Congratulations to TRIP Lab Senior & Expert Histotechnologist, Toshi Kinoshita, who celebrates 25 years at UW Madison.
Toshi, how did you get into the field of histology?
After graduating from UW with a degree in Medical Technology, the Pathology department needed someone to fill a need and start a histology lab.
How many years of experience do you have?
I have 25 years of experience doing histology work.
Describe your job in one sentence.
I take research tissues and prepare them so that the researchers can visualize the tissues’ associated pathologies, or lack thereof.
When/where did you start to work at UW?
I actually started as a student, washing dishes for a pharmacology lab back in 1995.
When did you join TRIP?
I joined TRIP, at our current location, back in 2015, but with Dr. Andreas Friedl, when interviewed for TRIP’s first employee many years before around 2002.
What do you like the most about your job?
I get to see lots of different things that people are working on. Their differing needs keep it interesting. Even after 25 years, there always seems to be something new to come in.
What makes histology so cool?
Histology is science at the core but more of an artform. You have to recognize different situations and sometimes be prepared to think outside the box. Recognizing the subtleties between different tissues and how they react to varying conditions takes time and lots of practice.
What are the weirdest samples you have to work with? Describe the situation(s).
I’ve worked with lots of different tissues, from embryonic octupi beaks, monkey taste buds, mouse cochleae and fish gonads up to full-size human larynx. One of the more challenging has to be the filarial nematodes. Imagine taking a single piece of white hair about an inch long, cutting it into 10 pieces then having to stand all those pieces on end, at the same time.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I spend a lot of my spare time creating other things. I build furniture and do other woodwork. I enjoy creating custom vinyl car stickers and etched glassware. And when the time rolls around, I help create sets and props for the Verona Area High School’s fall musicals and spring plays.
I also like to travel and go to Kauai and NYC whenever possible.
Do you have any pictures to share of you and your work? Publications, etc.
Images of things I have worked on are in many journals, as I’ve helped hundreds of people with their research publications. Some examples would be an image of a full mouse embryo in the 2002 Journal of Biological Chemistry (scanning technology was not as good back then), and a more notable image in the September 2021 issue of the Journal of Anatomy.