I’m a comparative newcomer at Takeda, but everyone on the team, regardless of research experience, is able to participate in data-based discussions. I encounter many people here whom I really respect for their technical skills, personality and warmth. Together, our objective is to make the most of gene-editing technology, making it as safe as possible, and turning research results into real-world treatments—a very challenging task. It’s true that you can feel a little isolated doing this kind of work, but this unit’s strength lies in its ability to work as a team. So, no matter how diﬃcult the task, I know that we are up to the challenge.
When it comes to gene therapy research, safety is our first priority. I love being able to work as a team with other researchers I respect and admire.
My friends working at other companies always tell me that Takeda is a very “serious” kind of company; so, I wonder how the world really sees Takeda? I’m an iPS cell researcher and I work with cell samples collected from actual patients.
I suppose the word “researcher” conjures up the image of someone stuck in a lab all day, but in the process of generating iPS cells, there are plenty of opportunities to talk with clinicians. So, I’m really grateful to be in a position where I can conduct rese.arch and still have a connection to real-world medical practices.
We often partner with doctors when conducting iPS cell research. My mission is to understand the mechanisms behind less understood illnesses and discover new treatments for them.
In my current role, I have lots of opportunities to meet with people outside the company, such as out.sourcing manufacturers and regulatory authorities. It’s at these meetings that I get to feel first-hand how Takeda has earned a name for itself as a trusted company. Countless times I’ve been reminded of how big the shoes are I have to fill in living up to the Takeda name. Even though we are not constantly focused on our corporate values, we are conscious of their being integral to what we do. In other words, we always do everything to the best of our ability— that’s the Takeda way.
Preserving the history we have built up is very important, as is fixing our eyes on the goal of one day having our iPS cell research culminate in products.
I joined the company about three years ago but still have a lot to learn. I’m always amazed at how even my senior colleagues feel a strong need to keep growing—this is a workplace where everyone is driven to grow and succeed. There are no step-by-step instructions. Rather, you’re given the space to take your own approach. Having said that, when you get stuck, there’s always someone to help you. My senior colleagues are always interested in hearing about approaches that I want to take; so, I’d say we have a highly coopera-tive, not a competitive, culture here.
I’m driven by the desire to help patients through pharmaceuticals, and hope that iPS cell research can shine a ray of light for patients who currently have no viable options.
There have been projects where Takeda has doggedly followed through where other companies have given up, and successfully created products out of them. That’s the very essence of the spirit of persistence passed down within the company. And, while it may sound like a cliché, we really are a company that thrives on challenges.
In the new field of regenerative medicine in particular, researchers have to constantly come up with new ideas. I’m excited by opportunities to work with other researchers and am confident that together we can clear any hurdle.
We have an amazing team of researchers here, meaning you can find someone with expertise in whatever technology or field you may need to consult on.
The T-CiRA project, which is researching regenerative medicine, was launched in the space of just four months, which is remarkably fast. I feel that Takeda now has the speed of a global company while maintaining the diligence and attention to detail of a Japanese company.
By definition, iPS cells change day by day, so they show us something quite different and interesting each morning. While I’m now no longer behind the microscope, I really look forward each morning to providing support to our enthusiastic team of researchers.
Working on iPS cell research is a really valuable experience for me. It gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients. I very much want new drugs and treatments to come out of it.