Fellow Researchers and Research Themes

Md. Arafat Al Mamun, Bangladesh

Affiliation in Home Country Centre for Advanced Research in Sciences, University of Dhaka
Title (Position): Senior Scientist
Research Themes

Transposon mutagenesis of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens to explore the genetic regulation of secondary metabolite production

Laboratory Applied Microbiology Unit, Division of Food Biotechnology
Advisor Dr. Keitarou Kimura


I had a passion to learn and do research in Japan which was grown during my first visit to Japan to attend 6th HOPE meeting with Nobel laureates, Tokyo, 2014. Therefore, I express my deepest appreciation to JICA-Kirin and NFRI, NARO for providing me the opportunity to meet my passion of doing research in Japan. I am very much delighted with the politeness, sincerity, discipline, helpfulness of the Japaness people as well as the culture and the enviornment of Japan. I am very much fond of the charming sceneries around my host institute especially the pattern of housing and the agricultural works on the fields. The NFRI has an excellent research facility as well as environment to conduct high quality research. I have to learn many things here such as how to succeed in research. The learning from NFRI will be of great help to impliment my research in my home institute as well as in my country. I am now doing research on "Transposon mutagenesis of Bacillus spp. to explore the genetic regulation of secondary metabolite production" in Applied Microbiology Unit under the guidance of my adviser, Dr. Keitarou Kimura. This research is very important to understand the genetic regulation of production of metabolite to promote the usage of microbial pesticide in agriculture and food production sector which could in turn keep the environment healthy by subsiding chemical pesticide. My adviser teaches me every thing of molecular biology research. His guidance forces me to succeed in research sector. Everyday, after finishing research work he will say "see you tomorrow" which ispires me to think about the next day’s work plan. Therefore, my hertfelt thanks to my reverend adviser Dr. Keitarou Kimura. All the members of this lab are found very nice and very helpful and I appreciate discipline and hardworkingness of my lab mates. Finally, I am looking forward to achieving a wonderful experience of the advanced research from Applied Microbiology Unit, NFRI by attending JICA-Kirin fellowship program.

Mutturi Venkata Ravi Krishna Sarma, India

Affiliation in Home Country CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI)
Microbiology and Fermentation Technology
Title (Position): Scientist
Research Themes Production of industrially relevant enzymes from lime-pretreated rice straw
Laboratory Bioresource Conversion Unit, Division of Food Biotechnology, NARO
Advisor Dr. Ken Tokuyasu


My sincere thanks to JICA-KRIN for giving this opportunity to carry out research in NARO, Japan. My research problem is conversion of complex rice-straw to simpler sugars and subsequently produce industrially relevant enzymes using microorganisms. I am primarily focusing on crude chitin degrading enzymes. Here the challenges are (i) to find a relevant microbe which can produce enzyme of interest (ii) to ensure that the microbe survives in the adverse rice-straw hydrolysate for growth and production of the enzyme. Moreover, the topic is highly relevant to India. Large amounts of rice-straw are being generated in India as agricultural residue, and its sustainable valorization could reap several benefits. I would like to sincerely thank my advisor Tokuyasu-san for being highly receptive with his encouraging support (not to forget his sense of humor). I would also extend my thanks to other lab members, Yamagishi-san and Ike-san for constant support, and the administration staff (Maho-san and Hemmi-san) for making life easy in NARO. I find work environment in Japan highly disciplined and focused. It is a pleasure and privilege to be a part of this journey and I hope to become a wiser me. My best wishes to other JICA-KIRIN fellows.

Yin Min Htun, Myanmar

Affiliation in Home Country Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Myanmar
Title (Position): Staff Officer, Rice Division, Department of Agriculture, Nay Pyi Taw
Research Themes Detection and Determination of Modified Fumonisins Occurred in Staple Flours
Laboratory Chemical Hazard Unit, Division of Food Safety
Advisor Dr. Hiroyuki NAKAGAWA


