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The 20th Biocatalysis Symposium of Japan

Hello everyone!

 

I am writing this post from my dorm room in… Russia! Yes it has been such a lovely days here in Moscow State University! I am quite happy since  I am the only non-Japanese representative for this program this year, so happy !

So let’s put Russia aside for a while. In this post I would like to talk about the conference that my laboratory will arrange this December.

 

Yes, Matsuda Laboratory is arranging The 20th Biocatalysis Symposium of Japan at December 12-13, in Tokyo Institute of Technology, Suzukakedai Campus! You can go to the official website here.

 

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So since I would like to promote this symposium, I would like to list up why you should attend this symposium :

 

  1. Great invited speakers from academia and industry

We have a great line up from academia and industry; from Japan and beyond.

From academia we have Professor Harald Gröger from Bielefeld University for a bit of touch of chemo-enzymatic processes, Professor Zhi Li from National University of Singapore bringing you latest update of his cascade reaction study, and Professor Kazlauskas from University of Minnesota, of course known for his Kazlauskas rule and lipase!

We also proudly present to you one of the best from Japan, Professor Ikuro Abe from Tokyo University with his polyketide synthase study. From industry, we have two speakers (up to now) from Codexis and Pfizer!

 

  1. Official language is English

Whether you are a Japanese trying to brush-up your English or you are a non-Japanese student looking for English-friendly conference : this symposium is a great choice! We try our best to make the official language of the conference English and encourage participant to make their abstract, and do their talk or poster in English, also engage in discussion in English.

Our committee also consists of many international students with some of them speaking both English and Japanese, so you will definitely not feel lost!

 

  1. The credibility of this symposium, of course

This symposium is one in the series of annual symposium by Society of Biocatalysis Japan. Although small, this society is solid and consists of all experts in biocatalysis field in Japan (proud to say, my supervisor as well).

In addition to that, we are also supported by many other scientific societies in Japan, such as The Chemical Society of Japan.

 

  1. Warm atmosphere of this symposium

Yeah, based on my own experience this conference always have very warm atmosphere that foster fruitful discussions and further collaborations. Although you might be new in this society, don’t worry! You will end up with many new friends and connections afterwards!

 

 

So yes, if your research is related into biocatalysis; whether it is more in the chemical side or biology side you are very welcome to register for this symposium!

 

Registration for participant will end at October 5, 2018 and you can register here.

If you would like to present the early bird registration will end at October 5 and as a student you can only register with only 2000 JPY! If you just want to participate, the participation registration will end at November 9.

So, we are looking forward for your participation in The 20th Biocatalysis Symposium of Japan!!! 待ってますね!

 

Love,

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Biocatalysis-related Conferences Review [Domestic]

Hello everyone!

It is the obon holiday here in Japan, I have just finished labwork today, though. Catching up some wet-lab datas so I can go back to Indonesia for summer vacation peacefully ^^ This week, I would like to share about the review of biocatalysis-related conferences that I have been to (since some of my kouhai ask me about this as well)!

For the convenience of the post-length, I would like to share only my domestic conferences experience in this post. So, conferences in Japan are mainly held by certain society (yearly or biennially). Do expect a quite formal atmosphere (only suit is acceptable, i guess), and sessions mainly held in Japanese (although people are encourage to use English more and more).

Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ) Annual Meeting

link, next conference : March 2019, Kobe.

Japanese name : 日本化学会年会

In a glimpse : One word for this annual meeting, it is a really huge! It is held every Spring by Chemical Society of Japan. Every aspect of chemistry will be discussed in this conference. Conferences are usually held for 4 days with sessions held in parallel.

The conference location will always move from year to year. It rotates from Kanto (mostly Chiba, Nihon University) to Kansai, and to Yokohama

Attendances : 4 times, all oral A presentation (7 minutes presentation, 3 minutes Q&A)

Personal experience :

CSJ 2015 (Nihon University, Chiba) and CSJ 2016 (Doshisha University, Kyoto)

CSJ 2017 (Keio University, Yokohama) and CSJ 2018 (Nihon University, Chiba)

My experience attending this conference is always as an oral speaker. The one that i haven’t tried is oral B (20 minutes in total, only for PhD students 2nd and 3rd year).

I am almost always attending only the day where the biocatalysis sessions are held. Most of the presentations are in Japanese, still. So if you want to engage more, it is better to have Japanese ability. Because of the time limitation and scale of the conference, to be honest I did not really receive a lot of feedback from this conference.

