Dr. Onami from the Laboratory for Developmental Dynamic, RIKEN BDR
We were lucky enough to speak to Dr. Shuichi Onami , Team Leader of the Laboratory for Developmental Dynamics at RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research(RIKEN BDR), who has been using Kiara.
■About Dr. Shuichi Onami
Dr. Shuichi Onami is a team Leader of the Laboratory for Developmental Dynamics at RIKEN BDR, and he is doing research on the analysis of developmental systems, the construction of mathematical models of development, and the development of techniques for quantifying developmental dynamics using large amounts of quantitative dynamic information.
He is not the kind of person we usually can talk to, but we are very honored that he has kindly agreed to be interviewed.
What problems were you experiencing before Kiara?
We had introduced Slack in our laboratory, and in consideration of some foreign members who had difficulty reading and writing Japanese and some Japanese staff who had difficulty reading and writing English, posts on Slack were written in both Japanese and English as much as possible.
However, as the number of Japanese staff members was larger than that of foreign staff members, the number of casual communications, especially those in Japanese, gradually increased.
The staff members who are not good at Japanese read the written Japanese by themselves.
How exactly does Kiara solve this?
Kiara has been introduced to simultaneously translate conversations on all Slack channels in the lab from Japanese to English or English to Japanese. This has significantly improved the equality of information distribution among lab staff.
Before the introduction of Kiara, communication in the lab Slack was increasingly conducted only in Japanese, but many Japanese staff felt guilty about this because they were aware of the existence of members with limited Japanese language skills.
After the introduction of Kiara, this guilt seemed to have been dispelled, and Slack communication in the laboratory became more active (the amount of posts increased).
In addition, Kiara has been used as a spice in casual communication in the laboratory, for example, when there are special messages for members whose mother tongue is not Japanese or English, Kiara translates the messages from Japanese/English to their mother tongue, which has an unexpected effect.
If you were to recommend Kiara to a friend, who would be the right team?
Teams with a mix of foreigners with limited Japanese language skills and Japanese with limited English language skills. In particular, teams that include Japanese staff for whom, due to the nature of their job, it is not necessarily essential to improve their communication in English.
In the case of our team, researchers, technical scientists and students need to be able to communicate in English if they are to be successful in a scientific industry where English is the world standard language. However, technical staff who carry out experiments and analyze information, and part-timers who assist them, do not necessarily need to improve their communication in English, as their duties are mainly in the laboratory.
■Message from Dr. Onami
Aiming at a predictable understanding of the development of multicellular organisms, we, RIKEN BDR, integrate molecular cell biology, biophysics, genomics, computational science, information science and mathematical science to build mathematical models of developmental systems and develop techniques for quantitative studies of development.
In recent years, we have been particularly active in data-driven modeling of development using large-scale microscopic image data, and international sharing and standardization of microscopic image data/biosystems dynamics data, leading the way in open science and DX in the life sciences.
Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to give us this interview.
You can find the summary of Dr. Onami’s research in the following.
■Press Release: New method to simulate genome movement
理化学研究所（理研）生命機能科学研究センター発生動態研究チームの新海創也研究員、大浪修一チームリーダー、細胞システム制御学研究チームの谷口雄一チームリーダー、広島大学クロマチン動態数理研究拠点の冨樫祐一准教授（理研生命機能科学研究センター細胞場構造研究チーム上級研究員）らの 共同研究グループ ...
■Video of Dr. Onami’s research talk at a national conference（2020/10/14）
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