Grace Simmons '22

IIP Newsletter Spotlight

Major: Neuroscience
Internship site: UTokyo Institute for Diversity & Adaptation of the Human Mind, Tokyo, Japan
Tell us a little about your IIP: This summer, I’ve been working with the Koike lab at UTokyo to investigate the environmental and familial contributors of mental health stigma by analyzing data from the lab’s Tokyo Teen Cohort study. I have always been interested in Japanese language and culture, as well as Hikikomori ( a culture-bound syndrome of social isolation). During my internship, I've had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how Hikikomori and other mental health conditions are perceived in Japan. Given the increasing urgency of improving global mental health following the onset of the pandemic, it has been extremely rewarding to apply the skills and knowledge gained from my past neuroscience and global health coursework on such a relevant project. Overall, it has been really fun getting to know the other members of the lab, exchanging ideas, and broadening my perspective.
Do you have tips for future interns? Don't hesitate to reach out to your coworkers and set up a time to talk and hear more about their projects and experiences!
A unique hobby and a little bit about it: I collect and prepare tea from around the world! Recently, I got a chasen (a traditional Japanese bamboo whisk), and I've been spending a lot of time refining my matcha latte recipe.
IIP Summer Playlist Song: Lost in Paradise by Ali feat. aklo