2016 Farrell Prize Recipient : Joseph Takahashi, Ph. D.

Joseph S. Takahashi, Ph.D.
Loyd B. Sands Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience
Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
UT Southwestern Medical Center

On October 25, the 2016 Farrell Prize in Sleep Medicine was awarded in celebration of the life and work of Joseph S. Takahashi, known for landmark discoveries in the field of circadian rhythms, pioneering the use of forward genetics and positional cloning in the mouse as a tool for the discovery of circadian genes.

Specifically, Professor Takahashi’s notable scientific contributions include:
 
•    Discovering, isolating and cloning CLOCK, the first gene identified within the core mechanism of the mammalian circadian clock
•    Cloning of the tau mutation in hamsters, identified as a mutation in the casein kinase 1 epsilon (CSNK1E) gene
•    Demonstrating that the photoreceptive system responsible for entrainment of mammalian circadian rhythms is different from that of the visual system
•    Uncovering the 3-D crystal structure of the CLOCK-BMAL1 protein complex, laying the foundation for understanding the mechanism driving the mammalian circadian clock at an atomic level
•    Revealing the importance of body temperature fluctuations for the entrainment of peripheral oscillators in mammals
•    Establishing mechanistic links between circadian clock genes and metabolism
•    Recognizing the functional role of rhythmic gene expression for optimizing energy utilization and conservation


 

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