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Koichi Tanaka in front of a poster-arranged announcement at the 2nd Japan-China Joint Symposium on Mass Spectrometry held in Takarazuka, Japan in 1987 (Photo by courtesy of Dr. Cotter)

Meeting The "World" In '87

Koichi Tanaka first met the "world" in September 1987 at the 2nd Japan-China Joint Symposium on Mass Spectrometry held in Takarazuka, Japan. It was to this event that Dr. Robert Cotter a leading authority, even at that time, in the mass spectrometry field had been invited. He stated in his address that it was more than likely impossible to detect macromolecules using laser ionization mass spectrometry. After the address, Tanaka, who was present at the symposium on behalf of the research team to organize a poster-arranged presentation, approached Dr. Cotter and informed him of their research results showing the amazing data in which detection reached a mass number of 72,000. This data had a profound impact on Dr. Cotter, who promptly took report copies back to the USA and, in joint co-operation with Dr. Catherine Fenselau, a biological macromolecule researcher, introduced Shimadzu research results to many researchers in Europe and USA.
The Takarazuka symposium also gave Tanaka a chance to meet Dr. Takekiyo Matsuo (deceased) of Osaka University, who sooner than anyone saw the significance of the data in Tanaka's poster-arranged presentation, and firmly recommended Tanaka should put the poster into a formal paper and tell the world of the breakthrough. Tanaka followed Dr. Matsuo's advice and drafted a paper in English (Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Vol. 2 No.8 Page 151-153 1988), bringing his name to the attention of the world in one swift move.

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