Gabriel Núñez

Concordia University–Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

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Publications (344)3270.64 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intestinal Th17 cells are induced and accumulate in response to colonization with a subgroup of intestinal microbes such as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) and certain extracellular pathogens. Here, we show that adhesion of microbes to intestinal epithelial cells (ECs) is a critical cue for Th17 induction. Upon monocolonization of germ-free mice or rats with SFB indigenous to mice (M-SFB) or rats (R-SFB), M-SFB and R-SFB showed host-specific adhesion to small intestinal ECs, accompanied by host-specific induction of Th17 cells. Citrobacter rodentium and Escherichia coli O157 triggered similar Th17 responses, whereas adhesion-defective mutants of these microbes failed to do so. Moreover, a mixture of 20 bacterial strains, which were selected and isolated from fecal samples of a patient with ulcerative colitis on the basis of their ability to cause a robust induction of Th17 cells in the mouse colon, also exhibited EC-adhesive characteristics.
    Cell 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.058 · 32.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is observed in many human diseases, often associated with inflammation. ER stress can trigger inflammation through nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing (NLRP3) inflammasome, which might stimulate inflammasome formation by association with damaged mitochondria. How ER stress triggers mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammasome activation is ill defined. Here we have used an infection model to show that the IRE1α ER stress sensor regulates regulated mitochondrial dysfunction through an NLRP3-mediated feed-forward loop, independently of ASC. IRE1α activation increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, promoting NLRP3 association with mitochondria. NLRP3 was required for ER stress-induced cleavage of caspase-2 and the pro-apoptotic factor, Bid, leading to subsequent release of mitochondrial contents. Caspase-2 and Bid were necessary for activation of the canonical inflammasome by infection-associated or general ER stress. These data identify an NLRP3-caspase-2-dependent mechanism that relays ER stress to the mitochondria to promote inflammation, integrating cellular stress and innate immunity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Immunity 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2015.08.008 · 21.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monocytes play a crucial role in antimicrobial host defence, but the mechanisms by which they protect the host during intestinal infection remains poorly understood. Here we show that depletion of CCR2(+) monocytes results in impaired clearance of the intestinal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. After infection, the de novo recruited CCR2(+) monocytes give rise to CD11c(+)CD11b(+)F4/80(+)CD103(-) intestinal macrophages (MPs) within the lamina propria. Unlike resident intestinal MPs, de novo differentiated MPs are phenotypically pro-inflammatory and produce robust amounts of IL-1β (interleukin-1β) through the non-canonical caspase-11 inflammasome. Intestinal MPs from infected mice elicit the activation of RORγt(+) group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) in an IL-1β-dependent manner. Deletion of IL-1β in blood monocytes blunts the production of IL-22 by ILC3 and increases the susceptibility to infection. Collectively, these studies highlight a critical role of de novo differentiated monocyte-derived intestinal MPs in ILC3-mediated host defence against intestinal infection.
    Nature Communications 08/2015; 6:8010. DOI:10.1038/ncomms9010 · 11.47 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 08/2015; 75(15 Supplement):1319-1319. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-1319 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Excess iron induces tissue damage and is implicated in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Iron toxicity is widely attributed to hydroxyl radical formation through Fenton's reaction. We report that excess iron, but not other Fenton catalytic metals, induces activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, a pathway also implicated in AMD. Additionally, iron-induced degeneration of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is suppressed in mice lacking inflammasome components caspase-1/11 or Nlrp3 or by inhibition of caspase-1. Iron overload increases abundance of RNAs transcribed from short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs): Alu RNAs and the rodent equivalent B1 and B2 RNAs, which are inflammasome agonists. Targeting Alu or B2 RNA prevents iron-induced inflammasome activation and RPE degeneration. Iron-induced SINE RNA accumulation is due to suppression of DICER1 via sequestration of the co-factor poly(C)-binding protein 2 (PCBP2). These findings reveal an unexpected mechanism of iron toxicity, with implications for AMD and neurodegenerative diseases associated with excess iron. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell Reports 06/2015; 11(11). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.023 · 8.36 Impact Factor
