutrition 😀 Up to now  I have been pre-academically accepted at Ghent, hope everything will go smoothly 🙂 For both the university and fellowship selections 🙂


Being a (little) English Teacher

I also had started to work as an english teacher in Private English Program. It was tough since I teach general english and conversation class. I had to put a lot of efforts to make the class lively and exciting. My grammar is also not good so i have to learn a lot as well.

But I love this job, generally speaking I always love teaching and I want to be a good English teacher like my old TBI teachers.


(almost) a Bachelor of Science

and I am almost bachelor of science (hopefully). I have completed 144 credits (6 were transferred from Tokyo Tech) and (almost) scores straight A the last semester (i’m still lacking two scores anyway). I have had my seminar, finished my publication draft, finished my skripsi and I am only waiting for my final defense day. Bismillah, go Acetophenone Reductase! 🙂

Good seminar, i hope it will also be a good final defense :)

Good seminar, i hope it will also be a good final defense 🙂

May God force be with you all guys in 2014! Have a wonderful journey ahead! Thank you for making my 2013 so colorful!!



With Love,


Afifa Ayu Koesoema


Guest Lecture : Towards Development of Universal Flu Vaccine

Hello all! Science related post! 🙂

In this semester i take one very interesting class, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunobiology. Although my major interest is not medical microbiology I think that this class is very interesting 😀 We also have a very inspiring lecturer, Mrs. Ernawati Arifin Giri-Rachman, my former Cell and Molecular Biology lecturer and Mrs. Debbie Sofie Retnoningrum from Pharmacy Department. 

Last monday we had a very interesting guest lecture from Professor Timothy R. Hirst from Gamma Vaccines Australia. They mainly talk about development of universal flu vaccine. In this post, I will give a little review about what i have learned from this lecture.

Why Influenza?

Although it’s considered as a simple disease, influenza is actually killing many people yearly. Seasonal influenza, or the kind of influenza that appears yearly, contributes to approximately 500.000 deaths/year.

Beside seasonal influenza, there is another kind of influenza with more severe effect to human. Pandemic influenza has a more “unpredictable” nature. Pandemic influenza emerged from recombination of different influenza strain thus creating a new kind of influenza. 

Nowadays, people put more emphasis on pandemic influenza, because we do not know the exact time and where the next pandemic will appear. 

And what people afraid most right now is the H5N1 influenza pandemic. Originally H5N1 was an avian flu strain and it cannot transmit between human. However, if recombination happens with human influenza strain it would create a severe effect, a powerful virus that is highly infectious.


What is our current defense from influenza virus?

As we all know, influenza vaccine has been created all over the world. However, our current vaccine system is not very protective.

Talking about the number of vaccine produced it is always less more than the demand. In 2007, it is estimated that only 408 million flu vaccines is produced despite of the number of world population that overgrown that number, 6 milllion people.

The vaccine for seasonal flu is also not that protective. Every year WHO isolate influenza virus strain and based on the prediction of dominant strain that will appear, they create a seasonal flu vaccine. But their prediction is not always correct and might causing the administration of seasonal flu vaccine not very effective.

Vaccine also takes a long time to be developed. Generally if a pandemic happens, it will take approximately 6 months from isolating the virus strain until a vaccine is produced. It means that we are always way later than the development of the virus itself.


So, what does Gamma-Flu Vaccine offer?

Gamma-Flu vaccine is proposed to be universal-flu vaccine. One vaccine for both seasonal and pandemic influenza infection? How does it possible? Gamma-Flu vaccine, same as its name, is using whole virus that is inactivated by gamma rays. Gamma rays has a great energy that can break virus genome. Although virus genome is being destroyed, most of the protein remain intact. 

This one difference in way of virus inactivation create a huge difference for the implementation. Former flu vaccine used part of virus subunit that is specific to one kind of virus, that’s why former flu vaccine is specific to one kind of virus. However, since in this case whole virus is still there, the flu vaccine can act not that specific. Besides that, the wholesome of virus particle make the vaccine behaves just like a life virus, they induce cytotoxic T Cells to kill infected cells.

This particular properties have been checked in laboratory experiment. For example, one virus is made from H3N2 virus antigen and it was challenged by H1N1 and the vaccine can still overcome the H1N1 infection.

What makes this vaccine special is that it can be administrated via intranasal route. Making vaccine administration more convenient especially in developing country like Indonesia. People don’t have to go to hospital to get the vaccine injected, instead they can just use spray-like device to administrate the vaccine to themselves.

In conclusion, I really think that this Gamma-Flu Vaccine is a good emerging solution towards influenza virus infection 😀 and this lecture really open my mind, that actually a universal vaccine CAN be created! 😀

Enough for today, will come again with new posts soon!




Afifa Ayu Koesoema


A road to B.Sc : Bachelor Seminar ^0^

Hello all!

