Member Spotlight

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Setsuko Hashimoto, PhD

Jan 5, 2018

Hometown: Fukuoka, Japan
Current residence: Tokyo, Japan
Graduate degree: Doctor of Science in Molecular Biology, Heidelberg University, Germany
Current position: President and CEO, CellSeed Inc.

What is the current focus of your research, and what do you find most rewarding about your work?
The company is focusing on developing “regenerative medicine products” based on “Cell Sheet Engineering” invented by Prof. Teruo Okano, Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Japan. Currently we are developing two products, esophageal regeneration and the knee cartilage regeneration. It feels very rewarding that I can contribute in bringing these products using the revolutionary technology invented in Japan to the patients around the world. It is a challenge but worth trying to see the patients’ smile.
 
What led you to become a scientist and to stem cell research?
I was fascinated in science, as one of my uncles is a researcher in life science who influenced me a lot in my youth. I wanted to understand the creatures in chemical and molecular terms.  I devoted much of my time working in a cold room and taking care of rats at the university. Not only dedicated to research, I also found myself enjoying marketing in the biotech industry, where I can use my scientific knowledge and experiences. 
 
How do you spend your free time?
I like visiting museums and walking in nature, if I have any free time.
 
What is something your peers would be surprised to learn about you?
No one believes I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed of a colon cancer 17 years ago. Being as a biologist, I could keep cool to cope with the therapies. The most difficult task was to inform my family. The pathological examination after the endoscopic surgery indicated the cancer was more advanced than expected, and thus I received an additional surgery.  After two years’ regular medical checkups, the doctor confirmed no recurrence. Since then I have been enjoying an extra time I was given and working hard to return my luck to the society. 
 
What do you most value about your membership with the ISSCR?
It is valuable to exchange information and views on the stem cell research and its industry with the members in different areas around the globe. The annual meeting is an excellent opportunity that makes all of the members to get together in one place. I find many friends in the members, whom I know through over 30 years industry experience, and look forward to communicating with more in the coming meetings.