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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Jr-Kai Yu_游智凱
EASPI Visiting Student: Lisa H Jung, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

Host Faculty and Institute: Jr-Kai Yu, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

This summer, our laboratory has a great experience with the EAPSI visiting student, Ms. Lisa Jung. Lisa arrived in our laboratory in early July and has spent almost six weeks here working on her research project. Her project is to investigate the function of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) signaling system in the cephalochordate amphioxus. Amphioxus is a basal chordate and occupied a key position for understanding the evolutionary origin of vertebrates. It has been controversial that whether amphioxus has a functional GnRH signaling system equivalent to that of vertebrates, and Lisa is setting out to address this issue during this summer. Our laboratory has developed a culturing system that enables year-round supply of amphioxus adults; furthermore, during summer breeding season, we can obtain spawning from mature animals. During her visit in our laboratory, Lisa has been working hard and used several forms of the GnRH peptides on amphioxus adults to test their effects on the reproductive behavior of amphioxus. From her preliminary data, she found that GnRH peptides might not be able to directly stimulate the spawning in amphioxus; however, GnRH peptides may be able to induce gonad maturation. This is a very interesting result suggesting that GnRH signaling system is functioning in amphioxus for its reproduction. Lisa will continue some quantitative expression analysis and perform more detailed data analysis after she returns to her home institute.

In terms of daily life in our laboratory, Lisa has been getting along very well with our lab members. She is very sociable and makes friends easily with our lab members. She is also actively participating our lab meetings and journal clubs. We usually have our meetings in Mandarin Chinese, but because of her presence, some lab members started to use English to present their works - although not every of our lab members can completely use English to do their presentation. After interacting with Lisa during this summer, I notice that our lab members have become more and more comfortable in using English, especially for those young students.

In sum, I am really glad to have Lisa in our laboratory this summer. She is doing excellent works and actively interacting with people here. I would like to thank NSF (USA) and NSC (Taiwan) for providing this kind of fellowships for international collaboration. I hope we will continue to have this kind of visiting students in the future.
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