The National Academies has elected Dr. Joseph Takahashi, chairman of neuroscience at UT Southwestern Medical Center, to its Institute of Medicine. Dr. Takahashi has been with UT Southwestern since 2009, and is the 19th UT Southwestern faculty member to be inducted.
As part of their membership, IOM inductees help shape policies that affect public health and advise the federal government on issues relating to education, research, and medical care. Inductees are selected based on international distinction in medical administration, public health, science, or clinical medicine and are elected by incumbent members.
“Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Takahashi identified the world’s first gene in a mammal involved in the circadian rhythms that govern virtually every aspect of life, including sleeping, walking, and eating,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern and a member of IOM, in a press release from the medical center announcing Dr. Takahashi’s induction. “Last year, his laboratory’s ongoing investigations of addiction and behavior patterns successfully identified a gene in mice that controls the body’s response to cocaine.”
Dr. Takahashi’s distinctions also include tenure as an investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UT Southwestern, and he holds the Loyd B. Sand Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience. In 2010 along with Dr. Joseph T. Bass at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Takahashi reported in Nature that disruptions in certain genes in mice can affect the release of insulin by the pancreas and cause diabetes. Dr. Takahashi was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2003. He has authored more than 250 scientific publications and has received numerous awards, including the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in Biology and Biochemistry in 2014 and the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Sleep Research Society in 2012.
“I am thrilled to have been elected to the Institute of Medicine,” Dr. Takahashi said in the press release. “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.”