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Postdoc Spotlight: Kentaro Oki examines impact of aging on muscle

From staff reports | Sep 21, 2015
Kentaro Oki.
Kentaro Oki. Photo credit: Jean Andrews/Ohio University.

In honor of National Postdoc Appreciation Week Sept. 21-25, the Office of Research Communications is spotlighting Ohio University postdoctoral fellows across campus.

Kentaro Oki is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Ohio Musculoskeletal & Neurological Institute, under the direction of Brian Clark. He also works in collaboration with the Edison Biotechnology Institute, under the direction of John Kopchick.

Oki recently participated in a Q&A for the Office of Research Communications.

Please tell us about your research, scholarship or creative work.

As we age, we tend to grow weaker, and this is likely due to altered functions in neural and muscular structures. My research is aimed at understanding how aging affects neural and muscular performance as well as why such changes occur in the first place.

How long have you been a postdoctoral fellow, and what are your primary responsibilities in your lab, program or team?

I have been a postdoctoral fellow for two years, and my primary responsibilities are to independently research, conduct the studies and publish the results targeting the primary aims listed above. I also teach a few lectures for graduate and medical students to gain competency in teaching. All activities are meant to train me for a career in research or academia.

How does your postdoc position benefit you and how will it help you in your career?

It gives me the chance to independently conduct research while also having oversight from senior advisors who fund, review and provide the space for my work. It also allows me to produce more publications, which is likely the major factor in hiring decisions for future research positions.

How do university research programs benefit from postdocs?

Ideally, our research will generate more publications that can inform others (e.g. other scientists here at the university as well as researchers at other institutions), and the work can be used towards future grant applications to further fund research at the university. In the end, the research we conduct is meant to benefit the people who fund the vast majority of our projects—the taxpayers.