Isaac Chiu

Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (21)208.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Lung nociceptors initiate cough and bronchoconstriction. To elucidate if these fibers also contribute to allergic airway inflammation, we stimulated lung nociceptors with capsaicin and observed increased neuropeptide release and immune cell infiltration. In contrast, ablating Nav1.8(+) sensory neurons or silencing them with QX-314, a charged sodium channel inhibitor that enters via large-pore ion channels to specifically block nociceptors, substantially reduced ovalbumin- or house-dust-mite-induced airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. We also discovered that IL-5, a cytokine produced by activated immune cells, acts directly on nociceptors to induce the release of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). VIP then stimulates CD4(+) and resident innate lymphoid type 2 cells, creating an inflammatory signaling loop that promotes allergic inflammation. Our results indicate that nociceptors amplify pathological adaptive immune responses and that silencing these neurons with QX-314 interrupts this neuro-immune interplay, revealing a potential new therapeutic strategy for asthma. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Neuron 06/2015; 87(2). DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.007 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The somatosensory nervous system is critical for the organism's ability to respond to mechanical, thermal, and nociceptive stimuli. Somatosensory neurons are functionally and anatomically diverse but their molecular profiles are not well-defined. Here, we used transcriptional profiling to analyze the detailed molecular signatures of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. We used two mouse reporter lines and surface IB4 labeling to purify three major non-overlapping classes of neurons: 1)IB4(+)SNS-Cre/TdTomato(+), 2)IB4(-)SNS-Cre/TdTomato(+), and 3)Parv-Cre/TdTomato(+) cells, encompassing the majority of nociceptive, pruriceptive, and proprioceptive neurons. These neurons displayed distinct expression patterns of ion channels, transcription factors, and GPCRs. Highly parallel qRT-PCR analysis of 334 single neurons selected by membership of the three populations demonstrated further diversity, with unbiased clustering analysis identifying six distinct subgroups. These data significantly increase our knowledge of the molecular identities of known DRG populations and uncover potentially novel subsets, revealing the complexity and diversity of those neurons underlying somatosensation.
    eLife Sciences 12/2014; 3. DOI:10.7554/eLife.04660 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reprogramming somatic cells from one cell fate to another can generate specific neurons suitable for disease modeling. To maximize the utility of patient-derived neurons, they must model not only disease-relevant cell classes, but also the diversity of neuronal subtypes found in vivo and the pathophysiological changes that underlie specific clinical diseases. We identified five transcription factors that reprogram mouse and human fibroblasts into noxious stimulus-detecting (nociceptor) neurons. These recapitulated the expression of quintessential nociceptor-specific functional receptors and channels found in adult mouse nociceptor neurons, as well as native subtype diversity. Moreover, the derived nociceptor neurons exhibited TrpV1 sensitization to the inflammatory mediator prostaglandin E2 and the chemotherapeutic drug oxaliplatin, modeling the inherent mechanisms underlying inflammatory pain hypersensitivity and painful chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. Using fibroblasts from patients with familial dysautonomia (hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type III), we found that the technique was able to reveal previously unknown aspects of human disease phenotypes in vitro.
    Nature Neuroscience 11/2014; 18(1). DOI:10.1038/nn.3886 · 14.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An L-rhamnose-based hydrogelator self-assembles to form nanofibrils, which, contrasting to the properties of monomeric L-rhamnose, suppress the antibody response of mice to phycoerythrin (PE), a fluorescent protein antigen. As the first example of the supramolecular assemblies of a saccharide to suppress immunity, this work illustrates a new approach of immunomodulation.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 07/2014; 12(35). DOI:10.1039/C4OB01362J · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nociceptor sensory neurons are specialized to detect potentially damaging stimuli, protecting the organism by initiating the sensation of pain and eliciting defensive behaviours. Bacterial infections produce pain by unknown molecular mechanisms, although they are presumed to be secondary to immune activation. Here we demonstrate that bacteria directly activate nociceptors, and that the immune response mediated through TLR2, MyD88, T cells, B cells, and neutrophils and monocytes is not necessary for Staphylococcus aureus-induced pain in mice. Mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in mice is correlated with live bacterial load rather than tissue swelling or immune activation. Bacteria induce calcium flux and action potentials in nociceptor neurons, in part via bacterial N-formylated peptides and the pore-forming toxin α-haemolysin, through distinct mechanisms. Specific ablation of Nav1.8-lineage neurons, which include nociceptors, abrogated pain during bacterial infection, but concurrently increased local immune infiltration and lymphadenopathy of the draining lymph node. Thus, bacterial pathogens produce pain by directly activating sensory neurons that modulate inflammation, an unsuspected role for the nervous system in host-pathogen interactions.
