In the Tonegawa Lab, Ph.D. students and Postdocs are mentored and supervised directly by Dr. Tonegawa.
Each Ph.D. student and Postdoc is responsible for a specific project by becoming a project leader or co-leader. In addition, Dr. Tonegawa pays special attention to the starting Ph.D. student from the educational and training points of view. Traditionally, when a new Ph.D. student starts in the lab, Dr. Tonegawa identifies an experienced postdoc as a personal mentor for the student so that the student can have more frequent advice from the postdoc. This match is made based on their mutual research interests. This strategy leads to effective training of the student and in many cases has produced multiple co-authored papers between the pairs, with the student becoming a leading author in the later stage of the project.
In general, collaborations among lab members are highly encouraged, not only because they increase the efficiency of a project but also because they enhance the depth of the scientific value through constant dialogue.
Once a project is assigned, the project leader will be free to perform the investigation and will be supported with all the lab resources. This step is crucial to allow the project leader to develop an independent attitude toward research. Periodically, the project leader(s) and Dr. Tonegawa will meet to discuss the current state of the project and to consider possible strategies to improve its strength and speed. Weekly lab meetings also allow the project leaders to get rigorous scientific feedback from the other lab members.
Furthermore, during the preparation of a scientific manuscript, the interaction between the project leader(s) and Dr. Tonegawa becomes more intense. It’s often during these moments that the project leader will learn valuable lessons from Dr. Tonegawa, regarding how to present one’s work in public both in writing and verbally.
Finally, Dr. Tonegawa will offer his experience to support the professional development of each Ph.D. student and postdoc, including the ethics crucial for being a scientist.