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Dr. Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas

Dr. Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas

Rolff Group - Evolutionary Biology

Institute of Biology

Freie Universität Berlin


Königin-Luise-Straße 1-3
14195 Berlin
+49 30 838-54869
a.rojas [at] fu-berlin [dot] de

October 2012-at present: 4 year Post­doc position (Prof. Dr. Jens Rolff). Institute for Biology. Freie Universität Berlin.Germany.

2010­-2012: 2 year Post­doc position (started in May 2010). Microbial Biotechnology Department (Prof. Dr. Jesús Blázquez). National Center for Biotechnology. Madrid. Spain.

2011: Six month of research stay at Freie Universität Berlin (Prof. Dr. Regine Hengge) funded by EMBO and CSICshort­term research fellowship.

2007­-2010: PhD study (Prof. Dr. Jesús Blázquez), Microbial Biotechnology Department. National Center for Biotechnology. Complutence University of Madrid. Spain.

2005­-2006: Pre­doctoral investigation stage, Research Unit. University La Paz Hospital. Madrid. Spain.

2001­-2003: Predoctoral contract. Institute for Vaccine Research Carlos J. Finlay, Havana, Cuba.

1998­-2001: Predoctoral contract. Havana Medical School. Havana. Cuba.


I’m an experimental microbiologist. My major interest is to understand the bacterial responses to stress from an evolutionary point of view. I specifically study bacterial pathways to speed up adaptation to environmental stresses using different models of antimicrobial resistance. I am also interested in host-bacterial pathogen interaction and its relevance to antimicrobial resistance emergence.

There are evidences that environmental conditions that bacteria face in nature and during pathogenic processes may conditioned them to follow different paths or “behavior” in a phenomenon called priming. For instance, priming is not a genetic inheritance but can promote a epigenetic memory. The contact with the immune system primes bacteria in such a way that may promote or inhibit antimicrobial resistance. We are interested in finding out the mechanisms under priming and memory  in bacteria using a model of insect immune system, since resistance to antimicrobial peptide do not emerge easily.

Rodríguez-Rojas, A*., Rodríguez-Beltrán, J., Valverde, J., and Blázquez, J. (2015). Can Clays in Livestock Feed Promote Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence in Pathogenic Bacteria? Antibiotics 4, 299–308.

Couce, A., Rodríguez-Rojas, A., and Blázquez, J. (2015). Bypass of genetic constraints during mutator evolution to antibiotic resistance. Proc. Biol. Sci. 282, 20142698.

-Rodríguez-Rojas A, Makarova O, Rolff J (2014) Antimicrobials, Stress and Mutagenesis. PLoS Pathog 10(10): e1004445. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004445.

-β-lactam antibiotics promote bacterial mutagenesis via an RpoS-mediated reduction in replication fidelity. A. Gutierrez, L. Laureti, S. Crussard, H. Abida, A. Rodríguez-Rojas, J. Blázquez, Z. Baharoglu, et al. (2013). Nature Communications. 2013. doi:10.1038/ncomms2607. Pubmed

-Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Impact of Acquired and Intrinsic Fosfomycin Resistance. Alfredo Castañeda-García, Jesús Blázquez and Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas*. Antibiotics. 2013, 2(2), 217-236.  Antibiotics

-The Animal Food Supplement Sepiolite Promotes a Direct Horizontal Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance Plasmids between Bacterial Species. Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas, Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán, Elva Yubero, Alejandro Couce, Jesús Blázquez J. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Jun;57(6):2651-3. Pubmed

  -Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance: A bitter fight against evolution. Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas, Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán J, Alejandro Couce, Blázquez J. Int J Med Microbiol. 2013 Mar 18. pii: S1438-4221(13)00019-2.Pubmed

  -The Escherichia coli SOS Gene dinF Protects against Oxidative Stress and Bile Salts. Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas, Jerónimo Rodríguez-Beltrán, Javier R. Guelfo, Alejandro Couce, Jesús Blázquez. (2012) PLoS ONE 7(4): e34791.PlosOne

  -Simple DNA transformation in Pseudomonas based on the Yoshida effect. Rodríguez-Beltrán J, Elabed H, Gaddour K, Blázquez J, Rodríguez-Rojas A*. J Microbiol Methods. 2012 May;89(2):95-8. Epub 2012 Mar 3. PMID: 22405834.Pubmed

  -Genomewide overexpression screen for fosfomycin resistance in Escherichia coli: MurA confers clinical resistance at low fitness cost. Couce A, Briales A, Rodríguez-Rojas A, Costas C, Pascual A, Blázquez J. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 May;56(5):2767-9. Epub 2012 Feb 27. PMID: 22371901. Pubmed

  -Intrinsic and environmental mutagenesis drive diversification and persistence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in chronic lung infections. Rodríguez-Rojas A*, Oliver A, Blázquez J. J Infect Dis. 2012 Jan 1;205(1):121-7. Epub 2011 Nov 11. Review. PMID: 22080096. Pubmed

  -Antimicrobials as promoters of genetic variation. Blázquez J, Couce A, Rodríguez-Beltrán J, Rodríguez-Rojas A. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2012 Aug 10. PMID: 22890188. Pubmed