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    International Journal of Medical Microbiology 05/2015; 305(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijmm.2015.03.007 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Virulence factors expressed by enteric bacteria are pivotal for pathogen colonization and induction of intestinal disease, but the mechanisms by which host immunity regulates pathogen virulence are largely unknown. Here we show that specific antibody responses are required for downregulation of virulence gene expression in Citrobacter rodentium, an enteric pathogen that models human infections with attaching-and-effacing bacteria. In the absence of antibodies against the pathogen, phenotypically virulent C. rodentium, accumulated and infected the epithelium and subsequently invaded the lamina propia, causing host lethality. IgG induced after infection recognized virulence factors and bound virulent bacteria within the intestinal lumen, leading to their engulfment by neutrophils, while phenotypically avirulent pathogens remained in the intestinal lumen and were eventually outcompeted by the microbiota. Thus, the interplay of the innate and adaptive immune system selectively targets virulent C. rodentium in the intestinal lumen to promote pathogen eradication and host survival. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell host & microbe 04/2015; 17(5). DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.001 · 12.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The microbiota stimulates inflammation, but the signaling pathways and the members of the microbiota involved remain poorly understood. We found that the microbiota induces interleukin-1β (IL-1β) release upon intestinal injury and that this is mediated via the NLRP3 inflammasome. Enterobacteriaceae and in particular the pathobiont Proteus mirabilis, induced robust IL-1β release that was comparable to that induced by the pathogen Salmonella. Upon epithelial injury, production of IL-1β in the intestine was largely mediated by intestinal Ly6C(high) monocytes, required chemokine receptor CCR2 and was abolished by deletion of IL-1β in CCR2(+) blood monocytes. Furthermore, colonization with P. mirabilis promoted intestinal inflammation upon intestinal injury via the production of hemolysin, which required NLRP3 and IL-1 receptor signaling in vivo. Thus, upon intestinal injury, selective members of the microbiota stimulate newly recruited monocytes to induce NLRP3-dependent IL-1β release, which promotes inflammation in the intestine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Immunity 04/2015; 42(4). DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2015.03.004 · 21.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The NLRP3 inflammasome assembles in response to danger signals, triggering self-cleavage of procaspase-1 and production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. Although virus infection activates the NLRP3 inflammasome, the underlying events remain incompletely understood. We report that virus activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome involves the 2',5'-oligoadenylate (2-5A) synthetase(OAS)/RNase L system, a component of the interferon-induced antiviral response that senses double-stranded RNA and activates endoribonuclease RNase L to cleave viral and cellular RNAs. The absence of RNase L reduces IL-1β production in influenza A virus-infected mice. RNA cleavage products generated by RNase L enhance IL-1β production but require the presence of 2',3'-cyclic phosphorylated termini characteristic of RNase L activity. Additionally, these cleavage products stimulate NLRP3 complex formation with the DExD/H-box helicase, DHX33, and mitochondrial adaptor protein, MAVS, which are each required for effective NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Thus, RNA cleavage events catalyzed by RNase L are required for optimal inflammasome activation during viral infections. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell host & microbe 03/2015; 17(4). DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2015.02.010 · 12.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The NOD-like receptor (NLR) family, pyrin domain–containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is a component of the inflammatory process, and its aberrant activation is pathogenic in inherited disorders such as cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS) and complex diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis. We describe the development of MCC950, a potent, selective, small-molecule inhibitor of NLRP3. MCC950 blocked canonical and noncanonical NLRP3 activation at nanomolar concentrations. MCC950 specifically inhibited activation of NLRP3 but not the AIM2, NLRC4 or NLRP1 inflammasome. MCC950 reduced interleukin-1b ( IL-1b) production in vivo and attenuated the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease model of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, MCC950 treatment rescued neonatal lethality in a mouse model of CAPS and was active in ex vivo samples from individuals with Muckle–Wells syndrome. MCC950 is thus a potential therapeutic for NLRP3-associated syndromes, including autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and a tool for further study of the NLRP3 inflammasome in human health and disease.
