Emerging Investigator Series – Takuya Isono

Takuya Isono is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University in Japan. He earned his Ph.D. degree in polymer chemistry from the Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering at Hokkaido University in 2014. During his Ph.D. studies from 2012 to 2014, he was a JSPS research fellow (DC1). After completing his Ph.D., he began his research career as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University in 2014. Since April 2021, he has held his current position at Hokkaido University. His expertise is in precise polymer synthesis, and his research interests are currently centred on organocatalytic polymerization, bio-based polymers, block copolymers, and topological polymers. He has received scientific awards for his research, including the Inoue Research Award for Young Scientists from the Inoue Foundation for Science in 2016, the Polymer Research Encouraging Award from the Society of Polymer Science, Japan in 2020, and the Research Encourage Award from the Chemical Society of Japan in 2021.

Read Takuya’s Emerging Investigator Paper, Installation of the adamantyl group in polystyrene-block-poly(methyl mathacrylate) via Friedel–Crafts alkylation to modulate the microphase-separated morphology and dimensions, DOI: D3PY00113J.


Check out our interview with Takuya below:


How do you feel about Polymer Chemistry as a place to publish research on this topic?

Our group is working on a diverse range of research, such as the search for novel polymerization catalysts, development of new living polymerization systems, investigation of the structure and physical properties of architecturally complex polymers, and creation of functional polymer materials. In my opinion, Polymer Chemistry is an invaluable publication media that offer an excellent platform for sharing such a broad range of polymer science research findings with the interdisciplinary research community.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

My research interests in polymer science involve synthesizing functional polymer materials, investigating their physical and functional properties, and using these insights to design further refined materials. Within those research topics, the synthesis of materials itself is challenging, and the subsequent study of their properties and functions is even more so. As my expertise lies in polymer synthesis, I feel a great sense of achievement when a synthesis goes smoothly as expected. I am thrilled when I observe beautiful structures or patterns under a microscope or through scattering measurements. I am also excited to discuss interesting experimental results or the potential for new research themes with colleagues and students.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

I believe that proposing a range of innovative ideas to facilitate the sustainable use of polymer materials will be a crucial challenge in the field of polymer chemistry for the next decade.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

Having good mentors and collaborators is extremely important not only for successfully completing your research projects, but also for advancing your career. Without their guidance and support, I would not have been able to continue pursuing my research and academic career.



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