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Tomio Tada

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 14 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3766
  1. Ned Stafford

    Established the concept of immune suppression and wrote classical Japanese plays

    If you want to study immunology in Japan then you should join the team of Tomio Tada at the University of Tokyo. That was the advice given in the early 1980s to Moriya Tsuji by his father, a medical school professor, who described Dr Tada as “a genius living above the clouds.”

    So Dr Tsuji, after completing medical school, pursued his doctorate under Tada and soon learnt that his father’s advice was correct. “His lectures were always outstanding,” said Dr Tsuji, now at Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, Rockefeller University, New York City. “Most Japanese scientists are not good speakers, often terrible at giving lectures. Not Dr Tada. I loved his lectures. His brain was about four or five steps ahead of everybody else.”

    Indeed so far ahead that in 1971 Tada startled the world of immunology by establishing the concept of immune suppression. The generally held view at the time was that T cells only help antibody responses. But Tada held a different view, leading a team that for the first time showed the …

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