    Nature 08/2013; 501(7465). DOI:10.1038/nature12479 · 42.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microglia are resident immune cells of the CNS that are activated by infection, neuronal injury, and inflammation. Here, we utilize flow cytometry and deep RNA sequencing of acutely isolated spinal cord microglia to define their activation in vivo. Analysis of resting microglia identified 29 genes that distinguish microglia from other CNS cells and peripheral macrophages/monocytes. We then analyzed molecular changes in microglia during neurodegenerative disease activation using the SOD1(G93A) mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We found that SOD1(G93A) microglia are not derived from infiltrating monocytes, and that both potentially neuroprotective and toxic factors, including Alzheimer's disease genes, are concurrently upregulated. Mutant microglia differed from SOD1(WT), lipopolysaccharide-activated microglia, and M1/M2 macrophages, defining an ALS-specific phenotype. Concurrent messenger RNA/fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis revealed posttranscriptional regulation of microglia surface receptors and T cell-associated changes in the transcriptome. These results provide insights into microglia biology and establish a resource for future studies of neuroinflammation.
    Cell Reports 07/2013; 4(2). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.06.018 · 8.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The peripheral nervous and immune systems are traditionally thought of as serving separate functions. The line between them is, however, becoming increasingly blurred by new insights into neurogenic inflammation. Nociceptor neurons possess many of the same molecular recognition pathways for danger as immune cells, and, in response to danger, the peripheral nervous system directly communicates with the immune system, forming an integrated protective mechanism. The dense innervation network of sensory and autonomic fibers in peripheral tissues and high speed of neural transduction allows rapid local and systemic neurogenic modulation of immunity. Peripheral neurons also seem to contribute to immune dysfunction in autoimmune and allergic diseases. Therefore, understanding the coordinated interaction of peripheral neurons with immune cells may advance therapeutic approaches to increase host defense and suppress immunopathology.
    Nature Neuroscience 07/2012; 15(8):1063-7. DOI:10.1038/nn.3144 · 14.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery occlusion resulting in ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a major cause of mortality in the western world. Circulating natural IgM has been shown to play a significant role in reperfusion injury, leading to the notion of a pathogenic response against self by the innate immune system. A specific self-antigen (non-muscle myosin heavy chain II) was recently identified as the major target of pathogenic natural IgM. Therefore, we hypothesized that a synthetic peptide mimetope (N2) or monoclonal antibodies directed against the self-antigen would prevent specific IgM binding to the self-antigen and reduce reperfusion injury in the heart. We find that treatment with N2 peptide reduces infarct size by 47% and serum cardiac troponin-I levels by 69% following 1 h ischaemia and 24 h reperfusion. N2 peptide or an anti-N2 F(ab')(2) (21G6) is also effective at preventing IgM and complement deposition. Additionally, N2 peptide treatment significantly reduces monocyte and neutrophil infiltration at 24 h and collagen deposition at 5 days. Finally, we show that human IgM (hIgM) also includes specificity for the highly conserved self-antigen and that myocardial injury in antibody-deficient mice reconstituted with hIgM is blocked by treatment with N2 peptide or 21G6 F(ab')(2). The findings in this study identify potential therapeutics [i.e. N2 peptide or 21G6 F(ab')(2)] that prevent specific IgM binding to ischaemic antigens in the heart, resulting in a significant reduction in cardiac I/R injury.
