Teaching Faculty


Tito Akindele

Tito was born in London but grew up in Nigeria, where he had his elementary and secondary school education. He obtained a BSc in chemistry and an MSc in cancer cell and molecular biology from the University of Leicester. His undergraduate education involved a study-abroad year at the State University of New York at Buffalo. After PhD studies at Imperial College London and the University of Leeds, he worked at Kyoto University, Pfizer (Sandwich), RIKEN (Wako) and the University of Tsukuba. 

His research interests focus on the development of small-molecule modulators and probes of the protein-protein interactions involved in oncogenic, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.

Professor Akindele can be contacted at: titoakindele at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Naomi Berman

Naomi Berman is from Melbourne, Australia, and completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Sydney in 2009. After this time she spent several years as an academic teacher and research fellow at several national universities, as well as a program evaluator evaluating arts health and youth programs. She also spent 12-months evaluating a major project for the BBC in the UK.

Naomi’s research interests include young people and discourses of social entrepreneurship and change-making, principles and practices of teaching and learning in higher education using new technologies, and quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methodologies in youth, community arts and health and wellbeing. She is an Associate Editor of the UNESCO Observatory Multidisciplinary Research in the Arts e-journal.

Professor Berman can be contacted at: bermancgcs at gmail.com (adding @ where appropriate)

Britton Brooks

Dr. Brooks received his BA in English from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In 2007, he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Cardiff University in Wales, where he received a Master’s in Medieval British Studies. After several years teaching in Hawai'i, Dr. Brooks returned to academia for a second Master’s degree, and a DPhil (PhD) in Medieval English Literature at the University of Oxford in England. Dr. Brooks returned home to Oahu to take up a position in the English Department at UH Mānoa, during which time he founded Converging Epistemologies, an organization which seeks to bring together scholars from different fields and epistemological perspectives to engage with issues at the forefront of our contemporary dialogue. He is now a Project Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo. His research interests centre on medieval literary ecology, and wider questions concerning the relationship between humanity and the non-human world, as can be seen in his 2019 monograph, Restoring Creation: The Natural World in the Anglo-Saxon Saints' Lives of Cuthbert and Guthlac. His current project, funded by a 3-year JSPS grant, explores the use sounds and soundscapes in early medieval literature. For further information please see the following website: https://britton-brooks.squarespace.com

Professor Brooks can be contacted at: cbbrooks at @g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Anna Bordilovskaya

Anna Bordilovskaya obtained her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Kobe University. She holds a Masters degree, also in Linguistics, from Kobe University, and a Specialist Diploma in Linguistics and Language Education from the Far-Eastern State University of Humanities in Khabarovsk, Russia. Anna joined the ALESS Program in April 2019.

Professor Bordilovskaya can be contacted at: abordilovskaya at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Alex Bueno

Alex Bueno holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from Harvard University, and joined the program in 2017. Professor Bueno can be contacted at: alex.bueno at mail.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Greg Dalziel

Greg Dalziel holds a Ph.D. from Keio University where his work focused on measuring social identities across time and at scale using text analysis. Subtantively, his work spans studies in political and social cognition, culture, identity, nationalism, and politics. Methodologically, his work uses large-scale text collections and computational tools, with an emphasis on automated textual analysis. Previously, he worked for a number of years as a researcher at a think tank in Singapore, where he focused on security policy issues. Professor Dalziel can be contacted at: gdalziel at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)



Richard Dietz

Richard Dietz obtained his D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. He also holds a B.Phil. from the University of Oxford and an M.A. from Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen. Richard joined the ALESA Program in 2019.

Professor Dietz can be contacted at: richarddietz22 at gmail.com (adding @ where appropriate)

James Ellinger

Dr. Ellinger became a member of the ALESS program in April 2015. He also teaches courses in the PEAK Environmental Sciences division.

