Richard Tucker, Ph.D.
3414 Tupper Hall
Davis Campus

Dr. Tucker’s laboratory studies cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions, especially how they relate to cell motility and differentiation. He also studies the evolution of extracellular matrix and cell-cell adhesion molecules. Model systems used include the development of the avian visual system, tumor metastasis, stem cell niches and growth and regeneration in the marine invertebrate Nematostella. Most of his work focuses on the roles of tenascins, thrombospondins and teneurins. Tenascins and thrombospondins are extracellular matrix glycoproteins that can influence cell motility, proliferation and differentiation in the embryo. They often reappear in tumors and at sites of trauma. Teneurins are transmembrane glycoproteins expressed by interconnected populations of neurons. Recent evidence suggests that teneurins evolved via horizontal gene transfer between a choanoflagellate and prokaryotic prey.

Midwood, K., M. Chiquet, R.P. Tucker and G. Orend. Tenascin-C at a glance. Journal of Cell Science 2016 Dec 1;129:4321-4327.

Tucker, R.P., C.A. Peterson, I. Hendaoui, S. Bichet and R. Chiquet-Ehrismann. The expression of tenascin-C and tenascin-W in human ossicles. Journal of Anatomy 2016 Sep;229:416-421.

Tucker, R.P. and R. Chiquet-Ehrismann. Tenascin-C: Its functions as an integrin ligand. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2015 Aug;65:165-168.

Tucker, R.P. and J.C. Adams. Adhesion networks of cnidarians: A post-genomic view. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology 2014;308:323-377.

Chiquet-Ehrismann, R., G. Orend, M. Chiquet, R.P. Tucker and K.S. Midwood. Tenascins in stem cell niches. Matrix Biology 2014 Jul;37:112-123. (cover photo)

Hendaoui, I., R.P. Tucker, D. Zingg, S. Bichet, J. Schittny and R. Chiquet-Ehrismann. Tenascin-C is required for normal Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the whisker follicle stem cell niche. Matrix Biology 2014 Nov;40:46-53.

Gong, Q., K. Garvey, C. Qian, I. Yin, G. Wong and R.P. Tucker. The integrins of the starlet sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Biological Bulletin 2014 Dec;227:211-220.

Adams, J.C., R. Chiquet-Ehrismann and R.P. Tucker. The evolution of tenascins and fibronectin. Cell Adhesion and Migration 2015;9:1-12.

Peterson, C.A., C.A. Wacker, T.L. Phelan, A.K. Blume and R.P. Tucker. Anatomical differences in the shape of the male and female carpal tunnels. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy 2013;37:108-112.

Tucker, R.P. and Q. Gong. Chapter 15: Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization in the developing chicken brain. In: Brain Development: Methods and Protocols,S.G. Sprecher (ed.) Methods in Molecular Biology, 2013; Vol. 1082, pp. 217-233.

Tucker, R.P., J. Ferralli, J.C. Schittny and R. Chiquet-Ehrismann. Tenascin-C and tenascin-W in whisker follicle stem cell niches: possible roles in regulating stem cell proliferation and migration. Journal of Cell Science 2013 Nov 15;126:5111-5115. (cover photo)

Tucker, R.P., J.F. Hess, Q. Gong, K. Garvey, B. Shibata and J.C. Adams. A thrombospondin in the anthozoan Nematostella vectensis is associated with the nervous system and upregulated during regeneration. Biology Open 2013 Feb 15;2:217-226.

Dranow, D.B., R.P. Tucker and B.W. Draper. Germ cells are required to maintain a stable sexual phenotype. Developmental Biology, 2013 Apr 1;376(1):43-50. Jan 21. [e-pub ahead of print] (“Faculty of 1000 Recommended”)

Tucker, R.P. Horizontal gene transfer in choanoflagellates. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 2013 Jan;320:1-9.

Tucker, R.P., J. Beckmann, N.T. Leachman, J. Schöler and R. Chiquet-Ehrismann. Phylogenetic analysis of the teneurins: conserved features and premetazoan ancestry. Molecular Biology and Evolution 2012 Mar;29:1019-1029.

Brellier, F., E. Martina, M. Chiquet, J. Ferralli, M. van der Heyden, G. Orend, J.C. Schittny, R. Chiquet-Ehrismann and R.P. Tucker. The adhesion modulating properties of tenascin-W. International Journal of Biological Sciences 2012;8:187-194.

Chiquet-Ehrismann, R. and R.P. Tucker. Tenascins and the importance of adhesion modulation. In: Cold Spring Harbor Perspective in Biology: Extracellular Matrix Biology, R.O. Hynes and K. Yamada (eds.), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. pp. 129-147. 2011 May 1;3(5).

  • CHA 400, Developmental, Gross and Radiographic Anatomy (Course Director)
  • CHA 402, Cell and Tissue Biology
  • CHA 200, Graduate Human Gross Anatomy (Course Co-Director)
  • BCB 213, Developmental Biology (Course Director)
  • Davis Division Academic Senate Graduate/Professional School Distinguished Teaching Award 2012
  • Kaiser Foundation Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching Basic Sciences, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012
  • Biochemistry and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Graduate Group Teaching Award, 2011, 2014
  • UC Davis School of Medicine, Outstanding Basic Science Instructor, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2014
  • UC Davis School of Medicine, Tupper Prize for Excellence in Teaching, 2007
  • UC Davis School of Medicine, Excellence in Education Award, 2005
  • Gian Toendury Prize for the Promotion of Research in Morphological Sciences, 1989
  • National Science Foundation