Rolf Bodmer, Ph.D.

Rolf Bodmer's Research Focus

Cardiovascular Diseases, Heart Disease, Inherited Disorders, Muscular Dystrophy, Metabolic Syndrome, Metabolic Diseases, Obesity, Neurodegenerative and Neuromuscular Diseases, Parkinson's Disease, Cancer

The Bodmer Laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms of organ formation, how patterns are generated and how cells and tissue types assume their correct fates and functions. The Bodmer lab is pursuing this interest by studying the genetic functions and interactions that specify heart development and maintain heart performance in the Drosophila model, in the hope of elucidating basic principles in organogenesis and functionality.


Cardiac Mesoderm

Cardiac Cell Types


Heart Function

Aging Heart

We study the HIF and Notch pathways in various organismal responses to hypoxia. Both of these pathways as well as mechanisms and responses to hypoxia are of high relevance to cancer research. 

We are also studying master regulatory networks in how they control metabolism and obesity. These fundamental studies on obesity pathways will also be highly relevant to cancer metabolism.

Rolf Bodmer's Bio

Rolf Bodmer earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neurobiology from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 1983. Dr. Bodmer trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Neurobiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and also studied Molecular Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology in 1990 at the University of Michigan. There, he was promoted to Associate Professor of Biology in 1996, and then appointed to Associate Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 2001. Dr. Bodmer joined Sanford Burnham Prebys in 2003, where he is Professor and Program Director of the Development, Aging, and Regeneration Program.


Other Appointments

Adjunct professor, University of California, San Diego


Funding Awards and Collaborative Grants

1 P01 AG033561 "Genetic Analysis of Drosophila Functional Aging"


Honors and Recognition

Ellison Foundation Senior Scholar Award

DAR Accessory


Tinman/Nkx2-5 acts via miR-1 and upstream of Cdc42 to regulate heart function across species.

Qian L, Wythe JD, Liu J, Cartry J, Vogler G, Mohapatra B, Otway RT, Huang Y, King IN, Maillet M, Zheng Y, Crawley T, Taghli-Lamallem O, Semsarian C, Dunwoodie S, Winlaw D, Harvey RP, Fatkin D, Towbin JA, Molkentin JD, Srivastava D, Ocorr K, Bruneau BG, Bodmer R

J Cell Biol 2011 Jun 27 ;193(7):1181-96

High-fat-diet-induced obesity and heart dysfunction are regulated by the TOR pathway in Drosophila.

Birse RT, Choi J, Reardon K, Rodriguez J, Graham S, Diop S, Ocorr K, Bodmer R, Oldham S

Cell Metab 2010 Nov 3 ;12(5):533-44

A global in vivo Drosophila RNAi screen identifies NOT3 as a conserved regulator of heart function.

Neely GG, Kuba K, Cammarato A, Isobe K, Amann S, Zhang L, Murata M, Elmén L, Gupta V, Arora S, Sarangi R, Dan D, Fujisawa S, Usami T, Xia CP, Keene AC, Alayari NN, Yamakawa H, Elling U, Berger C, Novatchkova M, Koglgruber R, Fukuda K, Nishina H, Isobe M, Pospisilik JA, Imai Y, Pfeufer A, Hicks AA, Pramstaller PP, Subramaniam S, Kimura A, Ocorr K, Bodmer R, Penninger JM

Cell 2010 Apr 2 ;141(1):142-53

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Mitochondrial MICOS complex genes, implicated in hypoplastic left heart syndrome, maintain cardiac contractility and actomyosin integrity.

Birker K, Ge S, Kirkland NJ, Theis JL, Marchant J, Fogarty ZC, Missinato MA, Kalvakuri S, Grossfeld P, Engler AJ, Ocorr K, Nelson TJ, Colas AR, Olson TM, Vogler G, Bodmer R

Elife 2023 Jul 5 ;12

Multiplatform modeling of atrial fibrillation identifies phospholamban as a central regulator of cardiac rhythm.

Kervadec A, Kezos J, Ni H, Yu M, Marchant J, Spiering S, Kannan S, Kwon C, Andersen P, Bodmer R, Grandi E, Ocorr K, Colas AR

Dis Model Mech 2023 Jul 1 ;16(7)

Age-dependent Lamin changes induce cardiac dysfunction via dysregulation of cardiac transcriptional programs.

Kirkland NJ, Skalak SH, Whitehead AJ, Hocker JD, Beri P, Vogler G, Hum B, Wang M, Lakatta EG, Ren B, Bodmer R, Engler AJ

Nat Aging 2023 Jan ;3(1):17-33

Deacetylase-dependent and -independent role of HDAC3 in cardiomyopathy.

Ren J, Zeng Q, Wu H, Liu X, Guida MC, Huang W, Zhai Y, Li J, Ocorr K, Bodmer R, Tang M

J Cell Physiol 2023 Mar ;238(3):647-658

Genetic architecture of natural variation of cardiac performance from flies to humans.

Saha S, Spinelli L, Castro Mondragon JA, Kervadec A, Lynott M, Kremmer L, Roder L, Krifa S, Torres M, Brun C, Vogler G, Bodmer R, Colas AR, Ocorr K, Perrin L

Elife 2022 Nov 16 ;11

Nascent polypeptide-Associated Complex and Signal Recognition Particle have cardiac-specific roles in heart development and remodeling.

Schroeder AM, Nielsen T, Lynott M, Vogler G, Colas AR, Bodmer R

PLoS Genet 2022 Oct ;18(10):e1010448

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