JMSA Student Representatives

The JMSA Student representatives are a group of medical students who are motivated to serve the Japanese and Japanese-American communities. We have been working on various programs, including the mentorship program, the International Salon events, the health lecture seminars, and more. Please stay tuned for our progress and updates!

2024-2025 Student Representatives

Abrahim N. Razzak – MS4 from Medical College of Wisconsin

Abrahim Razzak, also known as Abe, is a 4th year medical student from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He was born and raised in Orange County, California alongside growing up in Okinawa for a couple of years. He received a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) from the University of California, Los Angeles. During his time at UCLA, Abe was known for translating modern Japanese cultural works under the ALC Dept., Tokyo War Crimes Trial documents under the History Dept., and the Chatterbaby application project under the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Thereafter, he continued his translation work at local anime media distribution companies, taught math at his local Japanese school, and conducted outreach projects with the Japanese American National Museum.

As a first-generation college student, Abe shares a passion for educational outreach. Under sponsorship by the Nishioka-JMSA Charitable Foundation, he enacted healthcare career outreach presentations for Japanese schools in Los Angeles and Chicago. He hopes to continue connecting the bridge between US and Japanese healthcare as the current head JMSA student representative.

Andrew Maduakor – MS1 at the University of Illinois College of Medicine 

Hi everyone, my name is Andrew Maduakor and I’m a rising M2 at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. I’m originally from Prince George’s County, Maryland, and received my B.S. in Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), with a minor in Japanese and Global Public Health. During my latter years of college, I lived in my University’s Language Immersion Program with the Japanese Cluster and served as my university’s Japanese American Student Association’s President to help share different elements of Japanese culture to the community while also bringing members of the Japanese and Japanese-American community together. Before college, I had been very interested in both medicine and Japanese culture, but I enjoyed being able to speak to, connect with, and bridge communities whose members were Japanese, Japanese-American, or had a passion/interest in Japan. Just before starting medical school, I lived in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, teaching English to elementary and junior high school students for a little under two years.

Now that I’m back in the States, I want to do whatever I can to help bridge together the Japanese and US medical communities. I had the privilege of meeting a couple of amazing physicians in Japan, and I want to help advocate for Japanese medical students, trainees, and physicians who want to come to the US, and US medical students, trainees, and physicians who may want to go to Japan. I am excited to serve as a JMSA representative and get to know my fellow reps and the JMSA community!

Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I also enjoy cooking, playing volleyball, playing games, Taiko, and photography.

Erina Fujino – MS4 from University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Hi everyone, my name is Erina Fujino and I am a MS4 from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. I was born in Tokyo, Japan but moved to Greensboro, North Carolina along with my family at the age of 8. I received a B.S. in Biology and Master of Biomedical Sciences from Duke University and prior to medical school, I worked in Equity Sales at Citigroup Tokyo for two years. 

I am excited to be part of JMSA because it is one of the ways to meet and connect with aspiring physicians across the country who have similar goals of serving the Japanese community. Growing up in an area with a small Japanese population, it has not been an easy task to find other Japanese-Americans and be able to relate my experiences as a first-generation, bilingual Japanese individual. However, with zoom, I am grateful to be able to seamlessly work with many students and physicians in the U.S. and Japan. It is my goal to increase the presence of JMSA in the South East region including North Carolina in the future. Outside of medical school, I like to run (my goal is to run a half marathon), travel, and play the flute and piano. Also as a 2022 Honjo-JMSA Scholarship recipient, I am working on promoting JMSA through the use of social media as a way to recruit more members and share JMSA accomplishments and events. Please feel free to reach out if you are interested in learning more about gap year opportunities and involvement with JMSA! 

Genichiro Fujioka – MS3 from Texas A&M University College of Medicine

My name is Genichiro Fujioka, but I go by Gen. I am currently a MS3 at the Texas A&M University College of Medicine. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and spent my formative years in a Japanese speaking household with Japanese cultural practices and values. I attended the University of Texas at Arlington and received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Prior to medical school, I worked as a Medicine ICU nurse in Dallas for four years. In this role, I also worked as a nursing preceptor which developed my passion for medical education. Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing violin, traveling, and running.

