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Takao Kondo Memorial

A message from Yasufumi Shigeyoshi President of the Japanese Society of Chronobiology.

We regret to inform you that Distinguished Professor Takao Kondo at Nagoya University passed away on November 16, 2023.

Dr. Kondo made remarkable achievements in his research on circadian rhythms in cyanobacteria. He led the study to elucidate the basic molecular mechanisms using instruments he created himself and was the first in the world to reconstitute a biological clock in vitro by mixing only three clock proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC, and ATP.

As an educator, he has supervised many researchers of chronobiology and contributed greatly to the development of the field. He served as President of the Japanese Society for Chronobiology from 2011 to 2016, leaving a significant mark on the development of chronobiology in Japan and abroad. His achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon in 2011, the Japan Academy Prize in 2014, and the Person of Cultural Merit Award in 2019. We would like to express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Yasufumi Shigeyoshi, President of the Japanese Society for Chronobiology’

On behalf of EBRS I’d also like to express our condolences to Takao’s family and friends and to the Japanese Society of Chronobiology that has lost a giant in the field. I knew Takao well and used to hang out with him at meetings in the 1990s and 2000s. He was great company, a warm and very humble man with a wonderful sense of humor. I’d not seen him for almost a decade but will remember him, always smiling and with a sparkle in his eyes, with great fondness.

Yasufumi Shigeyoshi, President of the Japanese Society of Chronobiology’
Annie Curtis, RCSI - School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences (PBS)

I first met Steve at a conference while I was still an early career researcher and since then he has always been very supportive at many stages of my career. A wonderful scientist, purely driven by curiosity, his passion for research and a willingness to help others. My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues. We will all miss him dearly.
Monika Stengl, University of Kassel

I am absolutely shocked about Steve Brown´s unexpected death. He inspired me and my students during this year´s Chronobiology course in Munich where he gave a fantastic lecture together with Maria Robles. My students wanted to invite him next year in summer 2023 as lecturer and mentor to our research training group "multiscale clocks" to Kassel. During the last EBRS meeting in Zürich Steve impressed not only as a great organizer and with his scientific knowledge, also his modesty, empathy, and his fine humor made him a very memorable colleague.
What a loss!
Andrew Loudon, University of Manchester

  Steve was a wonderful person. An outstanding scientist and colleague. And at a personal level a delight to be with. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word and will be sorely missed. My condolences to all of his friends, colleagues and of course his family.
Debra Skene, University of Surrey

Steve was an enormous support to me when I was President of the EBRS (2015-2019). He kindly offered to take on the EBRS Trainee days that we planned to accompany the EBRS Congresses. In addition to single-handedly organising these sessions along with his PA Jacqueline Vicario and a group of very capable ECRs from across Europe, he very generously took all the teachers out for dinner the night before!
It’s his kindness and generosity of spirit, whether talking about science or sharing great wine, that I won’t forget.  
Hut-lab members, University of Groningen

  Steve Brown was a wonderful colleague and a great scientists. Steve was helpful, supportive and generous in many ways, especially with the young scientists. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts go out to his partner Patrycja, the members of his research team, and all the people he loved.
Yoshi Fukada, The Japanese Society of Chronobiology

The Japanese Society of Chronobiology (JSC) is saddened to hear about the passing of Professor Steven A. Brown. As a representative of JSC, I would like to send our deepest condolence for the tragedy. Steve was truly a bridge over a long distance between the Japanese chronobiology and not only the EBRS but also the international community of chronobiology. Steve visited Japan so many times and gave inspiring talks everywhere in Japan and had a wide interaction with Japanese chronobiologists. Steve particularly loved the Japanese culture, foods and Sake, and personally I and my family have a joyful and warm memory with him and Patrycja in both Tokyo and Zurich. As a Vice President of EBRS, Steve organized the EBRS congress this year, which we Japanese chronobiologists enjoyed very much. More, I will never forget a wonderful and joyful memory of a one-day-trip with Steve and his beautiful friends to Kandersteg after the congress. At that time, I never imagined such a sad time will come so quickly. Steve! you are with us forever.
Gabi Wagner, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

Bringing people together and determined to see the funny side in everything. A bon vivant in all.
Anneloes Opperhuizen, Leiden Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC)

I would like to share my thoughts on the passing of Steven Brown. When I was a PhD student at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, I got involved with the organization of the EBRS in 2017. Particularly I was involved with the Trainee day for which Steve guided us through the process. He took us for dinner at a Michelin star restaurant which I had never been to before nor after.
This generosity, together with his very approachable attitude as a senior scientist, he was truly special. He came across very genuine and honest, full of joy and laughter and appeared to be a person who understood to enjoy life at each moment of the day. He cared for others including the younger scientists, and was humble.
I think back of him with warm thoughts. I send much strength to everyone who loved Steve deeply.
Mino Belle, The University of Manchester

Steve was a careful and creative thinker with a beautiful mind. He had an infectious passion for science and life, and an abundance of capacity for promoting and supporting the careers and work of others.
Simply, an amazing scientist and, above all, a wonderful human being.
A huge loss for our circadian community and a deep personal loss for me.
Fides Meier, University of Basel

Steven was a gorgeous person with a wide faceted character.
I and a lot other people miss him and will miss him for ever.
Jacqueline Vicario, University of Zürich

Steve may have been a bit of a chaotic boss at times, but was a very kind man, full of humor and always bubbling with new ideas and projects, such as putting together a "scientific cookbook" (as he called it) with many collaborators, or making a learning video about architecture and daylight, with different collaborators. New projects continuously popped up even before the old ones were finished.

I am very happy to have worked for him these past 6 years. He gave me the chance to organize many things that I loved doing, such as organizing the last EBRS 2022 meeting here in Zurich. It was a one-of-a-kind experience and Steve was a one-of-a-kind person.

He will be missed dearly by all of us!

My deepest sympathies and condolences go out especially to his mother, sister and wife.
Karina Ratiner, Weizmann Institute of Science

I had the privilege of participating in the organization of a trainee day at a conference Steve organized in 2022 in Zurich. I had the honor to introduce Steve to the audience in his talk, where he shared valuable tools and his own rules for giving the best presentations.

Steve was a talented speaker and his wisdom made a lasting impression on me. When I introduced Steve, I asked him to tell me a little bit about his background and besides his impressive CV, I also learned that he owned his own airplane and his passion for flying, which added to his free-spirited nature. I felt like I belonged to his lab even though I was only volunteering for trainee day.

Steve was a kind and supportive mentor who made young scientists feel more confident and encouraged positive feedback for their ideas. It is a terrible loss that he is no longer with us. I will always remember the meaningful moments we shared and the impact he had on my life.