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Adrian Rothenfluh, PhD, MS

Languages spoken: English, German, French

Academic Information

Departments: Psychiatry - Associate Professor, Human Genetics - Adjunct Associate Professor, Neurobiology - Adjunct Associate Professor

Divisions: Adult Psychiatry

Academic Office Information

Research Statement

Dr. Rothenfluh's research focuses on the genetics of psychiatric disorders, especially addiction. His lab uses Drosophila to model various neuropsychiatric conditions and to investigate the molecular, signaling, and neuronal mechanisms that mediate behavior. His lab has a continued commitment to translate his findings to human studies.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship University of California, San Francisco
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellowship Rockefeller University
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Rockefeller University
Graduate Training University of Basel
Molecular Biology

Selected Publications

  1. Merrill CB, Montgomery AB, Pabon MA, Shabalin AA, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2022). Harnessing changes in open chromatin determined by ATAC-seq to generate insulin-responsive reporter constructs. BMC Genomics, 23(1), 399.
  2. Merrill CB, Pabon MA, Montgomery AB, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2022). Optimized assay for transposase-accessible chromatin by sequencing (ATAC-seq) library preparation from adult Drosophila melanogaster neurons. Sci Rep, 12(1), 6043.
  3. Schellinger JN, Sun Q, Pleinis JM, An SW, Hu J, Mercenne G, Titos I, Huang CL, Rothenfluh A, Rodan AR (2022). Chloride oscillation in pacemaker neurons regulates circadian rhythms through a chloride-sensing WNK kinase signaling cascade. Curr Biol, 32(6), 1429-1438.e6.
  4. Philyaw TJ, Rothenfluh A, Titos I (2022). The Use of Drosophila to Understand Psychostimulant Responses. [Review]. Biomedicines, 10(1).
  5. Titos I, Rothenfluh A (2021). From single flies to many genes: Using Drosophila to explore the genetics of psychostimulant consumption.  [Invited commentary on paper PMID 34074789]. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 118(31).
  6. Mishra P, Yang SE, Montgomery AB, Reed AR, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2021). The fly liquid-food electroshock assay (FLEA) suggests opposite roles for neuropeptide F in avoidance of bitterness and shock. BMC Biol, 19(1), 31.
  7. Chvilicek MM, Titos I, Rothenfluh A (2020). The Neurotransmitters Involved in Drosophila Alcohol-Induced Behaviors. [Review]. Front Behav Neurosci, 14, 607700.
  8. Lathen DR, Merrill CB, Rothenfluh A (2020). Flying Together: Drosophila as a Tool to Understand the Genetics of Human Alcoholism. [Review]. Int J Mol Sci, 21(18).
  9. Butts AR, Ojelade SA, Pronovost ED, Seguin A, Merrill CB, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2019). Altered Actin Filament Dynamics in the Drosophila Mushroom Bodies Lead to Fast Acquisition of Alcohol Consumption Preference. J Neurosci, 39(45), 8877-8884.
  10. Evangelou E, Gao H, Chu C, Ntritsos G, Blakeley P, Butts AR, Pazoki R, Suzuki H, Koskeridis F, Yiorkas AM, Karaman I, Elliott J, Luo Q, Aeschbacher S, Bartz TM, Baumeister SE, Braund PS, Brown MR, Brody JA, Clarke TK, Dimou N, Faul JD, Homuth G, Jackson AU, Kentistou KA, Joshi PK, Lemaitre RN, Lind PA, Lyytikinen LP, Mangino M, Milaneschi Y, Nelson CP, Nolte IM, Perl MM, Polasek O, Porteous D, Ratliff SM, Smith JA, Stankov A, Teumer A, Tuominen S, Thriault S, Vangipurapu J, Whitfield JB, Wood A, Yao J, Yu B, Zhao W, Arking DE, Auvinen J, Liu C, Mnnikk M, Risch L, Rotter JI, Snieder H, Veijola J, Blakemore AI, Boehnke M, Campbell H, Conen D, Eriksson JG, Grabe HJ, Guo X, van der Harst P, Hartman CA, Hayward C, Heath AC, Jarvelin MR, Khnen M, Kardia SLR, Khne M, Kuusisto J, Laakso M, Lahti J, Lehtimki T, McIntosh AM, Mohlke KL, Morrison AC, Martin NG, Oldehinkel AJ, Penninx BWJH, Psaty BM, Raitakari OT, Rudan I, Samani NJ, Scott LJ, Spector TD, Verweij N, Weir DR, Wilson JF, Levy D, Tzoulaki I, Bell JD, Matthews PM, Rothenfluh A, Desrivires S, Schumann G, Elliott P (2019). New alcohol-related genes suggest shared genetic mechanisms with neuropsychiatric disorders. Nat Hum Behav, 3(9), 950-961.
  11. Blau J, Kloss, B, Rothenfluh A (2018). A speedy version of the double-time story. [Invited commentary on 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine]. Japanese Society for Chronobiology, Journal of Chronobiology, 24, 45-49.
  12. Gonzalez DA, Jia T, Pinzn JH, Acevedo SF, Ojelade SA, Xu B, Tay N, Desrivires S, Hernandez JL, Banaschewski T, Bchel C, Bokde ALW, Conrod PJ, Flor H, Frouin V, Gallinat J, Garavan H, Gowland PA, Heinz A, Ittermann B, Lathrop M, Martinot JL, Paus T, Smolka MN, IMAGEN Consortium, Rodan AR, Schumann G, Rothenfluh A (2018). The Arf6 activator Efa6/PSD3 confers regional specificity and modulates ethanol consumption in Drosophila and humans. Mol Psychiatry, 23(3), 621-628.
