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

  • Yamada Y, Prosser RA. Copper in the Suprachiasmatic Circadian Clock: A Possible Link Between Multiple Circadian Oscillators. Eur J Neurosci. 2018 Sep 30. doi: 10.1111/ejn.14181. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30269387.
  • Yaw AM, Woodruff RW, Prosser RA, Glass JD. Paternal Cocaine Disrupts Offspring Circadian Clock Function in a Sex-Dependent Manner in Mice. Neuroscience. 2018 May 21;379:257-268. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.03.012. Epub 2018 Mar 19. PubMed PMID: 29567492.
  • Krizo JA, Moreland LE, Rastogi A, Mou X, Prosser RA, Mintz EM. Regulation of Locomotor activity in fed, fasted, and food-restricted mice lacking tissue-type plasminogen activator. BMC Physiol. 2018 Jan 25;18(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s12899-018-0036-0. PubMed PMID: 29370799; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5784530.
  • Dwyer DE, Lynfield R, Losso MH, Davey RT, Cozzi-Lepri A, Wentworth D, Uyeki TM, Gordin F, Angus B, Qvist T, Emery S, Lundgren J, Neaton JD; INSIGHT Influenza Study Group . Comparison of the Outcomes of Individuals With Medically Attended Influenza A and B Virus Infections Enrolled in 2 International Cohort Studies Over a 6-Year Period: 2009-2015. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 7;4(4):ofx212. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofx212. eCollection 2017 Fall. PubMed PMID: 29308401; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5740982.
  • Lindsay JH, Prosser RA. The Mammalian Circadian Clock Exhibits Chronic Ethanol Tolerance and Withdrawal-Induced Glutamate Hypersensitivity, Accompanied by Changes in Glutamate and TrkB Receptor Proteins. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2018 Feb;42(2):315-328. doi: 10.1111/acer.13554. Epub 2017 Dec 27. PubMed PMID: 29139560; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5785434.
  • 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. 2017 Mar;45(6):805-815. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13511. Epub 2017 Jan 9. PubMed PMID: 27992087.

View more references (pubmed link)