During his Ph.D. research, Dr. Ellinger developed methods to profile metabolites in complex biological mixtures using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This technology has applications for improving medical diagnoses, enhancing food safety, and developing next generation biofuels. During his postdoctoral research, he shifted his focus to synthetic biology. Within the realm of synthetic biology, he has been involved with research to engineer an artificial multi-species bacterial community, improve gene regulation in cyanobacteria, and mercury bioremediation using engineered Escherichia coli.

Dr. Ellinger is also interested in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. The iGEM competition is an international competition for (mostly) undergraduate university students interested in the field of synthetic biology. He has advised multiple iGEM teams since 2013 and currently advises the University of Tokyo iGEM team.

► B.A. in Biochemistry from the College of Wooster (2004)
► Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin (2012)
► Postodoctoral research – University of Minnesota, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology.

Professor Ellinger can be contacted at: ellinger at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Candler Hallman

 Candler Hallman is an anthropologist interested in the cultural and cognitive dimensions of conflict resolution. In the late 2000s, he worked in conflict mediation and as a researcher with victims of political violence in Northern Ireland. His research has resulted in papers on the cognitive-linguistic dimensions of identity alignment as well as the psychological and cultural aspects of hope in situations of prolonged political dispute. He has also researched in educational anthropology, focusing on the interactive and cognitive practices involved in teacher collaboration and student feedback. He teaches scientific/humanities writing in the ALESS/ALESA Program and anthropology courses in the PEAK Program at the University of Tokyo. Additionally, he is Research Associate at the Peace Research Institute, International Christian University, where he lectures in Peace Studies.

Professor Hallman can be contacted at: challman at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Catherine Hansen

Catherine Hansen holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, and a BA in English from Duke University. Her research and teaching interests center in European modernist, avant-garde, and experimental literature, in particular international Surrealist networks and exhibitions. She has recently presented her work on surrealist tactics of "programmatic misapplication of attention" at the São Paulo Biennial (November 2018), and has published on the Bucharest surrealist group Infra Noir and other midcentury and/or contemporary surrealist groups (most recently in The International Encyclopedia of Surrealism [Bloomsbury, 2019]). She is also interested in, and has written on, Proust, dreams, and the literary genre of historiographic metafiction. Before joining the ALESS/ALESA program in 2017, she lived in Beirut, Lebanon.

Professor Hansen can be contacted at: cchansen1 at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Tomoko Kamishima

I returned to my native country after 30 years’ absence to join the ALESS program from April 2019. After finishing my PhD at the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Vermont (USA), I worked at the University of Glasgow, the University of Leicester, and the University of Liverpool (all UK). I am a trained electrophysiologist with particular interest in calcium channels, potassium channels and calcium homeostasis of vascular smooth muscle cells.

I would like to say to my students that, although writing scientific reports in English may seem daunting, being a native English speaker is not necessarily advantageous. If you have a logical mind and clear thinking, you will be able to communicate as well as anyone, and I am here to help you. 

Professor Kamishima can be contacted at: tkamishima at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Diana Kartika

Diana Kartika was born in Singapore with an Indonesian and Chinese cultural background. After the completion of her basic university degree in Singapore, she has studied and worked in Australia, Thailand and Japan. She first came to Japan through the Asian Youth Fellowship in 2008 and went on to obtain her doctoral degree from Waseda University, where she also worked as a Research Associate at the Writing Center. She also holds a Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and has been teaching English to second language learners since 2007.

Diana’s research interests lies in the field of comparative education, sociology of education and international cooperation, and has conducted qualitative fieldwork in Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia. She also conducts research with JICA's research institute on disability and education. Additionally, Diana serves as a Communications Officer within the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), is an active SYLFF fellow of the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, as well as a member of the Japan Comparative Education Society (JCES).

► B.A. in Political Science from the National University of Singapore (2006)
► Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney (2008)
► M.A. in International Relations from Waseda University (2013)
► Ph.D. in International Studies from Waseda University (2017)

Professor Kartika can be contacted at: dianakartika at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp and her publications can be viewed here.

