Our laboratory studies how mammals orient in time, with emphasis on reproductive physiology and behavior, hibernation, daily torpor, body weight,and adipose tissue regulation in several rodent species. Long-term interests include the role of the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus as a circadian and circannual pacemaker and the function of the pineal hormone melatonin as the endocrine signal through which light influences seasonal rhythms.
Graduate students typically work on projects related to the above themes and also develop independent lines of research. They frequently enter into collaborations with each other and investigators at several universities.In addition to laboratory based studies, I am interested in supporting combined field-laboratory analyses of behavior and physiology.
Freeman, David A.; Zucker, Irving. Refractoriness to melatonin occurs independently at multiple brain sites in Siberian hamsters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2001. 98:6447-6452.
Prendergast, Brian J., Nelson, Randy J. and Zucker, Irving. Mammalian seasonal rhythms: Behavior and neuroendocrine substrates. In Hormones, Brain and Behavior, D.W. Pfaff et al. (eds.) Elsevier Science, 2002, vol. 2, pp. 93-156.
Lewis, D.; Freeman, D. A.; Dark, J.; Wynne-Edwards, K. E.; Zucker, I. Photoperiodic control of oestrous cycles in Syrian hamsters: Mediation by the mediobasal hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 2002. 14:294-299.
Prendergast, Brian J.; Freeman, David A.; Zucker, Irving; Nelson, Randy J. Periodic arousal from hibernation is necessary for initiation of immune responses in ground squirrels. American Journal of Physiology. 2002. 282:R1054-R1062.
Kauffman, Alexander S.; Cabrera, Alessandra; Zucker, Irving. Torpor characteristics and energy requirements of furless Siberian hamsters. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 2001. 74:876-884.