Benjamin L. Clarke, PhD

Associate Professor, Medical School, Duluth Campus

Benjamin L. Clarke

Contact Info

Office Phone 218-726-6587

Fax 218-726-7414

Office Address:
Department of Biomedical Sciences
323 SMed
1035 University Dr
Duluth, MN 55812

Associate Professor, Medical School, Duluth Campus

Department of Biomedical Sciences

PhD in Biochemistry, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Dissertation topic: "A Kinetic Analysis of the Galactosyl Receptor System"; Menor: Dr. PH Weigel, 1986

BA in Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Senior research topic: "Development of a Passive Hemagglutination Assay for Physalia physalis Lytic Factor"; Mentor: Dr. DA Hessinger, 1979

BS in Clinical Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

AA in Liberal Arts, Miami-Dade College, Opalocka, FL, 1975


Professional Associations


Research Summary/Interests

1) Endocrinology: Investigating the role of pituitary hormones as immunomodulators and regulators of development

2) Lyme disease: Characterizing the entrance of Borrelia burgdorferi into macrophage by non-opsonic mechanisms.

3) Development of active learn tools to teach biomedical concepts


See full list of publications at: PubMed

Select Publications:

Akbulut, S, Byersdorfer CA, Zimmer, SL, Larsen CP, Humphreys TD, Clarke BL, (2001), “Expression of the Melanocortin 5 Receptor on Rat Lymphocytes”, Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications 281, 1086-92

Prunuske A, Wilson, J, Walls, M, Clarke BL, (2013), “Experiences of Mentors Training Underrepresented Undergraduates in the Research Laboratory”, CDE-Life Sciences Education, 12(3), 403-9

Mayasich SA, Clarke BL, (2016), “The Emergence of the Vasopressin and Oxytocin Hormone Receptor Gene Family Linage: Clues from the Characterization of Vasotocin Receptors in Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)”; General and Comparative Endocrinology, 226, 88-101

Seifert VA, Wilson S, Toivonen S, Clarke BL, Prunuske A, (2016), “Community Partnership Designed to Promote Lyme Disease Prevention and Engagement in Citizen Science”, Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 17(1), 63-9

Nelson VA, Clarke BL, Crossland JP, Bemis LT, (2016), “A Method to Distinguish Morphologically Similar Peromyscus Species Using Extracellular RNA and High-Resolution Melt Analysis”, Analytical Biochemistry 508, 65-72

Mayasich SA, Bemis LT, Clarke BL, (2016), “DNA Methylation in a Sea Lamprey Vasotocin Receptor Gene Promoter Correlates with Tissue- and Life Stage-Specific mRNA Expression”, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part B Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 202, 56-66

Prunuske A, Wilson J, Walls M, Marrin H, Clarke BL, (2016), “Efforts at Broadening Participation in the Sciences: An Examination of the Mentoring Experiences of Students from Underrepresented Groups”, CBE Life Sciences Education, 15:ar26, DOI: 10.1187/cbe.16-01-0024

Text Books:

1. Johnson, AJ and Clarke, BL, (2005), High-Yield Immunology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia PA

2. Hawley, LB, Ziegler, RJ, Clarke, BL (2013), Board Review Series, Microbiology and Immunology 5th Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia PA

Book Chapters:

1.Clarke BL, (2013), “ACTH and Melanocortins”, Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, LXXVII, Eds M Gellman and J Rick

2.Clarke, BL, (2003), “Isolation of the Melanocortin 5 Receptor: from cDNA sequence to isolating an integral membrane protein” In: Membrane Protein Protocols: Expression, Purification and Crystallization (BS Selinsky ed.) 228, 151-61, The Humana Press Inc., Totowa NJ

3.Clarke, BL, (1995), “Calcium Uptake by Corticotropin-Stimulated Lymphocytes: What is the Physiological Significance?”, Advances in Neuroimmunology 5, 271-8

4.Clarke, BL and Blalock, JE, (1991), “Characteristics of peptides specified by antisense nucleic acids”, In: Applications of Antisense Nucleic Acids (A.R. van der Krol and J.N.M. Mol, eds.), Marcel Dekker, New York, pp. 169-85


Teaching Areas

  • Membrane Biology 
  • Receptor Biology
  • Immunology

Mentoring/Advising: undergraduate & graduate students


Courses Taught:

  • Biochemistry Laboratory, Chem 5361
  • Immunobiology, MicB 5545
  • Immunopathology, MicB 5546
  • Molecular Pathogenesis, MicB 5555
  • Advanced Immunology and Immunobiology, MicB 8554
  • Evolution of Host Defenses, IBS 8980
  • Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology, IBS 8102
  • The Biological Practitioner, IBS 8099
  • Medical School Immunology, MED 6541, MED 6520, MED 6724
  • Problem Based Learning Facilitator, Neuromedicine and IHO, MED 6566/6728

Community Engagement

  • Lyme Disease Support; St. Luke’s Hospital
  • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
  • Toastmasters International