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Robert B. Rucker

Robert B. Rucker

  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Nutrition
  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine

3415 Meyer

(530) 752-2645



  • M.S. and Ph.D., Biochemistry, Purdue University

Research Interests

Dr. Rucker's research focus is on the role of nutrients in early growth and development and the physiological roles of quinone cofactors derived from tyrosine, such as pyrroloquinoline quinone.

Selected past honors and activities include: President, American Society for Nutrition; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; also American Society for Nutrition; Chair or Co-Chairperson for FASEB Summer Conferences on Micronutrients; service of Program Committees for ASN and FASEB, (e.g. planning committees for Experimental Biology meetings); Plenary Speaker at International Nutrition Congresses; service on the Executive Committees for ASN, Exp. Biol. Med. And committees for USDA, NIH and FASEB; Editorial Board service: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of Nutrition, Exp. Biol. Med., Nutrition Research, Annual Reviews of Nutrition; recipient: UC Davis Medical School Oettinger Research Award, American Society for Nutritional Sciences – Bordon Research Award, Distinguished Professor Title at UC Davis (2005). Over the past 35 years, he has also served as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Nutrition Department and in various positions for the Graduate Group for Nutritional Sciences. Although his research program remains active, he is no longer taking on new students.

Selected Publications

  • Rucker, R.B., Storms, D.H., Sheets, A., Tchaparian, E., and Fascetti, A. 2005 Identification of PQQ as a vitamin remains tenuous. Nature 2005; 433:E10- 1; discussion E11-2.      
  • Uriu-Adams, J.Y., Rucker, R.B., Commisso, J.F., and Keen, C.L. Diabetes and dietary copper alter 67Cu metabolism and oxidant defense in the rat. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2005; 16:312-20.
  • Dahl, S.L.M., Rucker, R.B., and Niklason, L.E. Effects of Copper and Crosslinking on the Extracellular Matrix of Tissue Engineered Arteries. Cell Transplantation 2005; 14:861-868.
  • Beckers, M.E., Lanoue, L., Keen, C.L., Rucker, R.B., and Uriu-Adams, J.Y. Abnormal development and increased 3-nitrotyrosine in Cu deficient mouse embryos. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2006; 40:35-44.
  • Stites, T., Storms, D., Bauerly, K., Mah, J., Harris, C., Fascetti, A., Rogers, Q., Tchaparian, E., Satre, M., and Rucker, R.B. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone: Modulation of mitochondrial quantity and function in mice. Journal of Nutrition 2006; 136:390-396.
  • Rucker, R.B., and Kosonen, T. Chemical Physical Properties of Amino Acids. Biochemical, Physiological, & Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition. [Edited by] Martha H. Stipanuk. 2nd ed., Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis 2006; Unit II: 5:90-112.
  • Miller, J.W., Rogers, L.M., and Rucker, R.B. Pantothenic Acid. Present Knowledge in Nutrition (Eds. Ziegler EE & Filer LJ) ILSI Press, Washington D.C. 2006; 25:327-339.
  • Steinberg, F.M., and Rucker, R.B. Water Soluble Vitamins. Handbook of Food Technology, Dekker Press, NY, NY (subsidiary of CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.) 2006; 10:1-18.
  • Zempleni, J., Rucker, R.B., Suttie, J., McCormick, D., and Macland, L. (Eds) Handbook of Vitamins CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 2007; 1-600; Chapters - Robert Rucker and Kathryn Bauerly, Pantothenic Acid 2007; 289-314; Johnson C, Steinberg F, & Rucker, RB, Ascorbic Acid 2008; 489-520.
  • Bauerly, K.A., Storms, D., Harris, C., Hajizadeh, S., Sun, M.Y., Cheung, C.P., Satre, M.A., Fascetti, A.J., Tchaparian, E., and Rucker, R.B. Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Nutritional Status and Lysine Metabolism in the Mouse and Rat. Biochimical et Biophysica Acta 2007; 1760:1741-1748.
