Fighting Antigens

1984

Geneticist Tak Mak solved one of the toughest problems in immunology in 1984 when he helped discover T-cell receptors and the gene that produces them. T-cells are a type of white blood cell that recognizes antigens — foreign substances that can harm the body. Until Mak’s discovery at the University of Toronto, scientists couldn’t find the receptor molecule on the T-cell’s surface that identifies antigens and kick starts the body’s immune response.

His discovery opened up new and important research into immunological diseases, including cancer, AIDS and the common cold.

University Health Network: Tak Mak »

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame: Tak Mak »