    Nature Medicine 03/2015; 21(3). DOI:10.1038/nm.3806 · 22.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are frequent, commonly recurrent, and costly. Deficiency in a key autophagy protein, ATG16L1, protects mice from infection with the predominant bacterial cause of UTIs, Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). Here, we report that loss of ATG16L1 in macrophages accounts for this protective phenotype. Compared with wild-type macrophages, macrophages deficient in ATG16L1 exhibit increased uptake of UPEC and enhanced secretion of interleukin-1β (IL-1β). The increased IL-1β production is dependent upon activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and caspase-1. IL-1β secretion was also enhanced during UPEC infection of ATG16L1-deficient mice in vivo, and inhibition of IL-1β signaling abrogates the ATG16L1-dependent protection from UTIs. Our results argue that ATG16L1 normally suppresses a host-protective IL-1β response to UPEC by macrophages.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 11 February 2015; doi:10.1038/mi.2015.7.
    Mucosal Immunology 02/2015; DOI:10.1038/mi.2015.7 · 7.37 Impact Factor
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    Roberta Caruso · Neil Warner · Naohiro Inohara · Gabriel Núñez
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    ABSTRACT: The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) proteins NOD1 and NOD2, the founding members of the intracellular NOD-like receptor family, sense conserved motifs in bacterial peptidoglycan and induce proinflammatory and antimicrobial responses. Here, we discuss recent developments about the mechanisms by which NOD1 and NOD2 are activated by bacterial ligands, the regulation of their signaling pathways, and their role in host defense and inflammatory disease. Several routes for the entry of peptidoglycan ligands to the host cytosol to trigger activation of NOD1 and NOD2 have been elucidated. Furthermore, genetic screens and biochemical analyses have revealed mechanisms that regulate NOD1 and NOD2 signaling. Finally, recent studies have suggested several mechanisms to account for the link between NOD2 variants and susceptibility to Crohn's disease. Further understanding of NOD1 and NOD2 should provide new insight into the pathogenesis of disease and the development of new strategies to treat inflammatory and infectious disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Immunity 12/2014; 41(6):898-908. DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2014.12.010 · 21.56 Impact Factor
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    Nature Medicine 12/2014; 20(12):1372-5. DOI:10.1038/nm.3671 · 27.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Flagellin is the major structural component of flagella expressed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and other bacteria. This protein has been shown to activate the Toll-like receptor TLR5 and the Nod-like receptor Nlrc4/Ipaf, culminating in the expression of innate cytokines and antimicrobial molecules. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that TLR5 and Nlrc4 in combination are required for maximal protective lung innate mucosal immunity against PA. To test this hypothesis, we compared innate immune responses in wild-type (WT) C57B6 mice challenged with PA intratracheally to those observed in mice genetically deficient in TLR5 (TLR5(-/-)) or Nlrc4 (Nlrc4(-/-)) alone or in combination (TLR5/Nlrc4(-/-)). As compared to WT, TLR5(-/-) and Nlrc4(-/-) mice, we observed a significant increase in mortality in TLR5/Nlrc4(-/-) mice, which was associated with a >5,000-fold increase in lung PA colony-forming units and systemic bacterial dissemination. The increased mortality observed in double-deficient mice was not attributable to differences in lung leukocyte influx or lung injury responses. Levels of biologically active IL-1β and IL-18 were reduced in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from PA-infected Nlrc4(-/-) and TLR5/Nlrc4(-/-) but not TLR5(-/-) mice, indicating the requirement for Nlrc4-dependent caspase-1 activation. Similarly, decreased production of biologically active IL-1β and activation of caspase-1 was observed in PA-stimulated pulmonary macrophages isolated from Nlrc4(-/-) and TLR5/Nlrc4(-/-) but not TLR5(-/-) mice, whereas the expression of iNOS and the production of NO were significantly reduced in cells from double-mutant but not single-mutant mice. Collectively, our findings indicate that TLR5 and Nlrc4 have both unique and redundant roles in lung antibacterial mucosal immunity, and the absence of both pathogen recognition receptors results in an increase in susceptibility to invasive lung infection. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Journal of Innate Immunity 11/2014; 7(2). DOI:10.1159/000367790 · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • 2nd Annual Meeting of the International-Cytokine-and-Interferon-Society; 11/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Severe sepsis and septic shock are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Infection-associated inflammation promotes the development and progression of adverse outcomes in sepsis. The effects of heterodimeric IL-27 (p28/EBI3) have been implicated in the natural course of sepsis, whereas the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of gene expression and release of IL-27 in sepsis are poorly understood. We studied the events regulating the p28 subunit of IL-27 in endotoxic shock and polymicrobial sepsis following cecal ligation and puncture. Neutralizing Abs to IL-27(p28) improved survival rates, restricted cytokine release, and reduced bacterial burden in C57BL/6 mice during sepsis. Genetic disruption of IL-27 signaling enhanced the respiratory burst of macrophages. Experiments using splenectomized mice or treatment with clodronate liposomes suggested that macrophages in the spleen may be a significant source of IL-27(p28) during sepsis. In cultures of TLR4-activated macrophages, the frequency of F4/80(+)CD11b(+)IL-27(p28)(+) cells was reduced by the addition of IL-10. IL-10 antagonized both MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent release of IL-27(p28). Genetic deletion of STAT3 in Tie2-Cre/STAT3flox macrophages completely interrupted the inhibition of IL-27(p28) by IL-10 after TLR4 activation. In contrast, IL-10 remained fully active to suppress IL-27(p28) with deletion of SOCS3 in Tie2-Cre/SOCS3flox macrophages. Blockade of IL-10R by Ab or genetic deficiency of IL-10 resulted in 3-5-fold higher concentrations of IL-27(p28) in endotoxic shock and polymicrobial sepsis. Our studies identify IL-10 as a critical suppressing factor for IL-27(p28) production during infection-associated inflammation. These findings may be helpful for a beneficial manipulation of adverse IL-27(p28) release during sepsis.
