Personal Statement

My career goal is to contribute to human health through scientific discoveries and innovations. After receiving my medical degree from Kyoto University in Japan, I took a career path as a surgeon. During my five-year career as a surgical oncologist, I saw many cancer patients who developed very aggressive tumors. Because none of the treatments were effective, I realized the necessity of transformational developments leading to new treatments for cancer patients.

My cancer research career began at Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine. During my doctoral training, I studied how tumor suppressor genes are inactivated in esophageal cancer. Then I realized the need for basic science training for innovative science, and moved to the Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. I started a project on the mechanisms of genomic amplification, a process that drives aggressive tumor phenotypes such as tumor progression and therapy resistance. Since becoming an independent researcher at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, I have provided novel insights on both genetic and genomic factors involved in gene amplification. I also gained deep insights into human genetic variation and genome evolution, subjects that are important for understanding the complexity of the human genome. In 2014, I moved to Cedars-Sinai to expand my work.

In summary, armed with expertise in both the concepts (cancer biology, human genetics and molecular evolution) and methodology (molecular biology, cell biology and genomics), I am dedicated to the development of interventions for novel cancer diagnostics and treatments.

Contact the Tanaka Lab

8700 Beverly Blvd.
Davis Building, Room 2058
Los Angeles, CA 90048