Akiko Katayama

Akiko Katayama (片山晶子) earned her doctor’s degree in education from Temple University. Her master’s degree is in Teaching English to the Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Boston University, and her B.A. is in law from Waseda University. While she has been teaching English all her adult life, Dr. Katayama is also an active researcher in applied linguistics. She conducts research regarding English and English education in Japan in qualitative methods, mainly ethnographic and narrative approaches. In addition, Dr. Katayama recently started to collaborate with other researchers to do mixed-method studies about language education. She is also greatly interested in the philosophy of research, especially post-structuralism and postmodernism.

Akiko was born in Yamanashi Prefecture and grew up in Tokyo. In fact, she spent her childhood near the Komaba Campus. After studying in the United States, she returned to Japan and lived in Kobe for many years. Dr. Katayama’s first language is ‘Tokyo’ Japanese, but she has also acquired a great deal of the Kansai dialect by raising two native speakers of that particular variety of language. Though English is her second language, Dr. Katayama feels her first “academic” language is English.  

Professor Katayama can be contacted at: akatayama at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

John Solomon Maninang

  • Food Science and Technology; Food Safety
  • Fruit Postharvest Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Allelopathy (plant-plant interactions)

My academic career began as a Food Technology undergraduate student of the University of the Philippines and continued as a graduate student of Food Science in the same university. I then joined the Philippine Ministry of Agriculture as a Research Specialist in charge of formulating internationally-harmonized standards on food safety. In 2007, I came to Japan as a Monbukagakusho scholar and joined the Pomology and Post-harvest Physiology Laboratory of the University of Tsukuba where I obtained my Ph.D. In a nutshell, my Ph.D. research provided the biochemical basis for the 250 year-old on the risky, or at times lethal, interaction of combined durian (fruit) and alcohol intake. I was then hired as post-doctoral scientist at the International Agro-Biological Resources Laboratory, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT). Here, I have characterized the role of UV-A on the biochemical mechanism behind the growth-inhibiting property of cyanimide, a natural plant compound, on other plants.

Basically, I am a food and postharvest scientist who is adept at scientific communication especially in the field of life and environmental sciences. Aside from the published papers I have authored, I have assisted researchers and graduate students publish scientific findings in internationally-refereed journals. I have coached professional researchers in science presentation, and taught speech communication to senior high school science students. Equipped with expertise and experience, my goal as a Project Assistant Professor is to introduce and guide science students of Tokyo University through the satisfying experience of scientific writing and presentation in the ALESS program.  

Professor Maninang can be contacted at: jmaninang at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Raquel Moreno-Peñaranda

Raquel Moreno-Peñaranda holds a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California (Berkeley), and joined the program as an ALESS instructor in 2016. Professor Moreno-Peñaranda can be contacted at: unitokyormp at gmail.com (adding @ where appropriate)

Rajalakshmi Nadadur

Rajalakshmi Nadadur is a scholar of religion and gender studies, working on intersectional feminism. She obtained a PhD in Religion (with a specialization in Gender Studies) from University of Stirling, U.K., Masters in Communication from the University of Maine, USA, and a Masters in Journalism from the University of Madras, India. She has been teaching in various capacities since 2007, and has taught in the U.S., U.K., and Thailand before joining the ALESS program in 2019. Additionally, she has taught a PEAK course in Anthropology of Religion in the Japan in East Asia program. She is affiliated with the Critical Religion Association based at the University of Stirling for which she was also the editor between 2014 - 2016. Between 2015 - 2019, she was an affiliated researcher at the Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research is in postcolonial feminism, gender equity, race/caste equity and social justice. Her doctoral dissertation was an ethnographic study of Carnatic Music community, contextualized within the nationalist movements in the early 20th century colonial South India, its active role in marginalizing traditional communities, and its impact on social justice. In addition to articles broadly on these themes, her publications include a co-edited special issue (Anthropos) on gender and material cultures, and a book chapter (Cambridge University Press) on gender and the politics of conversion. Of particular interest to her is the process of ‘decolonization’ of knowledge production, and the study of religion itself. She is interested in the politics of constructions and representations of intersectional identities, and the questions of empowerment, especially within the context of migration.

