Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
dr. tak mak goes
to the vatican
Dr. Tak Mak was there. So was U.S. Vice-
President Joe Biden and former CBS News
Anchor Katie Couric. As was Sean Parker, the
Co-Founder of Napster and the former President
This eclectic mix of people was at the Vatican
this past April to take part in an international
conference on regenerative medicine.
For Dr. Mak, the invite came from Dr.
Ronald DePinho, the President of MD Anderson
Cancer Center in Texas, who was
together a small group of people to discuss
immunotherapy at the Vatican.”
That’s how Dr. Mak ended up on the same
stage as Couric, who moderated a panel
discussion involving him and three other
cancer immunotherapy experts.
While Dr. Mak was initially surprised
by the invitation, he wasn’t surprised that
immunotherapy was something of interest
to the Vatican and such a wide range
“Immunotherapy could become
a pillar in cancer therapy,”
says, underscoring its growing
importance in the field of
DR. Tak Mak,
Dr. Tak Mak is one of The Princess
Margaret’s most renowned scientists and one of
the most cited medical researchers in the world.
Dr. Mak joined the Ontario Cancer
Institute, now part of Princess Margaret Cancer
Centre, as a post-doctoral fellow in the ‘70s. He
was mentored by Dr. James Till and Dr. Ernest
McCulloch – the celebrated Canadian scientists
who proved the existence of stem cells.
Dr. Mak’s cloning of the T-cell receptor
more than three decades ago helped advance
the field of immunology and had major
implications for the still-emerging world of
Today, Dr. Mak serves as the
The Campbell Family Institute for Breast
Cancer Research at The Princess Margaret
Some of his recent work has involved unique
research on a so-called sharpshooter drug that
slows down the growth of a number of
types of cancer.