COVID-19 Virtual Symposium Golden Ticket Winner

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 14:22
Arif Istiaq, Golden Ticket Winner

At Bio-Techne’s recent COVID-19 Symposium: New Research Tools to Help the Fight Against SARS-CoV-2, a Golden Ticket raffle was held, which awarded a $1000 USD product credit to the winner. The recipient of the award was Arif Istiaq, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Kunimasa Ohta’s lab in the Dept. of Stem Cell Biology at Kyushu University in Japan. Bio-Techne and our brands are proud to support researchers through our symposiums and grant programs and would like to congratulate Mr. Istiaq on his award. The interview that was conducted with Mr. Istiaq following the announcement of his prize is below.

Arif Istiaq, Ph.D. student
Dr. Kunimasa Ohta’s lab
Dept. of Stem Cell Biology
Kyushu University, Japan

Q&A with Arif Istiaq, Golden Ticket Winner

1 - Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself and your research

Hi, I am Arif Istiaq, I am doing my PhD research on stem cell generation in Professor Ohta`s Stem Cell Biology Lab at Kyushu University, Japan I am an international student here originally from Bangladesh. My lab discovered that the incorporation of exogenous ribosomes into differentiated cells reverts the potency into a pluripotent-like state, enabling the cell to differentiate into three germ layer cells. However, it's still unknown how ribosomes accomplish this. In my Ph.D. thesis work, I'm attempting to decipher a novel mechanism by which exogenous free ribosomes can reprogram differentiated cells into multipotent/pluripotent cells.

Relevant papers:

2 - What attracted you to join the Bio-techne COVID-19 Symposium?

I learned about the symposium from Facebook. I was looking through the program and I liked the way it covered diverse areas of COVID-19 research. In my own research, I work with enteroids and when I found out that there was a segment covering enteroid research in COVID-19, I got intrigued. I graduated majoring in microbiology, so I have natural interest in viruses and bacteria and now I am doing research on cells and organoids.

And how did you find the symposium?

I loved the symposium, and actively participated in the interactive polls. I especially liked the way it was hosted; it was informal and the presenters were very optimistic and open with their research opinions and their comments. I found it to be an enjoyable experience.

3 - You wrote intriguingly that the symposium helped formulate a new approach for your research. Could you tell us a little more about that?

I wanted to assess the ability of bacteria to induce multipotency in vivo in a mammalian system where the bacteria resides, but it is difficult to trace bacterial protein (ribosome) incorporation in the live mouse (gut). Methods like immunofluorescence or western blotting are not good options because many factors need to be analyzed to clarify the source. So, I was trying to find an easier way. Listening to the COVID-19 symposium, I saw that the Clevers lab is using the enteroid system and infecting it with SARS-CoV-2 to understand the disease at the cellular level. That presentation gave me the idea that I could use the enteroid system and infect it with my bacteria to assess its effect on multipotency in vivo.

4 - What did you think when you found out you were the Golden Ticket winner? How will you use it to progress your research?

To be honest, at first, I thought it was a spam message. When I got up in the morning, I checked my phone as usual and saw the email. After some time, I realized it was an original message and I was super surprised. Actually, this is the first time I have ever won any lottery! With this ticket, I am planning to use it in my own research for bacteria mediated stem cell generation, which will contribute to the field of regenerative medicine. The products I will use include GMP-grade Recombinant Activin A, the StemXVivo™ Endoderm Kit, Mouse IL-1 beta, and a Mouse IL-1 beta/IL-1F2 Antibody from R&D Systems. I don’t work with the COVID-19 now, but in future I plan to use my work as an aid to the existing approaches to fight COVID-19.

5 - Any message you would like to share with other researchers out there?

You are the frontier of the research now, the face of the science, hold the line and together we shall prevail.

Related Resources

Products for SARS-CoV-2 Research

Stem Cell Products

Organoid and 3-D Cell Culture Reagents