Download Curriculum Vitae

Joseph S. 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 260 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, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003 and a Member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2014.

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 a co-founder of ReSet Therapeutics, Inc., a biotech company that works on the role of clocks in metabolism.

He is on the Editorial Boards for PNAS, eLife, J Biol Rhythms, Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, Genes, Brain and Behavior, and Section Head, Animal Genetics, Biology Reports Ltd., Faculty of 1000.  


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

Genetic contributions to circadian activity rhythm and sleep pattern phenotypes in pedigrees segregating for severe bipolar disorder.
Pagani L, St Clair PA, Teshiba TM, Service SK, Fears SC, Araya C, Araya X, Bejarano J, Ramirez M, Castrillón G, Gomez-Makhinson J, Lopez MC, Montoya G, Montoya CP, Aldana I, Navarro L, Freimer DG, Safaie B, Keung LW, Greenspan K, Chou K, Escobar JI, Ospina-Duque J, Kremeyer B, Ruiz-Linares A, Cantor RM, Lopez-Jaramillo C, Macaya G, Molina J, Reus VI, Sabatti C, Bearden CE, Takahashi JS, Freimer NB Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015 Dec
Cycling Transcriptional Networks Optimize Energy Utilization on a Genome Scale.
Wang GZ, Hickey SL, Shi L, Huang HC, Nakashe P, Koike N, Tu BP, Takahashi JS, Konopka G Cell Rep 2015 Dec 13 9 1868-80
Neuromedin s-producing neurons act as essential pacemakers in the suprachiasmatic nucleus to couple clock neurons and dictate circadian rhythms.
Lee IT, Chang AS, Manandhar M, Shan Y, Fan J, Izumo M, Ikeda Y, Motoike T, Dixon S, Seinfeld JE, Takahashi JS, Yanagisawa M Neuron 2015 Mar 85 5 1086-102
Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP)-Expressing Neurons in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus Provide Sparse GABAergic Outputs to Local Neurons with Circadian Regulation Occurring Distal to the Opening of Postsynaptic GABAA Ionotropic Receptors.
Fan J, Zeng H, Olson DP, Huber KM, Gibson JR, Takahashi JS J. Neurosci. 2015 Feb 35 5 1905-20
A tunable artificial circadian clock in clock-defective mice.
D'Alessandro M, Beesley S, Kim JK, Chen R, Abich E, Cheng W, Yi P, Takahashi JS, Lee C Nat Commun 2015 6 8587


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

  • National Academy of Medicine
    Member (2014)
  • 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)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2009)