UA Home | AHSC | College of Medicine

Rebecca Fisher, PhD

Associate Professor, Basic Medical Sciences
Director of the Gross Anatomy Laboratory - UA COM-Phoenix
Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences - Arizona State University
UA: (602) 827-2109
ASU: (480) 727-9772
UA Office Building and Room : 
HSEB, Room B624
435 N. 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Postdoctoral Fellowship; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2002-2004
PhD; Yale University; 2002
BA; Stanford University; 1995

In my research lab, we study the anatomy and evolution of vertebrates as well as the origins of musculoskeletal disease. We are currently analyzing the functional anatomy of anole lizards and gila monsters. One of the remarkable features of anoles is their ability to regenerate their tails following autotomy. We are studying the structure and function of the tail pre- and post-autotomy, as well as the limb morphology of various anole species. This project is a collaboration between 5 ASU laboratories and investigators at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Lab members are also investigating the anatomy of the gila monster tail, which is specialized for fat-storage, and the etiology of idiopathic scoliosis. Using a mouse model, we are studying the effects of hypoxia on the developing spine and the role that gene-environment interactions may have in the etiology of spinal disorders.

Rebecca Fisher, PhD
Rebecca Fisher, PhD
Selected Publications

PubMed Link:

Search PubMed for a complete listing of Dr. Fisher's publications

  1. Hutchins ED, Markov GJ, Eckalbar WL, George RM, King JM, Tokuyama MA, Geiger LA, Emmert N, Ammar MJ, Allen AN, Siniard AL, Corneveaux JJ, Fisher RE, Wade J, DeNardo DF, Rawls JA, Huentelman MJ, Wilson-Rawls J, Kusumi K. 2014. Transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in the lizard Anolis carolinensis reveals activation of conserved vertebrate developmental and repair mechanisms. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105004. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105004.

  2. Kusumi K, Fisher RE. 2012. Studying mechanisms of regeneration in amphibian and reptilian vertebrate models. The Anatomical Record 295(10):1529–1531.

  3. Ritzman TB, Stroik LK, Julik E, Hutchins ED, Lasku E, Denardo DF, Wilson-Rawls J, Rawls JA, Kusumi K, Fisher RE. 2012. The gross anatomy of the original and regenerated tail in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). The Anatomical Record 295(10):1596-1608.

  4. Fisher RE, Geiger L, Stroik LK, Hutchins ED, George RM, DeNardo DF, Kusumi K, Rawls JA, Wilson-Rawls J. 2012. A histological comparison of the original and regenerated tail in the green anole, Anolis carolinensis. The Anatomical Record 295(10):1609-1619.

  5. Diogo R, Pastor F, De Paz F, Potau JM, Bello-Hellegouarch G, Ferrero EM, Fisher RE. 2012. The head and neck muscles of the serval and tiger: homologies, evolution, and proposal of a mammalian and a veterinary muscle ontology. The Anatomical Record 295(12): 2157–2178.

  6. Eckalbar WL, Fisher RE, Rawls A, Kusumi K. 2012. Scoliosis and segmentation defects of the vertebrae. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Developmental Biology doi: 10.1002/wdev.34.

  7. Julik E, Zack S, Adrian B, Maredia S, Parsa A, Poole M, Starbuck A, Fisher RE. 2012. Functional anatomy of the forelimb muscles of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). Journal of Mammalian Evolution 19(4):277-304 .

  8. Fisher RE, Smith HF, Kusumi K, Tassone E, Rawls A, Wilson-Rawls J. 2012. Mutations in the Notch Pathway Alter the Patterning of Multifidus. The Anatomical Record 295(1):32-39.

  9. Fisher RE, Smith HF, and Goldstein B. 2011. Spinal Anatomy and Biomechanics. In Spinal Cord Medicine, Steven Kirshblum and Denise Campagnolo (editors), 2nd edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. pp. 31-43.

  10. Boisserie JR, Fisher RE, Lihoreau F, Weston E. 2011. Evolving between land and water: key questions on the emergence and history of the Hippopotamidae (Hippopotamoidea, Cetancodonta, Cetartiodactyla). Biological Reviews 86(3): 601-625.

  11. Fisher RE. 2011. Red Panda Anatomy. In: Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda, Angela Glatston (editor), Elsevier. pp 89-100.

  12. Fisher RE, Scott KM, and Adrian B. 2010. Hindlimb Myology of the Common Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius (Artiodacytla: Hippopotamidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158(3): 661-682.

  13. Rawls A and Fisher RE. 2010. Development and Functional Anatomy of the Spine. In The Genetics and Development of Scoliosis, Kenro Kusumi and Sally Dunwoodie (editors), Springer. pp. 21-46.

  14. Boisserie J-R, Lihoreau F, Orliac M, Fisher RE, Weston EM, and Ducrocq S. 2010. Morphology and phylogenetic relationships of the earliest known hippopotamids (Cetartiodactyla, Hippopotamidae, Kenyapotaminae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158(2): 325-366.

  15. Smith HF, Fisher RE, Everett ML, Thomas AD, Bollinger RR, and Parker W. 2009. Comparative anatomy and phylogenetic distribution of the mammalian cecal appendix. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(10): 1984-1999.

  16. Fisher RE, Adrian B, Barton M, Holmgren J, and Tang, SY. 2009. The phylogeny of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens): evidence from the forelimb. Journal of Anatomy 215(6): 611-635.

  17. Fisher RE, Adrian B, Elrod C, and Hicks M. 2008. The phylogeny of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens): evidence from the hindlimb. Journal of Anatomy 213(5): 607-628.

  18. Fisher RE, Scott K, Naples VL. 2007. Fore limb myology of the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis). The Anatomical Record Special Issue: Anatomical Adaptations of Aquatic Mammals 290(6): 673-693.

  19. Fisher RE. 2000. The primate appendix: a reassessment. The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist 261(6): 228-236.