Dr. Elly Tanaka studied biochemistry as an undergraduate student at Harvard University and received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. Tanaka developed her interest in limb regeneration as a postdoctoral fellow with Jeremy Brockes at University College London. She went on to become a group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden in 1999. In 2008, she became a professor at the Center for Regenerative Therapies at the Technische Universität Dresden and from 2014-2016 she was Director. Tanaka moved to the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) and the Vienna BioCenter (VBC) in Vienna, Austria in 2016.
Tanaka’s lab strives to understand the molecular pathways that regulate limb and spinal cord regeneration. They are pursuing these studies in salamanders, in particular in the axolotl. Tanaka’s lab is also working to translate their findings in salamanders to mouse and human tissues.
In 2017, Tanaka was awarded the Ernst Schering prize “for her outstanding research in the field of regeneration biology”. Tanaka is also an elected member of the Academia Europaea and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). Learn more about Tanaka’s research here.