    Cardiovascular Research 06/2010; 87(4):618-27. DOI:10.1093/cvr/cvq141 · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During injury to the nervous system, innate immune cells mediate phagocytosis of debris, cytokine production, and axon regeneration. In the neuro-degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), innate immune cells in the CNS are activated. However, the role of innate immunity in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) has not been well defined. In this study, we characterized robust activation of CD169/CD68/Iba1+ macrophages throughout the PNS in mutant SOD1(G93A) and SOD1(G37R) transgenic mouse models of ALS. Macrophage activation occurred pre-symptomatically, and expanded from focal arrays within nerve bundles to a tissue-wide distribution following symptom onset. We found a striking dichotomy for immune cells within the spinal cord and PNS. Flow cytometry and GFP bone marrow chimeras showed that spinal cord microglia were mainly tissue resident derived, dendritic-like cells, whereas in peripheral nerves, the majority of activated macrophages infiltrated from the circulation. Humoral antibodies and complement localized to PNS tissue in tandem with macrophage recruitment, and deficiency in complement C4 led to decreased macrophage activation. Therefore, cross-talk between nervous and immune systems occurs throughout the PNS during ALS disease progression. These data reveal a progressive innate and humoral immune response in peripheral nerves that is separate and distinct from spinal cord immune activation in ALS transgenic mice.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2009; 106(49):20960-5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0911405106 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset, progressive, motor neuron degenerative disease, in which the role of inflammation is not well established. Innate and adaptive immunity were investigated in the CNS of the Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1)(G93A) transgenic mouse model of ALS. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infiltrated SOD1(G93A) spinal cords during disease progression. Cell-specific flow cytometry and gene expression profiling showed significant phenotypic changes in microglia, including dendritic cell receptor acquisition, and expression of genes linked to neuroprotection, cholesterol metabolism and tissue remodeling. Microglia dramatically up-regulated IGF-1 and down-regulated IL-6 expression. When mutant SOD1 mice were bred onto a TCRbeta deficient background, disease progression was significantly accelerated at the symptomatic stage. In addition, microglia reactivity and IGF-1 levels were reduced in spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) (TCRbeta-/-) mice. These results indicate that T cells play an endogenous neuroprotective role in ALS by modulating a beneficial inflammatory response to neuronal injury.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2008; 105(46):17913-8. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0804610105 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Immunology 10/2008; 45(16):4163-4163. DOI:10.1016/j.molimm.2008.08.203 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased expression of adhesion molecules by activated endothelium is a critical feature of vascular inflammation associated with the several diseases such as endotoxin shock and sepsis/septic shock. Our data demonstrated complement regulatory protein C1 inhibitor (C1INH) prevents endothelial cell injury. We hypothesized that C1INH has the ability of an anti-endothelial activation associated with suppression of expression of adhesion molecule(s). C1INH blocked leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cell monolayer in both static assay and flow conditions. In inflammatory condition, C1INH reduced vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) expression associated with its cytoplasmic mRNA destabilization and nuclear transcription level. Studies exploring the underlying mechanism of C1INH-mediated suppression in VCAM-1 expression were related to reduction of NF-kappaB activation and nuclear translocation in an IkappaBalpha-dependent manner. The inhibitory effects were associated with reduction of inhibitor IkappaB kinase activity and stabilization of the NF-kappaB inhibitor IkappaB. These findings indicate a novel role for C1INH in inhibition of vascular endothelial activation. These observations could provide the basis for new therapeutic application of C1INH to target inflammatory processes in different pathologic situations.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2007; 358(4):1120-7. