The 3rd Annual Zoomer List: Canada’s Top 45 Over 45 — Dr. Tak Mak

Dr. Tak Mak, 66

Researcher Dr. Tak Mak’s discoveries have made seminal contributions to the understanding of immunity, especially for cancer and HIV-AIDS. It started with his renowned breakthrough in cloning T-cell receptor genes more than 25 years ago and, most recently, he led an international team that identified an oncometabolite, a mutated metabolic enzyme linked with the onset of acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most common types of leukemia in adults.

This finding will help in developing inhibitors to block the mutation and hopefully prevent the disease. He is currently  director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital and senior scientist in the division of stem cell and developmental biology at the Ontario Cancer Institute. “I started out in life to become a priest but then became captivated by the splendour of science.