PhD (Chemistry), 2000
Dr. Kelly Tanaka graduated from SFU (1999) with a PhD from the Department of Chemistry under the guidance of Professor Andrew Bennet. His dissertation was entitled The Synthesis and Evaluation Novel Conformationally Biased and Carbocyclic Based Glycosidase Inhibitors. He then moved to New York City where he completed Postdoctoral training with Professor Vern Shramm in the Department of Biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During his graduate and postdoctoral training he developed a keen interest in mechanism-based drug discovery. This led to a seven-year career in the biotech sector in Toronto (GlycoDesign) and Montreal (The Medicines Company) investigating new drugs for the treatment of cancer, inflammatory disorders and bacterial infections. He was fortunate enough to work on a drug candidate that would eventually be approved by the FDA as the first single dose antibiotic for complicated skin and soft tissue infections.
In 2009 he moved to the private sector as a Research Scientist with NutriAg Limited, a specialty agriculture company located in Toronto. At NutriAg, he has the opportunity to develop products to improve crop production for farmers around the world to help feed the ever-growing global population. Currently, he is Director of Research and Innovation at NutriAg where he oversees product development from conception through to formulation development, greenhouse experiments, field trials and product registration.
In his spare time Kelly enjoys bike riding and skiing with his two young sons and spouse.
- Written by the Faculty of Science