Joseph Takahashi is Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He currently holds the Loyd B. Sands Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience. Before moving to UT Southwestern, Dr. Takahashi was the Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor in the Life Sciences at Northwestern University. During his 26-year tenure at Northwestern, he held appointments as professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology on the Evanston campus and professor in the Department of Neurology at Northwestern University Medical School. In addition, he was also the director of the Center for Functional Genomics.

Dr. Takahashi received a BA in biology from Swarthmore College in 1974 and a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Oregon, Eugene, in 1981. For postdoctoral training, he was a pharmacology research associate at the National Institute of Mental Health from 1981-1983.

Dr. Takahashi has pioneered the use of 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.

He is the author of more than 200 scientific publications and the recipient of many awards including the Honma Prize in Biological Rhythms Research, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, Searle Scholars Award, Bristol-Myers Squibb Unrestricted Grant in Neuroscience, and the C. U. Ariens Kappers Medal. He received the W. Alden Spencer Award in Neuroscience from Columbia University in 2001, was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.

Dr. Takahashi has served on a number of advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health, as well as scientific advisory boards for Eli Lilly and Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb Neuroscience Committee, the Genomics Research Institute for the Novartis Foundation, the Klingenstein Fund, the Searle Scholars Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, and the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation. He was also a co-founder of Hypnion, Inc., a biotech discovery company in Worcester, Mass., that investigated sleep/wake neurobiology and pharmaceuticals (now owned by Eli Lilly and Co.).

He is on the Editorial Boards for PNAS, PLoS Genetics, Curr Opin Neurobiol, J Biol Rhythms, and Genes, Brain and Behavior. He is currently the President of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms.



Swarthmore College (1974), Biology
Graduate School
University of Oregon (1981), Biology

Research Interest

  • Circadian Biology
  • Genetic Dissection of Behavior
  • Molecular Neuroscience
  • Mouse Genetics and Genomics
  • Oscillator dynamics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics.
Bass J, Takahashi JS   Science 2010 Dec 330 6009
Searching for genes underlying behavior: lessons from circadian rhythms.
Takahashi JS, Shimomura K, Kumar V   Science 2008 Nov 322 5903 909-12
The genetics of mammalian circadian order and disorder: implications for physiology and disease.
Takahashi JS, Hong HK, Ko CH, McDearmon EL Nat. Rev. Genet. 2008 Oct 9 10 764-75
Circadian mutant Overtime reveals F-box protein FBXL3 regulation of cryptochrome and period gene expression.
Siepka SM, Yoo SH, Park J, Song W, Kumar V, Hu Y, Lee C, Takahashi JS Cell 2007 Jun 129 5 1011-23
Intercellular coupling confers robustness against mutations in the SCN circadian clock network.
Liu AC, Welsh DK, Ko CH, Tran HG, Zhang EE, Priest AA, Buhr ED, Singer O, Meeker K, Verma IM, Doyle FJ, Takahashi JS, Kay SA Cell 2007 May 129 3 605-16


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology: Volume 12 Circadian Clocks

Takahashi, J.S., F.W. Turek and R.Y. Moore (Ed.) (2001). New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishing

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award
    Sleep Research Society (2012)
  • National Academy of Sciences
    Member (2003)
  • W. Alden Spencer Award
    College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University (2001)
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    Fellow (2000)
  • 6th C.U. Ariens Kappers Award
    Netherlands Society for the Advancement of Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery (1995)
  • Honma Prize in Biological Rhythms Research
    Honma Foundation of Life Sciences (1986)