One of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center‘s seasoned department chairs has just been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. Dr. Jospeh Takahashi, who has served the medical school as the Chairman of Neuroscience since 2009, will now join the ranks of a select number of biomedical research and healthcare industry leaders. Founded in 1970, the IOM serves as a national advisory council, committed to improving health by providing authoritative and evidence-based information and advice.
Dr. Takahashi is a pioneer in a number of research projects on the body’s circadian rhythm, a roughly 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings. One of his more notable discoveries last year was a circadian gene that determined how mice responded to cocaine. Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, the President of UT Southwestern, and a fellow member of the IOM, said Dr. Takahashi’s work has been fundamental, and continues to be valuable to novel treatments for a wide range of health concerns. He was the first to employ genetics and positional cloning in mice as a means of identifying genetic explanations for neurobiology and behavior. He joins the institute along with 70 new members from the US, and 10 associates from other countries, and has brought UT Southwestern’s elected affiliates to a total of 19.
“I am thrilled to have been elected to the Institute of Medicine,” said Dr. Takahashi. “As a basic scientist, it is indeed an honor to be recognized by the medical research profession. I trust that this recognition telegraphs the importance of circadian biology to medicine. I am also grateful to my colleagues here at UT Southwestern, where everyone pulls together to support science at the highest level.”
In 1974, Takahashi earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the prestigious Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Oregon in Eugene later in 1981, and had his postdoctoral training as a pharmacology research associate at the National Institute of Mental Health until 1983.
In 2003, Dr. Takahashi became a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2000, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences while he was still at Northwestern University in Illinois as a Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor in the Department of Neurobiology. Here he was also the Director of the Center for Functional Genomics. Today, he is also on the advisory committee of the National Institutes of Health and an editor of several journals.
He is the esteemed author of over 250 publications and has garnered a number of national awards for his many achievements. His two latest awards were the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Sleep Research Society in 2012, and the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in Biology and Biochemistry given in 2014.