UTSW Researcher Awarded for Decades of Circadian Rhythm Research

UT Southwestern Medical Center Neuroscience Chairman Dr. Joseph Takahashi has received the Gruber Neuroscience Prize for his work on the molecular and genetic bases of circadian rhythms in mammals. The international award honors discoveries that advance understanding of the nervous system.

Takahashi discovered Clock, the first mammalian gene controlling circadian rhythm that regulates other genes. The prize includes a $500,000 award to be presented later this year.

“Takahashi has made groundbreaking discoveries in the neurobiology of circadian rhythms,” the Gruber Foundation stated in its news release announcing the award. “His use of innovative approaches to observe clock oscillations throughout the body in real time has revealed the broader impact of the circadian system in regulating the timing of cellular events in health and disease.”

Takahashi has been in the field for decades, as the recognition follows a study published in Science describing the discovery of Clock. He continued his work to helping scientists understand how biological clocks impact other functions of the human body such as sleep, mental health, and metabolism.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to have received the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience,” said Dr. Takahashi, an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute via release. “It is gratifying to be recognized for my lab’s discoveries over the last 25 years. I share the credit for this prize with all my students, postdocs, and staff who contributed to this work.”

“UT Southwestern is proud to have this international leader in neuroscience discovery as a member of its faculty,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, via release. “Dr. Takahashi’s research has given us fundamental insights into how circadian rhythms affect human health and behavior, and it provides avenues for new approaches to such diverse and prevalent conditions as insomnia, diabetes, and cancer.”