After graduating with her Doctorate in Chemistry in 2010, Maiko Kusano worked in a lab at Shimadzu Corporation in Kyoto, Japan prior to starting in her position at Nagoya University. This government-funded research lab (KLAST) was led by Nobel Laureate Koichi Tanaka for the development of a next-generation, high-performance mass spectrometry system. In order to establish new diagnostic and treatment methods for breast and esophageal cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, the system is designed to aid in finding biomarkers and candidate target molecules. The KLAST lab is no longer in existence as funding for this project ended in 2014, but Tanaka’s original lab is still there and Dr. Kusano has maintained close connections with him and his research team.
Dr. Kusano is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Legal Medicine & Bioethics at Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. She specializes in forensic toxicology, especially in research on method development for detection of drugs of abuse and novel psychoactive substances (NPS). She assists in autopsies and performs forensic toxicological analysis on collected specimens, as well as teaching and advising graduate students and senior medical students on research projects.
A recent and significant accomplishment of the university’s collaborative project with Shimadzu Corporation was developing a GC/MS/MS forensic toxicological database, which upon completion of the project was commercially released as “Quick-DB Forensic”. This project was one of the major undertakings that Dr. Kusano worked on since the beginning of her career at Nagoya University.
When she was still studying at FIU, Kusano was part of the Japanese Taiko drumming group “Fushu Daiko.” She still loves to drum in her spare time.