Elly Tanaka is a senior scientist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, Austria. Her lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of vertebrate regeneration, using this research to design novel strategies for regenerating or replacing mammalian tissues.
Tanaka studied biochemistry at Harvard University, before moving to the University of California, San Francisco, where she obtained her PhD in 1993. She did her postdoctoral research at University College London before setting up her own lab at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany in 1999. From 2014, Tanaka was director at the Centre for Regenerative Therapies in Dresden (CRTD) before moving to her current position.
Tanaka was elected a member of the Academia Europaea in 2015 and of the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 2017. She was awarded the Ernst Schering Prize in 2017, where she was described as "the leading expert in the field of regeneration biology."