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.05.058 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complement activation augments myocardial cell injury and apoptosis during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), whereas complement system inhibition with C1 inhibitor (C1INH), a serine protease inhibitor, exerts markedly cardioprotective effects. Our recent data demonstrate that C1INH prevents vascular endothelial cell apoptosis and a "modified" form of the reactive center loop-cleaved, inactive C1INH (iC1INH) plays an anti-inflammatory role in endotoxin shock. The aim of this study was to determine whether C1INH protects against myocardial cell injury via an anti-apoptotic activity or anti-inflammatory effect. In a rat model of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) induced by I/R, administration of C1INH protected against cardiomyocytic apoptosis via normalization of ratio of the Bcl-2/Bax expression in the myocardial infarct area. C1INH improved parameters of cardiac function and hemodynamics and reduced myocardial infarct size (MIS). In addition, myocardial and blood myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, a marker of neutrophil infiltration, was decreased by treatment of C1INH. In cultured H9c2 rat cardiomyocytic cells, C1INH blocked hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis in the absence of sera associated with inhibition of cytochrome c translocation and suppression of caspase-3 activation. The proportion of Bcl-2/Bax expression induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation was reversed by C1INH. Importantly, iC1INH also revealed these similar effects, indicating that C1INH has a direct anti-apoptotic activity. Therefore, these studies support the hypothesis that C1INH, in addition to inhibition of activation of the complement and contact systems, improves outcome in I/R-mediated myocardial cell injury via an anti-apoptotic activity independent of serine protease inhibitory activity.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2006; 349(2):504-12. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.08.065 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toll receptors in Drosophila melanogaster function in morphogenesis and host defense. Mammalian orthologues of Toll, the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), have been studied extensively for their essential functions in controlling innate and adaptive immune responses. We report that TLR8 is dynamically expressed during mouse brain development and localizes to neurons and axons. Agonist stimulation of TLR8 in cultured cortical neurons causes inhibition of neurite outgrowth and induces apoptosis in a dissociable manner. Our evidence indicates that such TLR8-mediated neuronal responses do not involve the canonical TLR-NF-kappaB signaling pathway. These findings reveal novel functions for TLR8 in the mammalian nervous system that are distinct from the classical role of TLRs in immunity.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 11/2006; 175(2):209-15. DOI:10.1083/jcb.200606016 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reperfusion injury (RI), a potential life-threatening disorder, represents an acute inflammatory response after periods of ischemia resulting from myocardial infarction, stroke, surgery, or trauma. The recent identification of a monoclonal natural IgM that initiates RI led to the identification of nonmuscle myosin heavy chain type II A and C as the self-targets in two different tissues. These results identify a novel pathway in which the innate response to a highly conserved self-antigen expressed as a result of hypoxic stress results in tissue destruction.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2006; 203(1):141-52. DOI:10.1084/jem.20050390 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reperfusion injury of ischemic tissue represents an acute inflammatory response that can cause significant morbidity and mortality. The mechanism of injury is not fully elucidated, but recent studies indicate an important role for natural antibody and the classical pathway of complement. To test the hypothesis that injury is initiated by specific IgM, we have screened a panel of IgM-producing hybridomas prepared from peritoneal cells enriched in B-1 cells. One clone, CM22, was identified that could restore pathogenic injury in RAG-1(-/-) mice in an intestinal model of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). In situ activation of the classical pathway of complement was evident by deposition of IgM, complement C4, and C3 in damaged tissue after passive transfer of CM22 IgM. Sequence analysis of CM22 Ig heavy and light chains showed germ-line configurations with high homology to a V(H) sequence from the B-1 repertoire and a V(K) of a known polyreactive natural IgM. These data provide definitive evidence that I/R injury can be initiated by clonally specific natural IgM that activates the classical pathway of complement. This finding opens an avenue for identification of I/R-specific self-antigen(s) and early prevention of injury.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2004; 101(11):3886-91. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0400347101 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Lih-Wen Deng · Isaac Chiu · Jack L Strominger
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    ABSTRACT: MLL5 is a mammalian trithorax group (trx-G) gene identified within chromosome band 7q22, a frequently deleted element found in cytogenetic aberrations of acute myeloid malignancies. MLL5 cDNA was linked with the FLAG and V5 tags at the N and C terminus, respectively, and transfected into 293T cells. Immunofluoresence staining of the expressed tagged MLL5 protein showed localization to the nucleus and exclusion from nucleoli, and no surface staining was detected. Both ectopically introduced and endogenous MLL5 protein displayed a speckled nuclear distribution. By using a series of MLL5-truncated mutants fused with enhanced GFP, a domain (residues 945-1,156) required for foci accumulation was identified, and regions containing functional nuclear localization signals were mapped. Ectopic overexpression of GFP-MLL5 induced cell cycle arrest in G(1) phase. This inhibition of cell cycle progression was indicated by delayed progression into nocodazole-induced mitotic arrest and was confirmed by a lack of BrdUrd incorporation. These findings suggest that MLL5 forms intranuclear protein complexes that may play an important role in chromatin remodeling and cellular growth suppression.