Rebecca A. Prosser, Ph.D.

Rebecca A. Prosser, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M313 Walters Life Science Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0810
Phone: (423) 974-5148
Fax: (423) 974-6306
Email: Rebecca A. Prosser


  • Ph.D. Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL
  • Postdoctoral: Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Research Interests

All organisms share the characteristics that their behavior and physiology fluctuate over the course of the 24 hours day. These daily, or circadian, rhythms are controlled by clocks endogenous to the organisms, and they normally are synchronized to the external environment by the daily solar cycle. Research in my laboratory explores the cellular basis of mammalian circadian rhythms. The mammalian circadian clock is located in an area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. While much is known about the cell types in this region and the areas of the brain that send it information, the mechanisms involved in producing these rhythms remain obscure. My research is focused on both the cellular processes involved in rhythm production as well as how the clock is modulated by other brain regions. The primary approach I have used for these studies is to study the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus after isolation in a brain slice preparation. The techniques used in these studies include electrophysiological, neuropharmacology, and radioimmunoassay. An increased understanding of how the clock works and how it can be manipulated should help alleviate problems associated with circadian clock dysfunction (including some sleep and manic depressive disorders) and with clock desynchronization (which occurs during jet lab and with shift work schedules).

Representative Publications

  • Cooper JM, Rastogi A, Krizo JA, Mintz EM, Prosser RA. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator modulates mammalian circadian clock phase regulation in tissue-type plasminogen activator knockout mice. Eur J Neurosci. 2016 Dec 19. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13511. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27992087.
  • Hablitz LM, Molzof HE, Abrahamsson KE, Cooper JM, Prosser RA, Gamble KL. GIRK Channels Mediate the Nonphotic Effects of Exogenous Melatonin. J Neurosci. 2015 Nov 11;35(45):14957-65. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1597-15.2015. PubMed PMID: 26558769; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4642232.
  • Prosser RA, Glass JD. Assessing ethanol's actions in the suprachiasmatic circadian clock using in vivo and in vitro approaches. Alcohol. 2015 Jun;49(4):321-39. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.07.016. Review. PubMed PMID: 25457753; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4402095.
  • Stowie AC, Amicarelli MJ, Prosser RA, Glass JD. Chronic cocaine causes long-term alterations in circadian period and photic entrainment in the mouse. Neuroscience. 2015 Jan 22;284:171-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.08.057. PubMed PMID: 25301751.
  • Lynfield R, Davey R, Dwyer DE, Losso MH, Wentworth D, Cozzi-Lepri A, Herman-Lamin K, Cholewinska G, David D, Kuetter S, Ternesgen Z, Uyeki TM, Lane HC, Lundgren J, Neaton JD; INSIGHT Influenza Study Group.. Outcomes of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection: results from two international cohort studies. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 8;9(7):e101785. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101785. PubMed PMID: 25004134; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4086938.
  • Prosser RA, Stowie A, Amicarelli M, Nackenoff AG, Blakely RD, Glass JD. Cocaine modulates mammalian circadian clock timing by decreasing serotonin transport in the SCN. Neuroscience. 2014 Sep 5;275:184-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.06.012. PubMed PMID: 24950119; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4122660.

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