  • Yang, S.J., Uriu-Adams, J.Y., Keen, C.L., Rucker, R.B., and Lanoue, L. Effects of Copper Deficiency on Mouse Yolk Sac Vasculature and Expression of Angiogenic Mediators. Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology 2007; 77:445-54.
  • Rucker, R.B. Allometric scaling, metabolic body size and interspecies comparisons of basal nutritional requirements. Journal Animal Physiology Animal Nutrition, Berlin 2007; 91:148-56.
  • Yang, S.J., Keen, C.L., Lanoue, L., Rucker, R.B., and Uriu-Adams, J.Y. Low nitric oxide: a key factor underlying copper-deficiency teratogenicity. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2007; 43:1639-1648.
  • Rudolf, J.L., Bauerly, K.A., Tchaparian, E., Rucker, R.B., and Mitchell, A.E. The influence of diet composition on phase I and II biotransformation enzyme induction. Archives of Toxicology 2008; 82:893-901.
  • Rucker, R.B., Keen, C.L., and Fascetti, A. Trace Minerals. Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals, Sixth Edition (Ed.: J Jerry Kaneko, John H Harvey, Michael L Bruss) Academic Press, San Diego, CA 2008; 663-694.
  • Rucker, R.B., Morris, J., and Fascetti, A. Vitamins. Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals, Sixth Edition (Ed.: J Jerry Kaneko, John H Harvey, Michael L Bruss) Academic Press, San Diego, CA 2008; 695-730.
  • Halsted, C.H., Levine, M.A., Lönnerdal, B.L., and Rucker, R.B. Vitamins and Minerals. Yamada T. Alpers DH, Kalloo AN, Kaplowitz N, Owyang C & Powell DW. Textbook of Gastroenterology, 5th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, U.K. 2009; 478-507.
  • Rucker, R.B. Nutritional Properties of Cocoa. Chocolate: Heritage of the Americas, (Eds, Louis G & Howard S) Wiley Publishing, Indianapolis, IN 2009; Appendix 10:943-947.
  • Rucker R., Chowanadisai W., Nakano M. Potential physiological importance of pyrroloquinoline quinone. Altern Med Rev. 2009; 14:268-77.
  • Starcher B., Rucker R.B. Charles H. Hill (1921-2009). J Nutr. 2009; 139:2227-9.
  • Tchaparian E,, Marshal L,, Cutler G,, Bauerly K,, Chowanadisai W,, Satre M,, Harris C,, Rucker R,B. Identification of transcriptional networks responding to pyrroloquinoline quinone dietary supplementation and their influence on thioredoxin expression, and the JAK/STAT and MAPK pathways. Biochem J. 2010; 429:515-26.
  • Chowanadisai W., Bauerly K.A., Tchaparian E., Wong A., Cortopassi G.A., Rucker R.B. Pyrroloquinoline quinone stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis through cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation and increased PGC-1alpha expression. J Biol Chem. 2010; 285:142-52.
  • Chowanadisai W., Shenoy S.F., Sharman E., Keen C.L., Liu J.K., Rucker R.B. Well-functioning cell mitochondria promote good health) California Agriculture 2011; 65:136-140.
  • Shenoy S.F., Chowanadisai W., Sharman E., Keen C.L., Liu J.K., Rucker R.B. Biofactors in food promote health by enhancing mitochondrial function California Agriculture 2011; 65:141-147.
  • Bauerly K., Harris C., Chowanadisai W., Graham J., Havel P., Tchaparian, E., Satre M., Karliner J., Rucker R.B. Altering Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Nutritional Status Modulates Mitochondrial, Lipid, and Energy Metabolism in Rats, PLoS One 2011; 6:e21779.
  • Rucker R., Kathryn B. Pantothenic Acid. Handbook of Vitamins 5th Edition (Eds: Zempleni, J., Suttie, J., Jesse F. Gregory III, Patrick J. Stover) 2013; Chapter 8 pp. 325-349; CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Johnson C, Steinberg F, Rucker, RB. Ascorbic Acid. Handbook of Vitamins 5th Edition (Eds: Zempleni, J., Suttie, J., Jesse F. Gregory III, Patrick J. Stover) 2013; Chapter 14 pp. 515-549; CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Rucker RB, Steinberg F. Vitamin C. Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry 2nd Edition (Eds: Lennarz W., Lane M.D.) 2013; pp. 530-534; Elsevier Inc., Waltham, MA
  • Chowanadisai W, Graham DM, Keen CL, Rucker RB, Messerli MA. Neurulation and neurite extension require the zinc transporter ZIP12 (slc39a12). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110:9903-9908.