Jarod Rollins


  • University of Maine at Orono, 2002, B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Dresden University of Technology, 2007, M.Sc. in Molecular Bioengineering
  • University of Cologne, 2012 , Ph.D. in Genetics


The Rollins Laboratory wants to enable people to enjoy longer, healthier lives. A recent revolution in aging research has led to the discovery that the activity of single genes can control the rate at which we age. We are building on this revolution by studying how life extending interventions, like dietary restriction, regulate gene expression to help protect our cells and tissues from declining with age. We use the roundworm C. elegans as a model organism to study human aging as they share many of the genes as us and because their short lifespan allows us to rapidly test for interventions that extend longevity.

Gene expression is regulated on multiple levels: by transcription rates of DNA into mRNA copies, by recruitment of mRNA to the ribosome to be translated into proteins, and by the degradation rates of the mRNA or protein products. We have previously shown that C. elegans treated with dietary restriction causes many longevity genes to be regulated exclusively on the level of translation. Protein translation is made possible the ribosome, an intricate molecular machine comprised of multiple proteins. Our current work explores how regulation of longevity genes occurs under dietary restriction by investigating how the protein composition of the ribosome determines which mRNAs are selected for translation and which are not.

Selected Publications

  • Adamla F, Rollins J, Newsom M, Snow S, Schosserer M, Heissenberger C, Horrocks J, Rogers AN, Ignatova Z. (2019). A Novel Caenorhabditis Elegans Proteinopathy Model Shows Changes in mRNA Translational Frameshifting During Aging. Cell Physiol Biochem. 52(5):970-983. doi: 10.33594/000000067.
  • Rollins JA, Shaffer D, Snow SS, Kapahi P, Rogers AN. (2019 ). Dietary restriction induces posttranscriptional regulation of longevity genes. Life Sci Alliance. 2(4):e201800281. doi: 10.26508/lsa.201800281.
  • Lan J, Rollins JA, Zang X, Wu D, Zou L, Wang Z, Ye C, Wu Z, Kapahi P, Rogers AN, Chen D. (2019). Translational Regulation of Non-autonomous Mitochondrial Stress Response Promotes Longevity. Cell Rep. 28(4):1050-1062.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.078.
  • Rollins, J.A., Howard, A.C., Dobbins, S.K., Washburn, E.H., and Rogers, A.N. (2017). Assessing Health Span in Caenorhabditis elegans: Lessons From Short-Lived Mutants. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A
  • Howard, A.C., Rollins, J., Snow, S., Castor, S., and Rogers, A.N. (2016). Reducing translation through eIF4G/IFG-1 improves survival under ER stress that depends on heat shock factor HSF-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Aging Cell 15, 1027–1038.
  • Rollins, J., Habte, E., Templer, S., Colby, T., Schmidt, J., and Von Korff, M. (2013). Leaf proteome alterations in the context of physiological and morphological responses to drought and heat stress in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Journal of Experimental Botany 64, 3201–3212.
  • Rollins, J.A., Drosse, B., Mulki, M., Grando, S., Baum, M., Singh, M., Ceccarelli, S., and von Korff, M. (2013). Variation at the vernalisation genes Vrn-H1 and Vrn-H2 determines growth and yield stability in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grown under dryland conditions in Syria. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 126, 2803–2824.
  • Sapra, A.K., Änkö, M.-L., Grishina, I., Lorenz, M., Pabis, M., Poser, I., Rollins, J., Weiland, E.-M., and Neugebauer, K.M. (2009). SR protein family members display diverse activities in the formation of nascent and mature mRNPs in vivo. Molecular Cell 34, 179–190.
  • Stylianou, I.M., Affourtit, J.P., Shockley, K.R., Wilpan, R.Y., Abdi, F.A., Bhardwaj, S., Rollins, J., Churchill, G.A., and Paigen, B. (2008). Applying gene expression, proteomics and single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis for complex trait gene identification. Genetics 178, 1795–1805.
  • Matteson, P.G., Desai, J., Korstanje, R., Lazar, G., Borsuk, T.E., Rollins, J., Kadambi, S., Joseph, J., Rahman, T., Wink, J., et al. (2008). The orphan G protein-coupled receptor, Gpr161, encodes the vacuolated lens locus and controls neurulation and lens development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, 2088–2093.
  • Korstanje, R., Desai, J., Lazar, G., King, B., Rollins, J., Spurr, M., Joseph, J., Kadambi, S., Li, Y., Cherry, A., et al. (2008). Quantitative trait loci affecting phenotypic variation in the vacuolated lens mouse mutant, a multigenic mouse model of neural tube defects. Physiological Genomics 35, 296–304
  • Chen, Y., Rollins, J., Paigen, B., and Wang, X. (2007). Genetic and genomic insights into the molecular basis of atherosclerosis. Cell Metabolism 6, 164–179.
  • Ishimori, N., Li, R., Walsh, K.A., Korstanje, R., Rollins, J.A., Petkov, P., Pletcher, M.T., Wiltshire, T., Donahue, L.R., Rosen, C.J., et al. (2006). Quantitative trait loci that determine BMD in C57BL/6J and 129S1/SvImJ inbred mice. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 21, 105–112.
  • Rollins, J., Chen, Y., Paigen, B., and Wang, X. (2006). In search of new targets for plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels: promise of human–mouse comparative genomics. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine 16, 220–234.
  • Wang, X., Ria, M., Kelmenson, P.M., Eriksson, P., Higgins, D.C., Samnegaard, A., Petros, C., Rollins, J., Bennet, A.M., Wiman, B., et al. (2005). Positional identification of TNFSF4, encoding OX40 ligand, as a gene that influences atherosclerosis susceptibility. Nature Genetics 37, 365–372.