Her current research focuses on the materiality of the de/re/construction of mythologies and gender identities among Indian diasporic communities. She is also co-editing a book containing a collection of essays on the study of religion as an analytical category to be published later this year. Outside academia, she has worked in media and public policy research in India, U.K., and Thailand, where she has also held voluntary positions for organizations working with the urban refugee communities including the UN-ACT.

Professor Nadadur can be contacted at: rnadadur at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

John O'Dea

I have been Associate Professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies since April 2013. Immediately prior to that I was Project Assistant Professor with the ALESS Program from 2008, and before that Postdoctoral Fellow with the History and Philosophy of Science Program at Komaba. Before coming to Japan, I spent three years as postdoctoral fellow in the Philosophy Program of RSSS, ANU, Canberra, and in 2002 I graduated with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Monash University, Melbourne. I spent the 1997-8 American academic year in graduate coursework in the Philosophy Dept of the University Maryland (College Park). I took out of Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from The University of Queensland, Brisbane, where I was born and near where I was raised.

Professor O'Dea can be contacted at: jodea at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp

John Pazdziora

John Patrick Pazdziora holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of St Andrews. He joined the ALESA program in 2019. He researches Scottish literature in the long nineteenth century, especially the interplay between literature and religion. His work has appeared in various journals, including Literature and Theology and Jeunesse. He is the author of Haunted Childhoods in George MacDonald (Brill, 2020). Current research includes a JSPS-funded project on how portrayals of disability in Victorian children’s literature function as a form of theological discourse.

Professor Pazdziora can be contacted at: jpazdziora at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate).

Nigel Robb

Nigel Robb holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and an MSc in Software Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast. He joined the ALESS program in 2018. Previously, he was a Marie Curie Research Fellow at University College Dublin, and a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University. His research is focused on understanding the effects of video games on learning and cognition, and the application of games as interventions for people with cognitive disabilities.

Professor Robb can be contacted at: nigelrobb at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate).

Elisa Ruiz Tada

Elisa Ruiz Tada obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. She holds a Masters in Cognitive Science and Languages from the University of Barcelona, and a Master of Science in Animal Biology from Leiden University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Elisa joined the ALESS Program in April 2019.

Professor Ruiz Tada can be contacted at: eruiztada at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Jesús Pulido Arcas

Jesús Pulido Arcas obtained his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Seville, where he also obtained his M.Sc. and Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Jesús joined the ALESS Program in April 2019.

Professor Pulido Arcas can be contacted at: jpulido at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Ryan Seddon

Ryan joined the ALESS/ALESA program in September 2017 after completing his Ph.D. in Physiology, from Indiana State University. He has taught a wide range of subjects in the sciences, including Basic Science and Anatomy. Building upon his Masters in Zoology from Middle Tennessee State University, his research examined selection at the interface between physiology and evolution with a focus on identification of selection pressures. During his doctorate career, he became a scientist for animal welfare and conservation working in conjunction with local conservationists to examine environment effects on vertebrates. His current research interests aim at gaining a better understanding of the interactions between the environment and wildlife in Japan.

Professor Seddon can be contacted at: rseddon at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Shang-yu Sheng

Shang-yu Sheng holds a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where her work focused on eighteenth-century epistolary writing as a paradigmatic mode of public discourse during the print revolution in the England. Her research spans life writing, women's writing, media studies, public communication and rhetoric, and British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century. Before joining the University of Tokyo, she taught at Columbia University and Queens College, CUNY. She is a native of Taiwan and New Yorker in spirit.

Professor Sheng can be contacted at: ssheng at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Galina Shyndriayeva

Galina joined the ALESS/ALESA Program in April 2017, after completing a Ph.D. in History at Kings College London. She also holds an M.Sc. in History of Science, Technology and Medicine from Imperial College London and a B.A. in Romance Languages and Literatures and Classics from Harvard University. Her research interests focus on intersections between histories of business, science, technology and the senses in the twentieth century. Her current research, funded by a JSPS grant, builds on her graduate work to investigate the development of perfume making as a multibillion-dollar global industry by looking at the dynamic interactions of chemical knowledge, aesthetic expertise and corporate interests throughout the twentieth century.

