Pharmacy students participate in 2023 Sakura Science Exchange Program

Four students from the USC Department of Pharmacy participated in the Sakura Science Exchange Program (SSP) from October 15 to 21, 2023 at the Okayama University in Japan. 

USC Contingent visits the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dentistry, and Medicine at Okayama University.  From left: Asst. Prof. Dr. Jun Matsumoto, Zach Uriel Cabije, Stan Matthew Taylaran, Prof. Dr. Atsushi Ono, SHCP Dean Dr. Gerard Lee See, Prof. Dr. Takaaki Kubota, Eden Cesista, Beatrix Loyao, and James Senido.

The USC delegation was composed of Master of Science in Pharmacy students Beatrix Loyao and James Senido and Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy students Stan Matthew Taylaran and Zach Uriel Cabije. They were accompanied by faculty member Eden Cesista and School of Health Care Professions (SHCP) Dean Dr. Gerard Lee L. See

The SSP offered a unique blend of professional enrichment and cultural immersion activities. During the visit, the students were immersed in Okayama University’s community and hospital pharmacy practice, clinical research, and cutting-edge pharmaceutical sciences research. 

USC Contingent visits Okayama Pharmacy Joto (Community Pharmacy) staffed by Satoshi Sugiura (2nd from right) and Koji Niidome (right) and their colleagues.

These covered various areas such as natural anti-malarial compounds, anti-cancer compounds extracted from marine organisms, optogenetics, personalized medicine, epidemiology, and data science. 

Apart from cross-cultural awareness, the program also played an important role in strengthening international ties, broadening professional networks, and in aiding the exchange of ideas and best practices in the pharmacy profession between nations. 

The SSP expanded the career opportunities of the students as it added an invaluable international dimension to their education.

USC delegates receive certificates of completion from Sakura Science Program. From left: Asst. Prof. Dr. Jun Matsumoto, Zach Uriel Cabije, Stan Matthew Taylaran, James Senido, Beatrix Loyao, SHCP Dean Dr. Gerard Lee See, Eden Cesista, and Prof. Dr. Takaaki Kubota.

The Sakura Science Exchange between Japan and USC started in 2015. To date, USC has sent four delegations, three of which to Okayama University, since the start of their partnership in 2018. 

The department’s consistent efforts in engaging in such exchange programs is a testament to the University’s firm commitment to providing holistic and global platforms for quality education and its continued dedication to advancing the pharmacy profession in the country.

by Dr. Florencio V. Arce Jr., Department of Pharmacy

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