NBR is deeply saddened to announce that Dr. Tadataka “Tachi” Yamada passed away on August 4, 2021.
Most recently, Dr. Yamada was a venture partner with Frazier Healthcare and served as chair of the board of directors at the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Prior to this, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, and Board Member for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Asia’s largest drug maker.
As a member of NBR’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, he provided guidance to the institution’s research agenda, particularly its work on global health. Dr. Yamada was President of Global Health for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from 2006 to 2011, serving on the Executive Committee and Senior Advisory Group for the Pacific Health Summit. The National Bureau of Asian Research, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust were co-presenting organizations from the inception of the Summit through the final meeting in 2012. Prior this this, he served as Chairman of R&D and Board Member for GlaxoSmithKline, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the University of Michigan.
We are grateful for his contributions and mourn his passing.
A scientist and scholar in gastroenterology, Dr. Yamada was the author of more than 150 original manuscripts on the subject and is the editor of The Textbook of Gastroenterology (now in its fifth edition). In recognition of his contributions to medicine and science, he was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (United States), the Academy of Medical Sciences (United Kingdom), and the National Academy of Medicine (Mexico). Dr. Yamada received an honorary appointment as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and was conferred the degree of DSci honoris causa from the University of East Anglia, the University of Warwick, Washington College, and Loyola University Chicago. He was also the recipient of numerous awards, including the SmithKline and French Award for Distinguished Achievement in Gastrointestinal Physiology from the American Physiological Society and the Julius Friedenwald Medal from the American Gastroenterological Association. Dr. Yamada was a Fellow of the Imperial College of Medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and former President of the Association of American Physicians and the American Gastroenterological Association.
In the public sector, Dr. Yamada served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and the Board of Directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He served as member for the Board of Directors of the Singapore Agency for Science Technology and Research, the Reagan-Udall Foundation, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative and is a member of the Council of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Born in Tokyo, Dr. Yamada was a grandson of one of the first people of Japanese descent to be fully trained as an American physician. He graduated from Stanford University with a BA in history and obtained his MD from the New York University School of Medicine. After completing his internal medicine training at the Medical College of Virginia, he served as an investigator in the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and trained in gastroenterology at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he assumed his first faculty position.