Ten years ago, in April 2007, I went abroad to study at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in San Diego, USA. As an overseas researcher with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), I worked with Professor Phil S. Baran (an associate professor at the time), who was a distinguished young researcher in synthetic organic chemistry. Working abroad had been my dream ever since I had decided to work at a university as a researcher. Through my study of organic chemistry, I hoped to spread my wings and explore the world. Fortunately, the research projects at TSRI went well, and a year and a half later, I returned to Japan, to Nagoya University as an assistant professor (under the guidance of Professor Kenichiro Itami). During my time abroad, I certainly gained a lot of experience in chemistry, but as I look back to 10 years ago, I feel that the personal interactions remain much more important to me. Numerous Japanese researchers who studied overseas around the same period, and many TSRI graduate students I encountered, are currently faculty members at top universities around the world. At this memorable and nostalgic phase of my life, I am sharing here a personal account of the research I conducted and the researchers I met during my stay in San Diego.
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