Professor Shyndriayeva can be contacted at: gshyndriayeva at aless.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Alexandra Terashima

I completed my Ph.D. in Genetics at Harvard University and hold a B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire. My graduate research focused on regulation of gene expression during early embryo development using zebrafish as a model organism. As a graduate student I was increasingly interested in scientific writing and science communication, in particular how to help scientists communicate about their research findings to the general public. After a brief postdoc at the Laboratory of Embryology at University of Tokyo, I worked at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Saitama as an in-house editor and science communicator where I had a chance to help scientists improve their writing as well as to promote the research of the institute to the global community. I joined the ALESS/ALESA Program in September 2015.

Professor Terashima can be contacted at: aterashima at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Aurora Tsai

Dr. Aurora Tsai is from the USA, growing up in Ohio and Maryland. She received her MA in Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and her PhD in Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie Mellon University. While pursuing various research projects, she has taught academic English at various places, including Japan, Hawaii, Qatar, and Pennsylvania (USA).

Her research currently focuses on the intersections of race, language, and identity, and its applications towards language education and policy. In her most recent project, she looks at how raciolingistic ideologies equating race and language influence the identity development of mixed race and mixed heritage individuals.

Professor Tsai can be contacted at: amtsai at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Eric Vanden Bussche

Eric Vanden Bussche obtained his Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. He also holds an M.A. in Journalism from Columbia University, an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Chinese History from Peking University, and a B.A. in History from the University of Sao Paulo. His current research, funded by a two-year JSPS (KAKEN) grant, examines the relationship between pluralistic legal practices, colonialism, and the formation of identities along China’s borderlands from the late nineteenth century until 1940. He has been with the ALESA Program since April 2019.

Professor Vanden Bussche can be contacted at: vandenbussche at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)

Diego Tavares Vasques

Diego Tavares Vasques is Brazilian and holds an M. Sc. and a Ph.D. in Plant Taxonomy and Systematics from the University of Tokyo. He joined the ALESS program in April 2017. In addition to teaching ALESS, he also works as the ALESS laboratory manager. His research revolves around unveiling the evolutionary history of extant lineages of ferns in order to suggest new taxonomic combinations. His latest studies reveal how some particular species of ferns are delimited, including the discovery of new species. Diego has also a deep interest in education, in particular how to develop tools to facilitate in-class activities when teaching science-related content.

Professor Vasques can be contacted at: dtvasques at gmail.com (adding @ where appropriate)

Adam Weitemier

Adam Weitemier obtained his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Sciences University and did his postdoctoral studies at RIKEN Brain Science Institute (now the Center for Brain Science) in Saitama, Japan. He has participated in research investigating the neurobiology of classical conditioning, drug and alcohol addiction, neurotransmission, and the use of light-emitting nanoparticles for next-generation biomedical and neuro-therapeutic strategies. He also taught neurobiology at several universities in Tokyo. As a faculty member, since 2018, in the ALESS and FLOW programs at the University of Tokyo, he is proud to support students in building a strong foundation in scientific practice and effective academic communication. Adam continues to participate in research and teach neurobiology, where he seeks to incorporate educational tools that facilitate effective and enjoyable student learning.

Professor Weitemier can be contacted at: weitemier at g.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp (adding @ where appropriate)



Satoko Urushibara

Satoko Urushibara is the CGCS office manager. She was born in Tottori prefecture, and has lived for a number of years in London and Seoul.

Hiromi Arai

Hiromi Arai was born in Tokyo, and holds a bachelor's degree in American Studies.

Tomoko Okano

Tomoko is from Osaka and has lived in Los Angeles and Singapore. She holds a diploma in piano performance.

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