March 2, 1929 ~ August 21, 2005
Hamden- Kay Tanaka, M.D., 76, Professor Emeritus, Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, passed away August 21, 2005 in Yale New Haven Hospital. He obtained his M.D. and D.Sc. degrees from the University of Tokyo. He held faculty positions at Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School before coming to Yale University in 1973. From 1977 to 1989 he served as Director of the Biochemical Disease Detection Program of Yale, and in 1987 received the MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Tanaka was a pioneer in the use of gas-liquid chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance in the identification of inherited metabolic diseases. He is credited with the discovery of isovaleric acidemia. His scientific writings include over 170 publications, including the book, "New Developments in Fatty Acid Oxidation" (with Paul Coates, 1992). He was renowned for running a nationally prominent laboratory that trained a generation of scientists who now direct leading laboratories in the U.S. and Japan. He was born in Osaka, Japan March 2, 1929, a son of the late Kumaji and Fusa Nakame Tanaka, and emigrated to the United States in 1969. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Tomoko Tanaka of Hamden, his daughter Elly Tanaka of Dresden Germany, his son Atau Tanaka of Paris France, and three grandchildren, Hanako, Franklin, and Meiji. Friends and colleagues are invited greet the family on Friday August 26, 2005 from 2:00-4:00 pm at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE. HAMDEN.