Photo of Lawrence I. Rothfield, M.D.

Lawrence I. Rothfield, M.D.

Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Academic Office Location:
Molecular Biology and Biophysics
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3205
Phone: 860-679-3581
Fax: 860-679-1239

Molecular Biology & Biochemistry Graduate Program


Professor/Department Chair Microbiology  University of Connecticut Health Center Farmington CT USA 1968 1980
Associate Professor Molecular Biology Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York NY USA 1966 1968
Assistant Professor Molecular Biology Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York NY USA 1964 1966
Asst. Professor Clinical Medicine New York University School of Medicine New York NY USA 1957 1964
A.B.Cornell UniversityZoology
M.D.New York University School of MedicineMedicine

Post-Graduate Training
PostdoctoralNew York University School of Medicine - Studies of mucopolysaccharide metabolism.Postdoctoral Research Fellow under Dr. Maxwell Schubert
PostdoctoralNew York University School of Medicine - Studies of lipopolysaccharide biosynthesisPostdoctoral Research Fellow under Dr. B.L. Horecker

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
MERIT Grant award 2004-2015National Institute of Health
Chair, Gordon Research Conference on Bacterial Cell SurfacesGordon Research Conferences
Chair, Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section 1991-1993National Institutes of Health
Biochemistry Review Panel, 1979-1982National Science Foundation
President's Advisory Committee on Microbiology and ImmunologyWhite House
Macy Foundation Faculty Scholar AwardJosiah Macy Foundation
Chair, Microbial Physiology DivisionAmerican Society for Microbiology
Editorial Board, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1974-1980American Society for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Associate Editor, Journal of Membrane Biology, 1968-1983Journal of Membrane Biology
Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary SocietyNew York University Medical School
Maurice Freiman Prize for Exemplary and Outstanding WorkNew York University School of Medicine
Department of Medicine Prize for Outstanding ResearchNew York University School of Medicine
Borden Undergraduate Research AwardNew York University School of Medicine
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
Gordon Research Conference on Bacterial Cell EnvelopesAdvisory CommitteeChairmanExternalNational19941994
Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section, NIHStudy SectionMember ExternalNational19931994
Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section, NIHStudy SectionChairman ExternalNational19911993
Microbial Physiology and Genetics Study Section, NIHStudy SectionMemberExternalNational19901991
Biochemistry and Biophysics Review Committee, NSFAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19791983
Microbiology and Immunology Advisory Committee, President's Biomedical Research Panel Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19751975
Microbial Physiology Division, American Society for MicrobiologyProfessional/Scientific JournalChairmanExternalNational19751975
Microbial Physiology Division, American Society for MicrobiologyProfessional/Scientific JournalChairmanExternalNational19751975
J. Biol. Chem.Editorial BoardMemberExternalNational19741980
Molecular Biology Study Section, NIHStudy SectionMemberExternalNational19701974
Journal of Membrane BiologyEditorial Board Associate EditorExternalNational19681983
Health Research Council of the City of New YorkAdvisory CommitteeCareer InvestigatorExternalState19651968
American Board of Internal MedicineAdvisory CommitteeDiplomateExternalNational19581958

The process of bacterial cell division is being studied to determine the molecular mechanisms that permit the cell to: (1) identify the proper location for the division site (normally the midpoint of the cell); (2) differentiate the division site to permit the subsequent formation of the division septum; (3) coordinate these events with other cell cycle events, such as DNA replication and segregation; (4) ensure that the genome is equally partitioned into the two daughter cells. A combination of genetic and biochemical approaches are used. Mutants of E. coli are studied that are blocked in each of these aspects of the normal division process. These include mutants that place the division septum near the cell pole, thereby producing small cells (minicells) that lack chromosomal DNA; mutants that are blocked in various ages of division due to defects in essential division proteins; and mutants that fail to equally partition daughter chromosomes into progeny cells. Biochemical characterization of the mutant cells involves isolation of the division site within the membrane, and characterization of the defects resulting from the individual mutations, or from altered levels of genetic expression of the key genes. Electron and phase contrast microscopy, usually involving immuno-microscopy, are used to identify the sites of the mutational blocks and to characterize the aberrant division organelles that are formed. Cloning and in vitro manipulation of the relevant genes are carried out to manipulate the division process and to define the modes of action of the essential cell division proteins.

Not accepting students for Lab Rotations at this time

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Regulation of E.coli cell division
    Rothfield LI, Garcia-Lara J Regulation of Gene Expression in Escherichia coli 1995 Jan;547-569
  • Murein-membrane interactions in cell division
    Rothfield L, MacAlister TJ, Cook WR Bacterial Outer Membranes as Model Systems 1986 Jan;

Book Sections

  • Minicells
    Rothfield L Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology 1999 Jan;
  • Lipid-Protein Interactions in Biological Systems
    Rothfield LI 1975 Jan;
  • Use of monolayer techniques in reconstitution of biological activities
    Rothfield LI, Fried VA Methods in Membrane Biology vol. 4 1975 Jan;277-291
  • The in vitro interactions of bacterial membrane lipids and proteins
    Rothfield L, Hinckley AH Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology of Transport 1974 Jan;102-112
  • Reconstitution of lipopolysaccharide-phospholipid-enzyme complexes
    Rothfield L, Hinckley A Methods in Enzymology vol. 32 1972 Jan;
  • Biosynthesis of the core region of lipopolysaccharide
    Osborn MJ, Rothfield L Microbial Toxins 1971 Jan;331-350
  • Enzyme reactions in biological membranes
    Rothfield L, Romeo D The Structure and function of biological membranes 1971 Jan;251-284
  • Some aspects of the structure and assembly of bacterial membranes
    Rothfield LI The Dynamic Structure of Cell Membranes 1971 Jan;165-179
  • Dissociation and reassociation of bacterial membrane components
    Rothfield L, Weiser M, Endo A Membrane Proteins 1969 Jan;27
  • Reassociation of phospholipid, lipopolysaccharide and enzyme components of the bacterial cell envelope
    Weiser M, Rothfield L Membrane Models and the Formation of Biological Membranes 1968 Jan;149-160

Conference Papers





Short Surveys

Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
VIROLOGY 101: CORONAVIRUSES A two-part series on Covid-19 and coronaviruses, emphasizing how coronaviruses cause disease and the prevention and treatment of coronavirus diseases.Lecture2020