I am Maria Angenica F. Regilme, or Nica for short, I am currently a PhD student in the MECOH laboratory. I joined the laboratory as a Research student in September 2016 as a Japanese government scholar and started my PhD program from 2018 April until present.
My PhD dissertation’s main goal is to use a wholistic approach of studying the relationship between the vector, host, microbiome including the pathogen and the environment to create a substantial information for an effective vector borne disease (VBDs) control. For my dissertation, I focused on the top VBDs: mosquito-borne diseases focusing on dengue mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus and tick-borne diseases vectors, Ixodes ovatus and Haemaphysalis flava.
The overall objective of my dissertation is to know the gene flow pattern among arthropod vector (e.g. mosquitoes and ticks) populations can be influenced by environmental factors (e.g.roads and altitude) and the hosts affecting the pathogen transmission. The presentation is for 45 minutes followed by question and answer portion from the audience for 15 minutes and a close meeting with the thesis panelist: Kozo sensei, Kitamura sensei and Miyake sensei.
Finally, after more than 3 years I was able to present my thesis dissertation last 18 August, it was a hybrid style of thesis presentation wherein the thesis panelist are online via zoom while I present my thesis with my labmates in the seminar room. Before my presentation, I was nervous but I told myself to do my best because this is my only chance to get a PhD degree and to share the importance of my research to controlling vector-borne diseases. After the presentation and the question and answer portion, tears of joy fell into my eyes, I could only thank God, my family and friends, MECOH lab members (former and present), co-authors, collaborators, funding agencies and everyone who helped me in this PhD journey and most especially Kozo sensei for the support and guidance, without it, I will not be able to present my dissertation. I still don’t know the results of my thesis dissertation if I can be able to get the PhD degree. I can only hope that through God’s will I can get the degree and still continue doing research after PhD that can have an impact on improving the lives of people for example, research about tropical diseases.
My heart is full of gratitude to everyone who have helped me, almost 6 years of PhD journey is one of the most memorable moments in my life that shaped me to become a future scientist and taught me many learnings in my life. Again, thank you!