Chemistry alumna turned toxicology expert

maiko kusano with ken furton

After earning her Ph.D. in Chemistry, Forensic Track at FIU, Maiko Kusano took her talents to Kyoto, Japan. There, she worked in a government-funded lab (KLAST) at Shimadzu Corporation, led by Nobel laureate, Koichi Tanaka.

At KLAST, Kusano worked on the development of a next-generation, high-performance mass spectrometry system. The goal was to establish new diagnostic and treatment methods for breast cancer, esophageal cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The system was designed to aid in finding biomarkers and candidate target molecules.

Kusano has since transitioned to teaching and advising graduate students and senior medical students on research projects as an assistant professor at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine. Her expertise lies in forensic toxicology, specifically in research on method development for detection of drugs of abuse and novel psychoactive substances.

Her worlds recently collided when the university collaborated with Shimadzu Corporation on developing a GC/MS/MS forensic toxicology database, which was commercially released as “Quick-DB Forensic.” This project was one of the major undertakings that Kusano worked on since launching her teaching career at Nagoya University.