Course/Employment Situation

Sachiko Masuda (Tamai Lab.)

In 2003, I quit the chemical corporation that I was working at and decided to restart as a full-time graduate student at RCAST. It has already been ten years since then and now, I do research in social pharmacy at the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where I graduated.

Having a background as a patent agent at a corporation, the research life at RCAST was very stimulating. It differed from the times I had to create intellectual property strategies for the benefit of a single company. Rather, I was privileged with the opportunities to seriously think as to why there was a law for intellectual property, and think about the justifications to give exclusive rights to specific people especially in medicine and medical areas. Although it wasn't an independent administrative corporation yet at that time, RCAST was zealous in patent systems and education concerning venture businesses. There were many teachers who started their own businesses so I was able to see and learn from the long process of the university's research accomplishments being used for real. In my first year of the doctoral course, I went to Boston for three weeks during my summer vacation to study about industry-university collaboration and technology transfer. My six months after that was spent in Illinoi University in the United States to participate in an overseas survey on technology transfer. From these experiences, I wrote a doctoral thesis on "The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the Pharmaceutical Industry" and now I do my research aiming to create a medical and social system that can strike the right balance between innovation and public health.

At the time I started my life at graduate school, I didn't think about what I would do once I got a Ph.D. and thought that I would probably become a patent agent working at some company again. However, in my third year, a professor of the medical department at Harvard University told me, "A person who's doing research like you should come to the States and broaden your perspectives." Having mingled with scholars researching areas in public health as a research scientist, I decided to continue being a scholar.

Many of my peers were to be scholars at RCAST. However, I believe no one had the same research field. In the same way that I was a mixture of pharmacy and the law of intellectual property, many of them had research themes that wouldn't fit in a single field. Spending time with them was a great joy. I strongly recommend AIS for people who want to make a difference from others.