Takumi (Tak) Tsuchiya was born March 10, 1928 in Oita Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from Gifu Agricultural College in 1943 and from Kyoto (Imperial) University in 1947. For several years he taught Biology, Cytogenetics, and Human Genetics in Japan. He completed his Doctor of Agriculture degree at Kyoto University in 1960 while working with Professor Hitoshi Kihara at the Kihara Institute of Biological Research near Yokohama. Starting in 1963, Dr. Tsuchiya was employed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. He joined the faculty of the Department of Agronomy at Colorado State University in 1968 to fill the position vacated by the retirement of Dr. David W. Robertson. He developed a vigorous research program which attracted numerous graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists. Although his primary interest was the genetics and cytogenetics of barley, he studied several other species including sugarbeet, melons, triticale, tree species related to Sequoia, and Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily). Dr. Tsuchiya evaluated also chromosomal changes caused by long-term storage of seed.
Dr. Tsuchiya was co-editor of the Barley Genetics Newsletter from its inception in 1970 until 1989. He published over 300 papers and was co-editor of the two-volume treatise entitled "Chromosome Engineering in Plants". Besides maintaining the World Collection of Barley Genetic Stocks, he frequently published updated gene maps of barley. His research included development of trisomic and telotrisomic stocks for barley and their utilization to locate genes to chromosome and chromosome arm, including positioning of centromeres in relationship to genetic markers. Dr. Tsuchiya taught graduate level courses in Cytogenetics and Evolution of Cultivated Plants and supervised the thesis research of over 20 graduate students.
Dr. Tsuchiya received numerous professional awards for his research and service in various societies. He was elected to Honorary Foreign Membership in the Genetics Society of Japan and was a Foreign Scientific Fellow in the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He was elected a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy in 1982 and a Fellow in the Crop Science Society of America in 1985. He received the Crop Science Research Award in 1986 and the DeKalb Genetics Crop Science Distinguished Career Award in 1991. In 1991, Dr. Tsuchiya was named a University Distinguished Professor, the highest award a Professor can achieve at Colorado State University. He was presented at the local level with the Oliver Pennock Distinguished Service Award in 1986, the Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award in 1987, and the Sigma Xi Honor Scientist Award in 1987. He was invited to present seminars, lectures, and workshops in at least 15 countries.