Professor Tak W. Mak

Department of Medical Biophysics and Department of Immunology

Appointed a University Professor in 1997

Professor Tak Mak is an international scholar whose work has shown how fundamental research can expand knowledge and be applied usefully in disease. Professor Mak is one of a handful of international leaders in immunology and his research has had an enormous impact on immunologists all over the world.

Professor Tak W. Mak joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1975 and is a member of the Department of Medical Biophysics and Department of Immunology. He was named University Professor in 1997. He is also the Director of the Advanced Medical Discovery Institute in the University Health Network. He received training at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, the University of Alberta and the Ontario Cancer Institute. Dr Mak was also the Founding Director of the Amgen Institute from 1993 – 2002.

His research interests centre on immune recognition and regulation as well as cell survival and cell death in normal and malignant cells. He is best known as having led the group that first cloned the genes of the human T cell antigen receptor. This discovery was a signal advance in immunology and is now basic to our understanding of the immune response. His more recent work includes the creation of a series of genetically altered mice that have proved critical to unraveling intracellular programs governing the development and function of the immune system, and the dissection of signal transduction cascades in various cell survival and apoptotic pathways. Dr. Mak's research successes are well documented in over 500 scientific publications, most of which appear in elite journals such as Cell, Science, and Nature.

He holds Honorary Doctoral Degrees from universities in North America and Europe, is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been elected a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK). In Canada, Dr. Mak has been awarded the E.W.R. Steacie Award, National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Ottawa, the Ayerst Award, Canadian Biochemical Society, the Stacie Prize, Stacie Trust Foundation, and the Robert Noble Prize, National Cancer Institute of Canada. He also 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, and the Novartis Prize in Immunology.

Click here for Professor Mak's website.