Benjamin L. Clarke, PhD

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

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