Believe it or not I have finished one step to be a bachelor of science, yes, i’ve just finished my seminar, just today. Anyway I still have a loads loads of thing to do related to my degree from my final project proposal report, publication draft, translating my final thesis to Indonesian until the final bachelor defense. But, anyway, i guess one post tonight will not waste my time tonight, and I think i deserve it :p


Seminar Preparations

So actually I did not expect to do my seminar this soon, i mean, i even haven’t finished my final project proposal report. It was so out of the blue when the head of my department told me to hand out the abstract required for seminar.

Translating abstract to Indonesian was one problematic thing, but it was nothing compared to translating all of my presentation slides to Indonesian and making myself used to a lot of chemical and genetic terms in Indonesian 😀 And presenting all of the stuffs i used to talk, write and to discuss in English in Indonesian is also something difficult.

I don’t mean to brag nor saying that my English is good but once you have get used to something and do it repeatedly in some manner, it is so hard to try to do it in other way. In this case language, converting something to your own mother tongue would be somewhat problematic for me because I have talked about it in English all the past one year.

Until now i still don’t know which one is correct enantioselektivitas or selektivitas enansio? or other terms? I’m so lame~


But anyway, I successfully collected the abstract and my name was on the seminar list. Thursday, 5th of September, and i have two examiners Bu Mae and Bu Isty. I prepared making slides and well, study quite hard.

All i know is Bu Mae is the “queen of genetics in my department”, CMIIW ^^. And Bu Isty is a Japanese University doctor graduate, so she must be very sharp, witty, and meticulous. So i tried to read again about mutation and other genetic stuffs. I also have to study one chapter in Solomon Organic Chemistry about Stereospecificity, studying about the basic principle of Enzyme, Protein Structure, Random Mutagenesis, Protein Engineering, etc. etc. For a week i was surrounded by 3 gigantic books and lecture notes and PPTs, trying to rearrange all of my second and third grade lecture’s memory decently.

Presentation slides (Candy versus Green Chemistry) :D

Presentation slides (Candy versus Green Chemistry) 😀

Gigantic Books :D

Gigantic Books 😀

Anyway, one crucial point for me is the outfit. Who said that a scientist cannot dressed up nicely and pretty? 🙂 I think if i had lame presentation and cannot answer question well, at least i will be salvaged by my pretty outfit so my overall performance will not be that bad! 😀 (what a shallow thinking, Afifa). So i spent an hour preparing for that, LOL. and i ended up like this in my mom’s white dress, my pink blazer bought at Mizonokuchi, and Mom’s low heeled red Ferragamo 😀 I also added heart necklace from Its Demo for the final touch (it’s not shown here).

Seminar Outfit! :D

Seminar Outfit! 😀


The night before seminar I could not sleep well, i almost got awaken every 1 hour, and I broke a glass of water placed on my end table in the middle of the night~


Seminar Day!

I had class in the morning, watched some morning session and finally prepared myself. Changing my clothes and doing a little make-ups.

Suddenly i was told that Bu Mae cannot come to the seminar and they still could not find any replacement for her and my seminar might be delayed until tomorrow.

Well, I was told that maybe I would still have my seminar today, so i have to still prepare. But my mood was already ruined by that time. But anyway I still prepare everything.

But suddenly, my supervisor bring Bu Marsel, one Biology Lecturer that I think probably also work about protein engineering. I know her quite well, since i have ever worked for her (but as a violinist not as a researcher). But again, shocking thing happened again, the middle of the presentation session, my original examiner, Bu Mae came 😀 *ohmy

Anyway i think the presentation session was quite good.

Presenting :D

Presenting 😀

But actually what worries everyone is the Q&A. Although it was not that good, i managed to answer all the student’s question. Bu Mae question was also quite manageable, it was about explaining about enantiomeric excess, principle of Qubit Fluorometer, and my primer. But Bu Marsel question was.. so… hard and specific.

Now i googled her and i think she also work sometimes with protein engineering too, that’s why her questions were very specific! She asked about my future plans on my enzyme, commercialization, structural change inside the protein to create an enhanced properties, the reason why enzyme properties can change when it’s overexpressed inside E. coli etc. I was shocked, and i think she really ask me about everything, luckily the time was up (although i think she still has a lot of questions!!)

But for overall i think it was quite well and I’m sort of enjoying it (being a scientist and presenting my research) 🙂

Thank you very much for all of my friends that have watched my seminar!! 😀 You are all a perfect moodbooster :* Thank you for Astrid that had searched for my abstract. Congratulations too for my fellow friends presenting today, Jeane, Cita, Afin, Navis, and Bobby, and also this week, go go Octopus! Thank you to my examiner, Bu Marsel, Bu Isty, and Bu Mae. Thank you to my supervisor, Bu PIngkan and of course Matsuda Sensei, that has been helping me understand basic concepts via e-mail :’)


I gotta go now since i have 7 AM lecture! おやすみ!I will add later the picture of presenter and their supporter today after the seminar! 😀



Afifa Ayu Koesoema