Alissa Rothchild

Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

2014 Ph.D. in Immunology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2005 B.S. in Biology, with honors, Brown University, Providence, RI

Research Interests

My research at UMass Amherst focuses on the role of alveolar macrophages as pulmonary innate sensors in health and disease and the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate their function. Alveolar macrophages are innate immune sentinels that integrate signals from the airway and the pulmonary tissue. They play key roles in regulating inflammation during infectious diseases like Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) Mtb and COVID-19 and are also central to the pathology of non-communicable respiratory diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma. Alveolar macrophages provide an opportunity to apply systems biology and computational approaches to understand how cells integrate disparate immune signals and to identify novel host therapeutics to prevent these significant human diseases.


Nemeth J, Olson GS, Rothchild AC, Jahn A, Mai D, Duffy F, Delahaye J, Srivatsan S, Plumlee C, Urdahl K, Gold E, Diercks A, Aderem A. Contained Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection induces concomitant and heterologous protection. (In press). [available as preprint: BioRxiv 561126. February 27, 2019. Available from:].

Rothchild AC, Mai D, Gold ES, Diercks AH, Aderem A.  Flow Cytometry Analysis and Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting of Myeloid Cells from Lung and Bronchoalveolar Lavage Samples from Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected Mice. Bio-protocol 10(10): e3630. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3630.

Rothchild AC, Olson GS, Nemeth J, Amon LM, Mai D, Gold ES, Diercks AH, Aderem A.  Alveolar macrophages generate a non-canonical NRF2-driven transcriptional response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vivo. Science Immunology. 2019 July 26. 4: eaaw6693.

Peterson EJR, Bailo R, Rothchild AC, Arrieta-Ortiz M, Kaur A, Pan M, Mai D, Cooper C, Aderem A,  Bhatt A,  Baliga N. Path-seq identifies an essential mycolate remodeling program for mycobacterial host adaptation. Mol Syst Biol. 2019 15(3): e8584.

Rothchild AC, Stowell B, Goyal G, Nunes-Alves C, Yang Q, Papavinasasundaram K, Sassetti C, Dranoff G, Chen X, Lee J, Behar SM. Role of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor Production by T Cells during Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection. mBio. 2017 Oct 24. 8(5): e01514-17.

Rothchild AC*, Sissons JR*, Shafiani S, Plaisier C, Min D, Mai D, Gilchrist M, Peschon JJ, Larson RP, Bergthaler A, Baliga N, Urdahl KB, Aderem A. A miR-155-regulated molecular network orchestrates cell fate in the innate and adaptive immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PNAS. 2016 Sep 28. 113(41): E6172–E6181. *These two authors contributed equally.

Nunes-Alves C, Booty MG, Carpenter SM, Rothchild AC, Martin CJ, Desjardins D, Steblenko K, Kløverpris HN, Madansein R, Ramsuran D, Leslie A, Correia-Neves M, Behar SM. Human and Murine Clonal CD8+ T Cell Expansions Arise during Tuberculosis Because of TCR Selection. PLoS Pathog. 2015 May 6;11(5): e1004849.

Rothchild AC, Jayaraman P, Nunes-Alves C, Behar SM. iNKT cell production of GM-CSF controls Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jan 2;10(1): e1003805.

Nunes-Alves C, Booty MG, Carpenter SM, Jayaraman P, Rothchild AC, Behar SM. In search of a new paradigm for protective immunity to TB. Review. Nat Rev Micro 2014 Apr;12(4):289-99.

Zhang YJ, Reddy MC, Ioerger TR, Rothchild AC, Dartois V, Schuster BM, Trauner A, Valluru S, Huttenhower C, Sacchettini JC, Behar SM, Rubin EJ. Tryptophan biosynthesis protects mycobacteria from CD4 T-cell-mediated killing. Cell 2013 Dec 5;155(6):1296-1308.

Tatituri RV, Watts GF, Bhowruth V, Barton N, Rothchild A, Hsu FF, Almeida CF, Cox LR, Eggeling L, Cardell S, Rossjohn J, Godfrey DI, Behar SM, Besra GS, Brenner MB, Brigl M. Recognition of microbial and mammalian phospholipid antigens by NKT cells with diverse TCRs. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2013 Jan 29;110(5):1827-32

Sillé FC, Martin C, Jayaraman P, Rothchild A, Fortune S , Besra GS, Behar SM, Boes M. Requirement for Invariant chain in macrophages for Mycobacterium tuberculosis replication and CD1d antigen presentation. Infect. Immun. 2011 Aug;79(8):3053-63.

Sillé FC, Martin C, Jayaraman P, Rothchild A, Besra GS, Behar SM, Boes M. Critical role for invariant chain in CD1d-mediated selection and maturation of Vα14-invariant NKT cells. Immunol Lett. Sep 30;139(1-2):33-41. 

International HIV Controllers Study, Pereyra F et al.  The major genetic determinants of HIV-1 control affect HLA class I peptide presentation. Science. 2010 Dec 10;330(6010):1551-7.

Garces A, Atmakuri K, Chase MR, Woodworth JS, Krastins B, Rothchild AC, Ramsdell TL, Lopez MF, Behar SM, Sarracino DA, Fortune SM. EspA acts as a critical mediator of ESX1-dependent virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis by affecting bacterial cell wall integrity. PLoS Pathog. 2010 Jun 24;6(6) e1000957. 

Pereyra F, Palmer S, Miura T, Block BL, Wiegand A, Rothchild AC, Baker B, Rosenberg R, Cutrell E, Seaman MS, Coffin JM, Walker BD. Persistent low-level viremia in HIV-1 elite controllers and relationship to immunologic parameters. J Infect Dis. 2009 Sep 15;200(6):984-90.

Chen H, Piechocka-Trocha A, Miura T, Brockman MA, Julg BD, Baker BM, Rothchild AC, Block BL, Schneidewind A, Koibuchi T, Pereyra F, Allen TM, Walker BD. Differential neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in autologous CD4 T cells by HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. J Virol. 2009 Apr;83(7):3138-49.

Miura T, Brockman MA, Schneidewind A, Lobritz M, Pereyra F, Rathod A, Block BL, Brumme ZL, Brumme CJ, Baker B, Rothchild AC, Li B, Trocha A, Cutrell E, Frahm N, Brander C, Toth I, Arts EJ, Allen TM, Walker BD. HLA-B57/B*5801 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 elite controllers select for rare gag variants associated with reduced viral replication capacity and strong cytotoxic T-lymphocyte recognition. J Virol. 2009 Mar;83(6):2743-55.

Baker BM, Block BL, Rothchild AC, Walker BD. Elite control of HIV infection: implications for vaccine design. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009 Jan;9(1):55-69. Review.

Miura T, Brockman MA, Brumme CJ, Brumme ZL, Carlson JM, Pereyra F, Trocha A, Addo MM, Block BL, Rothchild AC, Baker BM, Flynn T, Schneidewind A, Li B, Wang YE, Heckerman D, Allen TM, Walker BD. Genetic characterization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in elite controllers: lack of gross genetic defects or common amino acid changes. J Virol. 2008 Sep;82(17):8422-30.