First of all, I would like to express a great thankfulness to JICA and KIRIN holding Co. Ltd for giving me the valuable chance to become a research fellow on the field of post-harvest food science and nutritional management technology. Also, I am deeply grateful to Food Research Institute, NARO (NFRI) for comprehensive hosting with relevant supports in advance to make my life in Japan smooth and comfortable. This program led to my second visit to Japan, and it made me full of happiness as I had been missing the lovely atmosphere of Japan since 2011, the time I was awarded with a Master's Degree in Agriculture from Yamagata University (Faculty of Agriculture, Tsuruoka city). Food is basically supplied by agriculture which is also my background, and Food safety is also one of the aims of our organization (Department of Agriculture) in Myanmar. Here, most importantly, I wish to sincerely thank my advisor Dr. Hiroyuki NAKAGAWA, Principal Researcher, and Dr. Masayo KUSHIRO, the Leader of Chemical Hazard Unit, belonging to Food Safety Division. With their useful advice and guidance, their enthusiasm, their inspiration and knowledge as well as their great efforts, I would learn the research on the field of mycotoxins, such as fumonisins, aflatoxins, etc.

When I return to my home country Myanmar, I can surely promise that the knowledge experience and skills obtained through this program would be effectively and efficiently applied into food safety categories by strengthening the capability of growers, producers and processing groups in Myanmar.

Chiraporn Ananchaipattana, Thailand

Affiliation in Home Country Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, Department of Biology
Title (Position): Assistant professor
Research Themes Characterization of anti-microbial peptides produced by bacterial strains isolated from traditional fermented Thai foods
Laboratory Food Safety Science Unit, Division of Food Safety Research
Advisor Dr. Susumu Okamoto


Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to JICA, Food Research Institute, NARO and Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi for giving me the valuable opportunity to attend the JICA-Kirin fellowship program and to Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd for sponsoring and funding the program. A special appreciation to my research advisor, Dr. Susumu Okamoto for giving me the opportunity to do my research in Food Safety Science Unit and his suggestion for the experimental strategy. All the members in Food Safety Science Unit are very kind, amiable, and most importantly very supportive. I would also like to show my special appreciation to Dr. Yasuhiro Inatsu, my research advisor during my study for Ph.D. at University of Tsukuba from 2010 to 2013, for helping and supporting me all the time. I am grateful to all members in Food Hygiene Unit for their help to do my doctoral degree research in this unit. My primary research interest is characterization of anti-microbial peptides produced by bacterial strains isolated from traditional fermented Thai foods. Preservation of food is a serious concern for almost all countries across the world. Antimicrobial peptides characterization has received attention because they can be applied as food preservatives without any toxic effects on consumer. The research in the field of bio-preservation can lead to finding an attractive approach alternative to chemical preservatives. I expect that the results obtained from this project can be helpful for my study in the field of food preservation. Moreover, I will transfer experience and technology that I learn here to my students and colleagues. Finally, Tsukuba is a beautiful city. I like difference of trees around Tsukuba city because they change color in one year from green to yellow and then to white. I hope I can see the white color before I go back to Thailand.

Hoa Thi Minh Tu, Vietnam

Affiliation in Home Country Institute of Biotechnology (IBT), Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST)
Title (Position): Researcher
Research Themes Basic research for application of high hydrostatic pressure treatment.
Laboratory Applied Microbiology Unit, Department of Food Biotechnology,
Advisor Dr. Takashi Inaoka


Vietnam is an agricultural country where about 70% of the population lives dependently on agriculture. However, the production of agricultural and seafood products is facing innumerable difficulties, especially in terms of food security. Therefore it is necessary to find suitable solutions to food processing and preservation technology which can help producers to meet international standards of food hygiene. It is widely known that Japan is a very developed country and very strong in food technology, with a lot of advance technology. Working as a scientist in this field, I have been dreaming of having a chance to study over there. Luckily, my dream has just come true. I am sure that my knowledge and research experience obtained from this program will be very helpful for me to improve my knowledge and skill in my research career in future and I hope I can contribute more to the improvement of the quality of food and agricultural products in my country - Vietnam.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to IBT-VAST, JICA, Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd., and NFRI for offering me this great opportunity. I would also like to extend my gratitude especially to Dr. Takashi Inaoka, my advisor who has been helping and supporting me. I feel I am so lucky to work under his guidance. Last but not least, all members in Applied Microbiology Unit, Division of Food Biotechnology are also very kind to me, making my stay in Japan most enjoyable. I will keep those memories in my mind.