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When it came time to find employment, I set my sights on becoming an engineer at a home electronics manufacturer, a field that was closely related to my major at university.

Koichi Tanaka

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However there was some criticism about his winning the prize saying that contribution by two German scientists Franz Hillenkamp and Michael Karas was also big enough not to be dismissed and therefore they should also be included as prize winners. His work was filed as a patent application in 1985 and after the patent application was made public reported at the Annual Conference of the Mass Spectrometry Society of Japan held in Kyoto in May 1987 and became known as soft laser desorption (SLD). Also Tanaka's SLD is not used currently for biomolecules analysis meanwhile MALDI is widely used in mass spectrometry research laboratories.

But while MALDI was developed prior to SLD it was not used to ionize proteins until after Tanaka's report. Tanaka was born and raised in Toyama Japan. After graduation he joined Shimadzu Corporation where he engaged in the development of mass spectrometers.

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