If you have time to go to the poster session, I guess you can engage more! But do remember that the scale of the poster session is quite huge. If your research also involves new methodology you can also join the ATP (Advanced Technology Program Session). The next conference? I should go with oral B, I guess (20 minutes presentation).

 

The Society of Biocatalysis Japan : Biocatalysis Symposium of Japan

link, next conference : December 2018, Yokohama

Japanese name : 生体触媒化学シンポジウム

In a glimpse : Quite different from the huge society of Chemistry Society of Japan, the Society of Biocatalysis Japan offers more “homey” and warm atmosphere. My academic supervisor is a member of this society.  This society board members are only around 25 Professors altogether with people from industry, so it is more like a “family gathering” :). This conference is held every year (around winter) for 2 days.

Attendances : twice, 1 oral presentation (20 minutes in total) and 1 poster presentation

Personal experiences : 

Oral presentation

Oral presentation at 第18回生体触媒化学シンポジウム@ Tokyo

My experience as oral presenter was 2 years ago, when the conference was held in Meisei University, Tokyo (near Sanrio Puroland, lol). It was really thrilling since I use  English for my presentation language despite the conference was 100% held in Japanese that time (even now my Japanese is not enough for formal academic presentation, yet). The hall was quite big and inside the student session I was the only foreigner Doctoral 1st year presenter >.<  Nevertheless, I felt very honored to be the representative of my laboratory that time (one laboratory can only give only delegation).

Feedback was quite good, I think my Sensei gave me the opportunity for this to boost my confidence and train me to present big data (it was my first time presenting all my mutant library data orally).

Poster presentation

Poster presentation at 第19回生体触媒化学シンポジウム@Sasebo

The following year i participate again as poster presenter (I started a new research topic so I still have few datas that time). The feedback was way better, I think that was  the best poster session that I had so far 🙂 The conference this year was held in Sasebo, Nagasaki (so as expected the attendee decrease). Although the venue was remote, it was really beautiful. One more tips, the mixer (懇親会, in Japanese) is a very good way for networking and looking for your next academic position, tee-hee.

IMG_0594the most beautiful mixer venue, ever.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

By the way, actually my academic supervisor is hosting the next conference, The 20th Biocatalysis Symposium of Japan. Indeed, this is a great responsibility and seems like this year gonna be BIG, with BIG names coming, lol.

But I am all pumped up for this and ready to be my supervisor’s sidekick!

Up to now I have learned so many things even from the preparation. For example : how to keep a good Minutes of Meeting (MoM), how to write sponsorship invitation letter in Japanese, how to write the content of conference website, until how to order poster in publisher in Japan 😀

Nonetheless, this will be my last contribution for my laboratory, before graduating I hope I can give my best!

I will keep you updated for the next update of this conference, we are almost launching the website and flyer! I will also give you another story for my international conference experiences next week, so stay tune! 🙂

 

Love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Today is the last day of winter holiday. I really just want to spend it lazily. Well, we (me and Mas Yu) will have afternoon tea double date together with my bestfriend and her husband 🙂 But; in the morning I am free, I almost finished my abstract for March conference so I decide to wake up late and spend the morning writing about 2017. A dramatic year full of drama, I guess. What happened in 2017? Let me just give me a quick review!

 

2017 started with mega drama number one. Since everything is over now and I have made peace with the main actor, I really cannot mention the content of the drama here (however, I have a little review about that here).

That time everything was quite blurred I guess. I would not make it without my best friend and in total four times visit from my parent and my sister. During spring and summer, I had a little stolen holiday to Kyoto and Osaka, as well as Izu and Nagoya with good friends.

 

In terms of academic, actually nothing changed much. I am right now Doctoral Second year student, first semester. This year I managed to attend 3 conferences (2 national (Chemical Society of Japan and Biocatalysis Symposium) and 1 international, Biotrans at Hungary). I also try to speak about science in Science なう event! I also found myself a new interesting topic about synthesizing drug derivatives.

In lab? It is getting more complicated but still very fun, as one of the oldest right now I have 12 kouhai in total with 2 directly under my supervision. Challenging but still happy! I wish we all can do research with love and dedication, and I can somehow be a good role model 🙂

My focus next year will be more of computational study (crystal structure refinement) and docking study; plus writing my publication! I will have to start thinking as well about my future career, meaning searching for a faculty position or post-doctoral position in Japanese university.