  13. Shalaby NA, Pinzon JH, Narayanan AS, Jin EJ, Ritz MP, Dove RJ, Wolfenberg H, Rodan AR, Buszczak M, Rothenfluh A (2018). JmjC domain proteins modulate circadian behaviors and sleep in Drosophila. Sci Rep, 8(1), 815.
  14. Pinzn JH, Reed AR, Shalaby NA, Buszczak M, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2017). Alcohol-Induced Behaviors Require a Subset of Drosophila JmjC-Domain Histone Demethylases in the Nervous System. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 41(12), 2015-2024.
  15. Shalaby NA, Sayed R, Zhang Q, Scoggin S, Eliazer S, Rothenfluh A, Buszczak M (2017). Systematic discovery of genetic modulation by Jumonji histone demethylases in Drosophila. Sci Rep, 7(1), 5240.
  16. Kaun KR, Rothenfluh A (2017). Dopaminergic rules of engagement for memory in Drosophila. Curr Opin Neurobiol, 43, 56-62.
  17. Narayanan AS, Rothenfluh A (2016). I Believe I Can Fly!: Use of Drosophila as a Model Organism in Neuropsychopharmacology Research. [Review]. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(6), 1439-46.
  18. Jia T, Macare C, Desrivieres S, Gonzalez DA, Tao C, Ji X, Ruggeri B, Nees F, Banaschewski T, Barker GJ, Bokde AL, Bromberg U, Buchel C, Conrod PJ, Dove R, Frouin V, Gallinat J, Garavan H, Gowland PA, Heinz A, Ittermann B, Lathrop M, Lemaitre H, Martinot JL, Paus T, Pausova Z, Poline JB, Rietschel M, Robbins T, Smolka MN, Muller CP, Feng J, Rothenfluh A, Flor H, Schumann G (2016). Neural basis of reward anticipation and its genetic determinants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 113(14), 3879-84.
  19. Acevedo SF, Peru y Colon de Portugal RL, Gonzalez DA, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2015). S6 Kinase Reflects and Regulates Ethanol-Induced Sedation. J Neurosci, 35(46), 15396-402.
  20. Ojelade SA, Jia T, Rodan AR, Chenyang T, Kadrmas JL, Cattrell A, Ruggeri B, Charoen P, Lemaitre H, Banaschewski T, Bchel C, Bokde AL, Carvalho F, Conrod PJ, Flor H, Frouin V, Gallinat J, Garavan H, Gowland PA, Heinz A, Ittermann B, Lathrop M, Lubbe S, Martinot JL, Paus T, Smolka MN, Spanagel R, OReilly PF, Laitinen J, Veijola JM, Feng J, Desrivires S, Jarvelin MR, IMAGEN Consortium, Schumann G, Rothenfluh A (2015). Rsu1 regulates ethanol consumption in Drosophila and humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 112(30), E4085-93.
  21. Ojelade SA, Acevedo SF, Kalahasti G, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2015). RhoGAP18B Isoforms Act on Distinct Rho-Family GTPases and Regulate Behavioral Responses to Alcohol via Cofilin. PLoS One, 10(9), e0137465.
  22. Peru Y Colon de Portugal RL, Ojelade SA, Penninti PS, Dove RJ, Nye MJ, Acevedo SF, Lopez A, Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2014). Long-lasting, experience-dependent alcohol preference in Drosophila. Addict Biol, 19(3), 392-401.
  23. Rothenfluh A, Cowan CW (2013). Emerging roles of actin cytoskeleton regulating enzymes in drug addiction: actin or reactin'? [Review]. Curr Opin Neurobiol, 23(4), 507-12.
  24. Chang L, Kreko T, Davison H, Cusmano T, Wu Y, Rothenfluh A, Eaton BA (2013). Normal dynactin complex function during synapse growth in Drosophila requires membrane binding by Arfaptin. Mol Biol Cell, 24(11), 1749-64, S1-5.
  25. Ojelade SA, Acevedo SF, Rothenfluh A (2013). The role of the actin cytoskeleton in regulating Drosophila behavior. [Review]. Rev Neurosci, 24(5), 471-84.
  26. Peru Y Colon de Portugal RL, Acevedo SF, Rodan AR, Chang LY, Eaton BA, Rothenfluh A (2012). Adult neuronal Arf6 controls ethanol-induced behavior with Arfaptin downstream of Rac1 and RhoGAP18B. J Neurosci, 32(49), 17706-13.
  27. Chen P, Tu X, Akdemir F, Chew SK, Rothenfluh A, Abrams JM (2012). Effectors of alcohol-induced cell killing in Drosophila. Cell Death Differ, 19(10), 1655-63.
  28. Chan CC, Scoggin S, Wang D, Cherry S, Dembo T, Greenberg B, Jin EJ, Kuey C, Lopez A, Mehta SQ, Perkins TJ, Brankatschk M, Rothenfluh A, Buszczak M, Hiesinger PR (2011). Systematic discovery of Rab GTPases with synaptic functions in Drosophila. Curr Biol, 21(20), 1704-15.
  29. Maples T, Rothenfluh A (2011). A simple way to measure ethanol sensitivity in flies.LID - 10.3791/2541 [doi]LID - 2541 [pii]. J Vis Exp, (48).
  30. Rodan AR, Rothenfluh A (2010). The genetics of behavioral alcohol responses in Drosophila. [Review]. Int Rev Neurobiol, 91, 25-51.
  31. Rothenfluh A, Threlkeld RJ, Bainton RJ, Tsai LT, Lasek AW, Heberlein U (2006). Distinct behavioral responses to ethanol are regulated by alternate RhoGAP18B isoforms. Cell, 127(1), 199-211.

Global Impact

Education History

Type School Degree
Graduate Training University of Basel
Molecular Biology