  -Effect of recA inactivation on mutagenesis of Escherichia coli exposed to sublethal concentrations of antimicrobials. Thi TD, López E, Rodríguez-Rojas A, Rodríguez-Beltrán J, Couce A, Guelfo JR, Castañeda-García A, Blázquez J. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Mar;66(3):531-8. Epub 2011 Jan 5. PMID: 21212055. Pubmed

  -Frequency of spontaneous resistance to fosfomycin combined with different antibiotics in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Rodríguez-Rojas A*, Couce A, Blázquez J. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Nov;54(11):4948-9. Pubmed

  -A MATE-family efflux pump rescues the Escherichia coli 8-oxoguanine-repair-deficient mutator phenotype and protects against H(2)O(2) killing. Guelfo JR, Rodríguez-Rojas A, Matic I, Blázquez J. PLoS Genet. 2010 May 6;6(5):e1000931. PMID: 20463878. PlosGenetics

  -Inactivation of the hmgA gene of Pseudomonas aeruginosa leads to pyomelanin hyperproduction, stress resistance and increased persistence in chronic lung infection. Rodríguez-Rojas A, Mena A, Martín S, Borrell N, Oliver A, Blázquez J. Microbiology. 2009 Apr;155(Pt 4):1050-7. PMID: 19332807. Pubmed

  -Assessing the emergence of resistance: the absence of biological cost in vivo may compromise fosfomycin treatments for P. aeruginosa infections. Rodríguez-Rojas A*, Maciá MD, Couce A, Gómez C, Castañeda-García A, Oliver A, Blázquez J. PLoS One. 2010 Apr 15;5(4):e10193. PMID: 20419114. PlosOne

  -The glycerol-3-phosphate permease GlpT is the only fosfomycin transporter in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Castañeda-García A, Rodríguez-Rojas A, Guelfo JR, Blázquez J. J Bacteriol. 2009 Nov;191(22):6968-74. Epub 2009 Sep 4. PMID: 19734311. Pubmed

  -The Pseudomonas aeruginosa pfpI gene plays an antimutator role and provides general stress protection. Rodríguez-Rojas A, Blázquez J. J Bacteriol. 2009 Feb;191(3):844-50. Epub 2008 Nov 21. PMID: 19028889. Pubmed

  -Inflammatory responses associated with acute coronary syndrome up-regulate IRAK-M and induce endotoxin tolerance in circulating monocytes. del Fresno C, Soler-Rangel L, Soares-Schanoski A, Gómez-Piña V, González-León MC, Gómez-García L, Mendoza-Barberá E, Rodríguez-Rojas A, García F, Fuentes-Prior P, Arnalich F, López-Collazo E. J Endotoxin Res. 2007;13(1):39-52. PMID: 17621545. Pubmed

  -6-Methylprednisolone down-regulates IRAK-M in human and murine osteoclasts and boosts bone-resorbing activity: a putative mechanism for corticoid-induced osteoporosis. Soares-Schanoski A, Gómez-Piña V, del Fresno C, Rodríguez-Rojas A, García F, Glaría A, Sánchez M, Vallejo-Cremades MT, Baos R, Fuentes-Prior P, Arnalich F, López-Collazo E. J Leukoc Biol. 2007 Sep;82(3):700-9. Epub 2007 Jun 18. PMID: 17576820. Pubmed

  -Position-dependent expression of GADD45alpha in rat brain tumours. Brú A, del Fresno C, Soares-Schanoski A, Albertos S, Brú I, Porres A, Rollán-Landeras E, Dopazo A, Casero D, Gómez-Piña V, García L, Arnalich F, Alvarez R, Rodríguez-Rojas A, Fuentes-Prior P, López-Collazo E. Med Oncol. 2007;24(4):436-44. PMID: 17917095. Pubmed

  -Metalloproteinases shed TREM-1 ectodomain from lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human monocytes. Gómez-Piña V, Soares-Schanoski A, Rodríguez-Rojas A, Del Fresno C, García F, Vallejo-Cremades MT, Fernández-Ruiz I, Arnalich F, Fuentes-Prior P, López-Collazo E. J Immunol. 2007 Sep 15;179(6):4065-73. PMID: 17785845. Pubmed

  -Protective effect of a naked DNA vaccine cocktail against lethal toxoplasmosis in mice. Rodriguez A, Fachado A, Angel SO, Pinto DC, Vila I, Acosta A, Amendoeira RR, Lannes-Vieira J. Vaccine. 2003 Mar 28;21(13-14):1327-35. PMID: 12615427. Pubmed

  -Long-term protective immune response elicited by vaccination with an expression genomic library of Toxoplasma gondii. Fachado A, Rodriguez A, Molina J, Silvério JC, Marino AP, Pinto LM, Angel SO, Infante JF, Traub-Cseko Y, Amendoeira RR, Lannes-Vieira J. Infect Immun. 2003 Sep;71(9):5407-11. PMID: 12933894. Pubmed

(*corresponding author)