 

This year I tried also to post more on my youtube channel and do vlogging (which I found to be quite fun!). I know what I am doing in youtube is not that “trending” or so called eye-catching, I am just doing it for fun (but with my heart into it). Ah, I also learn to wear hijab more often, trying to incorporate it with my own style 🙂

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All of these things happened together with mega drama number two and mega drama number three. Really cannot mention the content of the mega drama number two however I have a little snippet here and there. I guess I am quite content with the problem solving of mega drama number two right now.

 

And mega drama number three? Finally I am completely releasing myself from my toxic love relationship for 4 years! Here is the snippet, yes, Mas Yu found me 😀 together with wonderful friends from Kanagawa International Student Music Festival!!

 

although we are so far away from settling down. We need gazillion works to be done to face our huge barriers. But to be honest, I am completely at peace. We learn something new everyday, kudos for him for his patience and willingness to learn.

 

In the end, I wrap up this year with a peaceful state of mind.

What are the keys?

 

  1. Self acceptance

I am accepting myself right now, I am not the smartest and I am slow at doing things. But whatever, I keep moving forward slowly everyday. I mean, my dear family, bf, and best friends, they are all able to accept me with my strength and especially, weakness. Why should I be reluctant to accept myself?

  1. Not trying to please everyone

I learned the hard way this year no matter how hard you try to make someone like you; they will not do that if they do not feel that way! So don’t try to please people, be yourself. They will love you if they love you.

  1. Listen and care only to those who really love you

Not all things should be heard and be put into the deepest core of our heart. Follow your heart, listen only to those who matters the most.

Critic will always come to your life. If they come and bother you, just ask yourself two questions. 1) Have I put my heart while doing it? Have I done my best? 2) Do I have good intention on doing this? If the answers are yes, just proceed. It’s the right thing for you.

(Yu, 2017)

Actually actually, those beautiful words in point number 1 to 3 is not mine. I should put some reference…. thank you Yu Teguh golden ways, lol.

 

 

So that is all for my 2017.

I do not have big and detailed resolution for 2018. I am only taking baby steps cherishing everyday and be grateful to Allah for all of His blessings.

Well, I have to publish a paper and search for job this year, hopefully postdoc or academic position in Japan. These are the only focus.

 

Goodbye, 2017.

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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤

 

 

With loads of love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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January Favorite Things!

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to my blog. Yes, I haven’t written anything for such a long time I’m really sorry. Many things have happened, including me graduating from master program and now becoming a doctoral degree student~

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My graduation day!! – photo credit to Antonius Priyo

The last 6 months have been difficult in many aspects (study, lab-life, human relation, love relation, etc.) and apparently i am in a point where I feel to busy and cannot handle it until I decide to slow down a little bit >.< BUT, at least right now I only have 2 more deadlines : my grant final report and my publication.

 

 

So I am now trying to slow down myself by developing four habits : cooking, singing and playing violin, writing food journal, and… start to write in this blog again regularly.

Let’s start with something simple : JANUARY FAVORITE THINGS!!

So yes, as you maybe already know, I love kawaii (cute) things and it is such a heaven to live in Japan. Japan is full of cute things, and these are my favorite things in January!

  1. Pink sweets haul from school shop20170204-3i just love these! They are pink and super delicious! First, ふわふわ Pocky Midi (ストロベリーふローマジュ – Strawberry Fromage) — this is not the ordinary Pocky, Pocky Midi is shorter and a bit fatter (chibi, in my opinion). The taste of this? So delicious! ふわふわ means fluffy and this pocky tastes like fluffy strawberry cheesecake! 🍰 Chupa Chups ストロベリークリーム- Strawberry Cream  delightful old-fashioned lollipop! Tropicana Essentials 食物繊維 Peach Blend  食物繊維 means dietary fiber and this juice is really delicious! This is my favorite juice this month.

2.  Unicorn Iphone Case and Mobile Battery

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So well yes, I am obsessed with iphone case because I think phone case is also an important item for your fashion statement! Mainly I will go with book type case (it is super safe for your phone) with girly, pink and cute tone or elegant. My main themes as you can see are princess, disney or sanrio 😀

This month i bought a unicorn-motif case from Rakuten altogether with the unicorn mobile battery. I’m feeling pretty much like in a fairy-tale land.

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3. Purple Glitter Sailor Moon Nail Polish

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Sailor Moon Nail Polish JPY 700+tax, Nail Oil Stick JPY 1400+tax (all from Its Demo Aobadai Shop)

This nail polish comes from my favorite shop, Its Demo, located dangerously outside my train station (lol). I am already longing for this nail polish for long time because it’s sailor moon special series, for God’s sake! It’s purple, glossy, and glittery. As an addition to my nail polish, I also bought a nail oil stick. It is like a lipbalm for your nail and it will keep your nail moisturized especially during this cold and dry winter.

