Rhythm master to UVA!

Gloria Estefan might sing "The Rhythm is Going to Get You," but Joseph Takahashi actually proves it. And now he's coming to UVA! A day after prez John Casteen announced a $100 million gift from newspaper magnate Frank Batten Sr. to create a new school for leadership and public policy, UVA announced the hiring of Takahashi, a cellular and molecular biologist and one of the world's preeminent biological clock researchers. He will arrive in Charlottesville in September 2008 to head a new Center for Circadian and Systems Biology housed in a new building at UVA's Fontaine Research Park.

Takahashi, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, will hold an endowed chair in biology, and funding for his recruitment and for the new Center will come from the $126 million the Board of Visitors has earmarked for enhancing science and research at the school.
For the past 24 years, Takahashi has taught at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he currently runs a multi-million dollar laboratory and receives millions of dollars in federal grants. He is best known for discovering the appropriately named CLOCK gene that controls the circadian rhythm in mammals, and his continuing research will focus on how genes control waking and sleeping cycles as well as other behaviors.

The appointment is not his first connection to Charlottesville: Takahashi was a member of the now defunct multi-institutional National Science Foundation Center for Biological Timing, headquartered at UVA for 11 years, from 1991 to 2002.

Takahashi is the sixth top National Academy-level researcher UVA has recruited, on its way to a total of 10.