photo of Dr. Gonzalez-Rothi

Elisa Gonzalez-Rothi, DPT, PhD, PT

Research Assistant Professor

Department of Physical Therapy
University of Florida

Phone: 352-273-6085

Lead Mentor
G. Mitchell, PhD

Research Areas

Therapies to treat respiratory motor deficits following chronic spinal cord injury 


  • 2004 BS, Psychology, University of Florida
  • 2007 DPT, Physical Therapy, University of Miami
  • 2013 PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Florida
  • 2015 Post-doc, Respiratory Neurobiology, University of Florida

Current Research Funding

12HD055929 (Ottenbacher) 09/25/07 – 08/31/19 Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program. The goal of this program is to prepare Scholars, trained Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists, to initiate successful and independent careers as rehabilitation researchers. Role: Scholar (9/1/15-present)

W81XWH-16-SCIRP-IIRA (Gonzalez-Rothi) 7/01/17-6/30/19. Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Neuroinflammation Undermines Respiratory Motor Plasticity after Chronic Incomplete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. The goal of this project is to investigate the impact of chronic intermittent hypoxia, a hallmark feature of sleep disordered breathing, on the potential to induce spinal neural plasticity following incomplete cervical spinal cord injury. Role: PI

SCIRTS Pilot Research Grant (Gonzalez-Rothi) 5/01/17-4/30/20. Combinatorial Therapies to Treat Breathing Impairments After Cervical SCI. Our goal is to investigate the impact of repetitive acute intermittent hypoxia on functional gains elicited by intraspinal electrical stimulation following incomplete cervical spinal cord injury. Role: PI

Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC)  (Bolser) 09/30/2016-9/29/2019 Functional Mapping of Peripheral and Central Circuits for Airway Protection and Breathing. In this project, our goal is to understand fundamental principles of modulation and plasticity in afferent pathways, brain networks and efferent systems controlling breathing and airway defense.

Recent Publications

Cornelison RC, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Porvasnik SL, Wellman S, Park JH, Fuller DD, Schmidt CE. Injectable hydrogels of optimized acellular nerve for applications in the injured spinal cord. J Tissue Engineering and Regeneration. In press.

Streeter KA, Sunshine MD, Patel SR, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Reier PJ, Baekey DM, Fuller DD. Intermittent hypoxia enhances functional connectivity of mid-cervical spinal interneurons. J Neuroscience. 37(35): 8349-8362.

Gonzalez-Rothi EJ and Lee KZ. Contribution of 5HT2A receptors on diaphragmatic recovery after chronic cervical spinal cord injury. Respir Physiol and Neurobiol. 244:51-55.

Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Hanna MA, Stamas A, Streeter KA, Reier PJ, Baekey DM, Fuller DD. High frequency epidural stimulation enhances tonic versus phasic phrenic output following incomplete cervical spinal cord injury. J Neurophysiol. 118(4):2344-2357.

Mercier LM, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Streeter KA, Posgai SS, Poirier AS, Fuller DD, & Baekey DM (2016). Intraspinal microstimulation and diaphragm activation following cervical spinal cord injury. J Neurophysiology, 117(2):767-776.

Dougherty BJ, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Lee KZ, Ross HH, Reier PJ, Fuller DD (2016). Respiratory outcomes after mid-cervical transplantation of embryonic medullary cells in rats with cervical spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol. 278:22-26. PMCID: PMC4791580

Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Armstrong GT, Cerreta AJ, Fitzpatrick GM, Reier PJ, Lane MA, Fuller DD (2016). Forelimb muscle plasticity following unilateral cervical spinal cord injury. Muscle and Nerve. 53(3): 475-478. PMCID: PMC4733411

Smuder A, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Kwon OS, Morton A, Sollanek K, Powers S, Fuller DD (2016). Cervical spinal cord injury exacerbates ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction. J Appl Physiol.  120(2):166-177. PMCID:PMC4719055

Kloefkorn HE, Pettengill TR, Turner SM, Streeter KA, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Fuller DD, Allen KD (2016). Automated gait analysis through hues and areas (AGATHA): A method to characterize the spatiotemporal pattern of rat gait. Ann Biomed Eng, 45(3): 711-725.

Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Lee KZ, Dale EA, Mitchell GS, Fuller DD (2015). Intermittent hypoxia and Neurorehabilitation. J Appl Physiol. 119(2):1455-1465. PMCID: PMC4683349

Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Rombola AM, Rousseau AC, Mercier LM, Fitzpatrick GM, Reier PJ, Fuller DD, Lane MA (2015). Spinal Interneurons and Forelimb plasticity following incomplete cervical spinal cord injury in adult rats. J Neurotrauma. 32(12):893-907.

Complete list of published work in MyBibliography

UF: University of Florida logo
USC: University of Southern California logo
UTMB: University of Texas Medical Branch logo
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