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And… above is my masterpiece by using this nailpolish!! Combining it with my 100 JPY light purple nail polish from Cando I can make a lame gradation imitation nail, lol. Quite beautiful isn’t it?

P.S : this kind of nail art will cost around 3000-4000 JPY in proper nail salon, lol.

 

So these are my January favorite things! Anyone want to share their favorite things to add up my kawaii Japan things?

 

 

With loads of love,

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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Kyoto 2016 : Maiko Dress-up Experience

Hello! Really long time no see :3

I was really busy with my research lately, but this week I have a “legal spare time, lol. I will attend a the annual meeting of Chemical Society of Japan in Kyoto, and since I have morning presentation I can go the day before. Since conference has not started yet today, so I have the opportunity to stroll around!

 

Because i have visited most of the notable temples in Kyoto.

This time I will only want to treat myself with a… Maiko Dress-up Experience! ❤

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*that was me, really

 

In case you want to try the same experience with me, I will give you explanation in detail!

 

What is Maiko and Why?

Maiko is a women that perform dance, sings and traditional instrument for visitors during feast. Maiko is the apprentice geiko and usually aged 15-20 years.

Their appearance is always very beautiful to me, all white make-up with a detail of red and pink. Beautiful hair style with enchanting hairpiece and of course the kimono! ❤

Right now in Kyoto, there are many shops that offer Maiko Dressing-up Experience for tourists. So that is why, right now it is very common for normal people to have one day experience dress-up as a Maiko.

 

Okay, so how do you select the right shop?

The shop that i chose is Maica. in Gion, Kyoto Basically I just typed “Maiko dress-up in Kyoto” using google and found this shop. The website has quite good English explanation and prices are also reasonable. They have variety of package so that you can choose which one suits your budget the most.

The package that i chose is “Okigaru” Plan, right now on sale for 6500 JPY (excluding tax). This package cover make-up, hair, kimono rental, wig rental (you can only choose whole wig), hair accessories rental, one studio photograph (printed in B5 size), and one hour of free photo time inside the house.

If you want to do longer, they also have package including walking outside (Gion area) or even guided tour to farther temple, but it also comes with higher price.

 

 

Sequences?

It is actually described well here, but I will just retell you my own version.

Upon arrival we will have to fill a short form (it has English, don’t worry, generally all staffs can speak English quite well!). We will be given plastic bag for our shoes and we are escorted to the third floor. Photography is forbidden at third floor and during make-up and dressing-up process 😦

First thing is kimono selection, although Okigaru plan has limited kimono selection, it is still all very beautiful for me. After that, we have to pay (please note purchase under 10.000 JPY has to be paid in cash). We will then be escorted to the second floor where we have to put all of our camera-related thing in a safety deposit box. After that we will go to the locker room to store our other belongings and change to kimono inner wear and room socks. *we have to pay 200 JPY for the locker

Then… make-up time (which was fast, they just paint our face white with little pink and red detail). Honestly it was really thrilling because they don’t put MIRROR in the make-up room! After make-up then wig placement, which was… heavy, really heavy. And finally, kimono!! There were so many layers, so so so so many and they just keep tightening it more and more 😦

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Tada! Suddenly I transformed into Maiko!

And after that, photo time! One studio photograph was taken and if you come alone (like me) the staffs will help us to take picture (Up to 5 pictures). Other than that we can just explore the house by ourselves and selfie stick is allowed. Although it is small, almost every parts of the house are beautiful with classic Japanese decoration.

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Full body picture with the help of the staff

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Beautiful neck detail

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Tea ceremony, one of my most favorite picture!

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The studio photograph 🙂

Oh, i forget to mention that you can wear contact-lenses for the make up and also don’t worry about the make-up, it is actually light. You can remove it without ease using any kind of makeup remover you bring, they will also help you to remove the neck makeup.

Comment?

I was really satisfied with my experience in Maica! I mean, who doesn’t want to look like a beautiful Maiko? <3<3 Staffs are friendly and helpful (and they keep praising me for my Japanese speaking, lol). I discovered that actually being Maiko is really tough. It was tough with all of those tight kimono (it was even hard to kneel down and get up again) and that heavy wig? Honestly, i feel tortured, yes maybe beauty is pain ^^

 

 

That’s all for today’s post!

I hope that i will have successful presentation tomorrow! ❤ enjoy Spring break, everyone!

 

Love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema