[Voices from Students in Japan] Mr. Komu, James Gitau | Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

Mr. Komu, James Gitau



PhD student

Graduate School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Agriculture 

Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

My research is focusing on avian influenza viruses with an overall goal of improved surveillance and controlled spread. To achieve this, I am working towards development of highly sensitive, specific and rapid diagnostic kits for highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. Basically, the apotheosis of this is preparation of recombinant proteins from highly conserved regions of these viruses which are in turn utilized as antigens to prepare specific antibodies to be employed in the diagnostic kits.


I chose to study in Japan after my interactions with the Japanese people while working with the Africa-ai-Japan project http://jkuat.ac.ke/projects/africa-ai-japan/ at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where I admired their efficiency especially in management of public resources and time as well as devotion to their jobs. I felt that besides my Ph.D., if I could learn and practice these Japanese work ethics I would greatly improve as an individual and additionally become a better person to the society and my country. In the future, I look forward to becoming a researcher and offer diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to viral diseases especially those with zoonotic potential.


I would like to encourage all young African students with prospects of studying abroad to consider Japan as it offers quality education programs with excellent research environment (Well equipped and technologically advanced research facilities). There is also exceptionally close interactions with supervisors and other senior researchers enabling one to easily overcome any hurdles during the research period. Japan is also very secure with many opportunities to experience the Japanese leading edge technological advancements and innovations such as the “Shinkansen” (bullet train) and robotics in many aspects of life. The fascinating culture and social life are also worth experiencing.