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Rebecca Prosser




All organisms share the characteristic that their behavior and physiology fluctuate over the course of the 24 hr 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. This 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 focuses 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 electrophysiology, and neuropharmacology. An increased understanding of how the clock works and how it can be manipulated should help alleviate problems associated with circadian clock disfunction (including some sleep and manic depressive disorders) and with clock desynchronization (which occurs during jet lag and with shift work schedules).


  • Ph.D.: Neural and Behavioral Biology Program-University of Illinois at Urbana-
    Champaign (1989)
  • B.A.: Biosocial Bases of Behavior-Pomona College, Claremont CA. (1981)


Hammer SB, Ruby CL, Brager AJ, Prosser RA and Glass JD (2010) Environmental modulation of alcohol intake in hamsters: effects of wheel-running and constant light exposure. Alcohol.Clin.Expt.Res 34: 1651-1658.

Brager AJ, Ruby CL, Prosser RA and Glass JD (2010) Chronic ethanol disrupts circadian photic entrainment and daily locomotor activity in the mouse.  Alcohol. Clin.Expt.Res. 34:1266-1273.

Mou, X., Peterson, C.B., and Prosser, R.A. (2009) Tissue-type plasminogen activatorplasmin-BDNF modulate glutamate-induced phase shifts of the mouse
suprachiasmatic circadian clock in vitro. Eur.J.Neurosci. 30: 1451-1460.

Prosser, R.A., and Glass, J.D. (2009) The mammalian circadian clock exhibits acute tolerance to ethanol. Alcohol.Clin.Expt.Res. 33: 1-6.

Prosser, R.A., McElroy, B., Zakaria, A., and Glass, J.D. (2009) Ethanol modulates
mammalian circadian clock phase resetting through extrasynaptic GABA receptor
activation. Neuroscience 164: 842-848.

Ruby, C.L., Brager, A.J., DePaul, M.A. Prosser, R.A., and Glass, J.D. (2009) Chronic ethanol disrupts circadian behavior and photic phase-resetting in the hamster. Am.J.Physiol. 297: R729-R737

Ruby, C.L., Prosser, R.A., and Glass, J.D. (2009) Acute Ethanol Impairs Photic and Nonphotic Circadian Phase-Resetting in the Syrian Hamster. Am.J.Physiol 296: R411-R418.

Prosser, R.A. and Glass, J.D. (2008) Acute ethanol modulates glutamatergic and
serotonergic phase shifts of the mouse circadian clock in vitro. Neuroscience 152; 837-848

Prosser, R.A., Lee,H.M., and Wehner, A. (2006) Serotonergic pre-treatments block in vitro serotonergic phase shifts of the mouse suprachiasmatic nucleus circadian clock
Neuroscience 42: 547-555.

Prosser, R.A. (2003) Serotonin phase-shifts the mouse suprachiasmatic circadian clock in vitro. Brain Res. 966: 110-115.

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