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2004; 101(3):757-62. DOI:10.1073/pnas.2036345100 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibitory killer Ig-like receptors (KIR) at the surface of natural killer (NK) cells induced clustering of HLA-C at the contacting surface of target cells. In this manner, inhibitory immune synapses were formed as human NK cells surveyed target cells. At target/NK cell synapses, HLA-C/KIR distributed into rings around central patches of intercellular adhesion molecule-1/lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1, the opposite orientation to mature murine T cell-activating synapses. This organization of protein was stable for at least 20 min. Cells could support multiple synapses simultaneously, and clusters of HLA-C moved as NK cells crawled over target cells. Clustering required a divalent metal cation, explaining how metal chelators inhibit KIR function. Surprisingly, however, formation of inhibitory synapses was unaffected by ATP depletion and the cytoskeletal inhibitors, colchicine and cytochalsins B and D. Clearly, supramolecular organization within plasma membranes is critical for NK cell immunosurveillance.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/1999; 96(26):15062-7. DOI:10.1073/pnas.96.26.15062 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Class I MHC protein primarily presents endogenous antigen but also may present exogenous antigen. Here, we investigated the intracellular pathway of spontaneously internalized class I MHC protein by confocal microscopy. beta(2)-microglobulin (beta(2)m), labeled with a single fluorophore, was exchanged at the surface of B cell transfectants to specifically mark cell surface and endocytosed class I MHC protein. Intracellular beta(2)m colocalized with fluorophore-conjugated transferrin, implying that class I MHC protein endocytosed into early endosomes. These endosomes containing fluorescent beta(2)m were found close to or within the Golgi apparatus, marked by fluorescent ceramide. Even after 24 hr of incubation, very little fluorescent beta(2)m was found in intracellular organelles stained by DiOC(6), marking the endoplasmic reticulum, or fluorophore-conjugated low density lipoprotein, marking late endosomes and lysosomes. Fluorophore-conjugated superantigens (staphylococcal enterotoxin A and B), presumed to enter cells bound to class II MHC protein, also were found to endocytose into beta(2)m-containing early endosomes. Staining with mAb and use of transfectants expressing MHC protein attached to green fluorescent protein confirmed the presence of intracellular compartments rich in both class I and II MHC protein and demonstrated that class I and II MHC protein also colocalize in discrete microdomains at the cell surface. These cell surface microdomains also contained transferrin receptor and often were juxtaposed to cholesterol-rich lipid rafts. Thus, class I and II MHC protein meet in microdomains of the plasma membrane and endocytose into early endosomes, where both may acquire and present exogenous antigen.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/1999; 96(24):13944-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.96.24.13944 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HLA-G is a class Ib (non-classical) major histocompatibility complex (MHC) protein expressed at the maternal-fetal interface that inhibits natural killer (NK) cell-mediated lysis in an allotype-independent manner. Here we report that the spontaneous endocytosis of HLA-G is severely reduced because of its short cytoplasmic tail. Class I (classical) MHC proteins on the surface of B cell transfectants detected by primary and secondary antibodies underwent endocytosis at a moderate rate, whereas HLA-G, chimeric proteins consisting of the extracellular domains of HLA-C with the C-terminal sequence of HLA-G, or glycophosphatidylinositol-tailed HLA-C proteins, were not efficiently internalized. In addition, a mutant of beta 2-microglobulin (Ser88Cys) that could be specifically labeled with Texas red (or other fluorescent probes) and exchanged into class I or class Ib MHC proteins was employed to study spontaneous internalization of MHC proteins by a non-perturbative method independent of an antibody ligand. These data are discussed in terms of both the role of HLA-G expressed on the fetal trophoblast and the function of the cytoplasmic tail in class I MHC proteins.
    European Journal of Immunology 10/1997; 27(10):2714-9. DOI:10.1002/eji.1830271035 · 4.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
208.99 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2015
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1997–2014
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2006–2013
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Neurology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010
    • Boston Therapeutics, Inc.
      Manchester, New Hampshire, United States
  • 2004
    • Boston Biomedical Research Institute
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States