Focusing on science & tech research Global Learning at Sophia University


These publicity measures have gained results such as in November, when research by Department of Materials and Life Sciences Professor Masahiro Rikukawa et al. and technology research association FC-Cubic was covered in the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, an industrial and economic newspaper. The technology they developed leads to higher efficiency and output for fuel cells, and there are already calls for its full-scale application to fuel cell vehicles.

Sophia University provides support for patent applications and cooperation among industry, government, and academia

Sophia University is committed to supporting career development for female researchers and female students. Although people typically picture undergraduate faculties of science and engineering as being full of male students, in the Sophia University Faculty of Science and Technology, approximately half the students in the Department of Materials and Life Sciences are female. We have many female researchers who are highly active and accomplished.

Among them is Professor Tamao Saito, who teaches in the Department of Materials and Life Sciences. Her office conducts research on chemical substances made by microorganisms living in the soil, and on microorganisms’ communication through these chemical substances. Professor Saito discovered that cellular slime molds living in the soil secrete substances that repel crop-ravaging insects. She is carrying out collaborative research with chemical manufacturer Panefri Industrial Co., Ltd. with the aim of developing crop protectants that curtail pests using this repellent substance.

Professor Tamao Saito
Department of Materials and Life Sciences
Sophia University Faculty of Science and Technology

This research is now moving steadily forward, but Professor Saito says, “It is thanks to support from the Center for Research Promotion and Support that I am able to engage in this joint research.” The Center supports the research activities of teachers and students, and aims to apply research results widely in the world, including through cooperation among industry, government and academia.

“When I spoke about this research with the coordinator at the Center, I was invited to participate in a presentation of new technologies at the Japan Science and Technology Agency. After I presented the findings at this briefing session, several companies showed interest, and the outcome was this joint research with Panefri Industrial.” (Professor Saito)

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Sophia University, Faculty of Science and Technology