Koichi Tanaka

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Tanaka in 2003

Koichi Tanaka (August 3, 1959–) is a Japanese electrical engineer who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002 for developing a novel method for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules with John Bennett Fenn and Kurt Wüthrich (the latter for work in NMR spectroscopy).


  • I think almost all people would think, if I have no common sense or common knowledge in such field, so that is completely disadvantage, but if someone wants to develop some completely new thing, if we are trying to deduce something from such common knowledge, that we will be just trying to develop some step but we have to jump up, so sometime, such kind of common knowledge will be an obstacle, because at that time, most of the chemists thought that it is completely impossible to ionise such big molecule like protein but at that time, at least, I was not a specialist so I can do anything.
  • Probably up to university student, I was a completely shy guy and if I, for example, even in Japan, I had to give some talk in front of, for example 100 people, I would be completely upset and I couldn’t say anything, just ahh. But fortunately, my colleague at that time tried to teach me how to cope with such stress, so at first just try to say something in front of the colleagues and I did and so next step is to say something in front of my employees in my company, so next step is try to give a talk to the people in the conference. So, step by step I learn how to do in front of bigger and bigger number of people, so now I’m here.

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