Joseph S. Takahashi, PhD is the Loyd B. Sands Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience, Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He joined UT Southwestern in 2009. Dr. Takahashi utilizes forward genetics and positional cloning in the mouse as a tool for discovery of genes underlying neurobiology and behavior, and his discovery of the mouse and human clock genes led to a description of a conserved circadian clock mechanism in animals. Dr. Takahashi was born in Tokyo, Japan (US Citizen) and grew up in Burma, Italy and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. He graduated from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, with a BA in Biology; did his graduate studies with Michael Menaker at UT Austin and University of Oregon, Eugene (PhD in 1981). He was Pharmacology Research Associate at the NIMH and joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1983 until 2009. His awards include W. Alden Spencer Award in Neuroscience from Columbia, and the Gruber Neuroscience Prize. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Research Interests

The long-term goals of the Takahashi laboratory are to understand the molecular and genetic basis of circadian rhythms in mammals and to utilize forward genetic approaches in the mouse as a tool for gene discovery for complex behavior. We have focused our attention on three areas: 1) identification of circadian clock genes and assignment of their function in the molecular mechanism of the circadian pacemaker; 2) analysis of central and peripheral circadian oscillators using real-time circadian reporters; and 3) identification of genes defined by mutations isolated in large-scale mutagenesis screens. We also work on the structural biology of circadian clock proteins and on genome-wide analysis of transcription factor binding and gene expression using next generation sequencing. Recently, my laboratory has focused on two new areas of research: 1) the role of circadian timing in aging and longevity, and 2) the circadian biology of the parasitic diseases, sleeping sickness and malaria.

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Primary Section

Section 24: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Secondary Section

Section 28: Systems Neuroscience