Tak Wah Mak

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Tak Wah Mak, (born 1946 in China) is an award-winning Canadian researcher who has worked in a variety of areas including biochemistry, immunology, and cancergenetics. He first became widely known for his pioneering work in the genetics of immunology.

Born in southern China in 1946 and raised in Hong Kong, Mak studied biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Wisconsin. In the early 1970s, he earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton. After he obtained his degree, Dr. Mak moved to Toronto and became a Canadian citizen.

In 1984, Dr. Mak published his work on the cloning of T-cell receptor genes; as of 2005, that article has been cited nearly 1200 times. Dr. Mak’s role in advancing the use of genetically-altered mice in scientific study has led to important breakthroughs in immunology and understanding cancer at the cellular level. The basic research in breast cancer.conducted by Dr. Mak has been published in top international scientific journals and he has given several keynote addresses at breast cancer symposia across Canada and the United States.

In spite of offers from prestigious institutions around the world, Dr. Mak remained committed to Canada’s scientific community. In 1993, Dr. Mak received support to establish the AMGEN Research Institute in Toronto. As of 2005, AMGEN-produced papers have been cited more than 40,000 times.

Dr. Mak holds Honorary Doctoral Degrees from numerous universities in North America and Europe. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has been elected a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK.) He has won international recognition in the forms of the Emil von Behring Prize, the King Faisal Prize for Medicine, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Foundation, the Paul Ehrlich Prize and the Novartis Prize in Immunology.

In 2004 Mak became the director of the Advanced Medical Discovery Institute and the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. He is also the senior scientist, division of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Advanced Medical Discovery Institute/Ontario Cancer Institute. Since 1984, he has been a Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at the University of Toronto.


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