- Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
- Fellow, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology,
- The University of Tokyo
- Principal Fellow, Center for Research and Development Strategy (CRDS),
- Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Tada Taniguchi received his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich. He worked as Member of Cancer Institute (Tokyo), Professor of Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Osaka University and then Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Tokyo Medical School.
His work principally concerns the mechanisms of signal transduction and gene expression that underlie immunity and oncogenesis. Many of his research projects have stemmed from his original discovery of two cytokine genes, interferon-beta and interleukin-2. These discoveries have laid the groundwork for the molecular characterization of the various systems of cytokines as well as therapeutic advances achieved by the administration of cytokines. One extension of this research was his discovery of a new family of transcription factors, the interferon regulatory factors (IRFs), which he and others have since identified as playing integral roles in the regulation of the immunity, inflammation and cancer. Most notably, he demonstrated that IRF3 and IRF7 play pivotal role in the type I IFN response against pathogen infections.
More recently, his group focuses on self-derived molecules, termed DAMPs, that regulate innate immune responses in the host’s pathogenic responses. He has received numerous awards, including the Hammer Prize, Behring-Kitasato Prize, Keio Medical Science Prize, Robert Koch Prize, Pezcoller-AACR International Award for Cancer Research, and was bestowed the Person of Cultural Merit award from the Government of Japan. He was also elected Foreign Associate Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in 2003, International Member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA in 2016 and Associate Member of EMBO in 2018.