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Dr. Nobuyuki Tanigaki, 90, senior scientist at Roswell Park

Dr. Nobuyuki Tanigaki, 90, senior scientist at Roswell Park

Oct. 22, 1929 – Feb. 15, 2020

Dr. Nobuyuki Tanigaki, a retired senior scientist at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, died Feb. 15 in Sapporo, Japan, from complications due to pneumonia. He was 90.

Born in Tokyo, he attended a university there and was a practicing physician in Sapporo before he came to the U.S. in 1962 to do research as a cell biologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

In 1969, he was invited to join what was then Roswell Park Memorial Institute and work with renowned cancer researcher Dr. David Pressman, who was director of immunology research.

Dr. Tani, as he was known to his colleagues, retired as senior scientist in 1992, but conducted research in his lab in the Grace Cancer Cell Center until 2003.

He published more than 60 research papers.

After returning to live in Japan in 2008, he continued to review research papers of his former students and colleagues.

He last visited Buffalo in 2014.

For many years, he was a member of a team of scientists at the Istituto di Biologia Cellulare in Rome, Italy, where he worked alongside Dr. Robert Tosi, a lifelong friend, and learned how to prepare Italian food.

A former resident of Snyder, he was a member of the Japanese Group of Buffalo and enjoyed gardening, picnics and fall foliage drives in the country.

He and his wife, Yoshiko, met in Sapporo and were married in 1961. The owner of a gift shop, Japan on Elmwood, in the 1990s, she helped restore the Japanese Garden at the Buffalo History Museum.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Ema Tanigaki and Maki Tanigaki; and a grandson.

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