I spent my formative years in a Japanese speaking household with Japanese cultural practices and values. However, after moving away from my family to a medical school with no other Japanese students, I felt as though I lost a core aspect of my identity. Through JMSA, I hope to develop a community of Japanese and Japanese-American medical students to celebrate our culture and develop future Japanese physicians. I hope to use my knowledge of Japanese language, culture, and values to continue fostering the strong relationships that JMSA has developed with professionals and the community.

Karissa Chesky – MS3 at Baylor College Of Medicine

Hello everyone, my name is Karissa Chesky, a medical student at Baylor College Of Medicine. I was born and raised in Denton, Texas, alongside going to Tokyo every summer to attend school and visit family. I went to the University of Texas at Austin where I received a B.S in Human Biology and minors in Business and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I then took a gap year where I did nonprofit Asian global health research and worked as a medical assistant. Outside of school, I enjoy playing the cello, soccer, and traveling!

I am thrilled to be a part of JMSA to connect with like-minded individuals who are excited about medicine and Japanese culture. Growing up in a small Texas town as a Japanese-American, I savored every opportunity to immerse in other cultures, and specifically strengthen my own Japanese identity. It has been enriching to join JMSA, and I look forward to participating further in this blend of Japanese and American medical communities.

Kent Yamamoto – MS2 at Texas A&M University College of Medicine

Hello everyone, I am Kent Yamamoto, a current MS2 at Texas A&M School of Medicine. Originally from Las Vegas, I grew up attending Japanese school on weekends and spent summers in Osaka, Japan, visiting family and attending school. I earned my B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Forensic Science from Baylor University. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, reading manga in Japanese, and soccer.

I am honored to be part of JMSA, which acts as a bridge to my Japanese heritage. Leveraging my multicultural upbringing and language skills, I am excited to contribute to JMSA and the wider Japanese community. My goal is to strengthen connections within Japanese communities, drawing inspiration from my ongoing friendships from school days in Japan

Nanako Shirai – MS2 from Harvard Medical College

Hometown: Osaka, Japan / Charleston, SC / Hanover, NH

Undergraduate: Princeton University

Gap Year(s): Masters in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University

Why JMSA: I grew up heavily steeped in Japanese culture, from going to school in Japan over the summers, to attending weekly Japanese Saturday school. As I’ve grown older and spent more time in American institutions, my desire to continue to cultivate relationships with people from a Japanese background has only grown. Participating in JMSA is one way for me to bridge my interests in the US and Japan, and continue to think about how I can best nurture and make use of my bicultural identity.

Riona Aburaki – 4th year student from Yokohama City University School of Medicine

Hi everyone, my name is Riona Aburaki, a fourth-year medical student at Yokohama City University in Japan. I’ve always had a pure curiosity towards science and research. I also aspire to be a clinician-researcher in the future.

JMSA has helped me connect with various physicians and researchers in the US through its mentorship program. This has given me deep insight and motivation to pursue opportunities in research abroad. I am very excited to work with JMSA and give back to the Japanese and Japanese-American community. 

Outside of academia, I enjoy running and enjoying nature (my goal is to climb the Mt.Fuji in the near future!)

I hope that by making continuous efforts and contributions, I can make a positive change in both the Japanese and American medical community.

Yuka Koyama – 3th year student from  University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Hi! My name is Yuka Koyama and I am a MS3 at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. I was born in Yokohama, Japan and moved to the U.S. when I was 7 years old. I am the oldest of 5 children in the family. We grew up moving around quite a bit, but we now call Apex, North Carolina home. I received my B.S. in Biology from UNC Chapel Hill and a M.S. in Biochemistry from Tulane University.

I am excited to be part of the JMSA community. As a first generation Japanese American, the culture is a core part of me. I hope to be a valuable player in JMSA’s missions. Outside of academics, I like to play soccer, go on hikes, and cook!