The Rothenfluh Lab is in the Department of Psychiatry and in the U of U Molecular Medicine Program housed in the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics (building). Fittingly, we are interested in genes, molecular mechanisms, and neural circuits involved in behavior. We use Drosophila as a model organism, and it turns out that they are more like us than one would have anticipated.
In the area of our main focus, addiction, for example, flies are like mammals: they dislike alcohol initially, but with experience, they acquire the taste for it. We aim to understand the mechanisms mediating these behavioral responses and changes. We also continue to investigate whether (and to show that) homologous genes are involved in human and Drosophila responses to this drug of abuse.