    The Journal of Immunology 10/2014; 193(11). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1302280 · 4.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pathobionts play a critical role in disease development, but the immune mechanisms against pathobionts remain poorly understood. Here, we report a critical role for interleukin-22 (IL-22) in systemic protection against bacterial pathobionts that translocate into the circulation after infection with the pathogen Clostridium difficile. Infection with C. difficile induced IL-22, and infected Il22(-/-) mice harbored high numbers of pathobionts in extraintestinal organs despite comparable pathogen load and intestinal damage in mutant and wild-type mice. Pathobionts exhibited increased resistant against complement-mediated phagocytosis, and their intravenous administration resulted in high animal mortality. Selective removal of translocated commensals rescued Il22(-/-) mice, and IL-22 administration enhanced the elimination of pathobionts. Mechanistically, IL-22 augmented bacterial phagocytosis by increasing the expression and bacterial binding of complement C3. Our study demonstrates an unexpected role for IL-22 in controlling the elimination of pathobionts that enter the systemic circulation through the regulation of the complement system.
    Immunity 10/2014; 41(4):620-32. DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2014.09.010 · 21.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI) controls differentiation of long-lived plasma cells, and almost 10% of individuals with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) express either the C104R or A181E variants of TACI. These variants impair TACI function, and TACI-deficient mice exhibit a CVID-like disease. However, 1%-2% of normal individuals harbor the C140R or A181E TACI variants and have no outward signs of CVID, and it is not clear why TACI deficiency in this group does not cause disease. Here, we determined that TACI-deficient mice have low baseline levels of Ig in the blood but retain the ability to mutate Ig-associated genes that encode antigen-specific antibodies. The antigen-specific antibodies in TACI-deficient mice were produced in bursts and had higher avidity than those of WT animals. Moreover, mice lacking TACI were able to clear Citrobacter rodentium, a model pathogen for severe human enteritis, more rapidly than did WT mice. These findings suggest that the high prevalence of TACI deficiency in humans might reflect enhanced host defense against enteritis, which is more severe in those with acquired or inherited immunodeficiencies.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2014; 124(11). DOI:10.1172/JCI74428 · 13.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes that activate caspase-1 in response to infections and stress, resulting in the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Here we report that IκB kinase α (IKKα) is a critical negative regulator of apoptosis-associated specklike protein containing a C-terminal caspase-activation-andrecruitment (CARD) domain (ASC)-dependent inflammasomes. IKKα controls the inflammasome at the level of the adaptor ASC, which interacts with IKKα in the nucleus of resting macrophages in an IKKα kinase-dependent manner. Loss of IKKα kinase activity results in inflammasome hyperactivation. Mechanistically, the downstream nuclear effector IKK-related kinase (IKKi) facilitates translocation of ASC from the nucleus to the perinuclear area during inflammasome activation. ASC remains under the control of IKKα in the perinuclear area following translocation of the ASC/IKKα complex. Signal 2 of NLRP3 activation leads to inhibition of IKKα kinase activity through the recruitment of PP2A, allowing ASC to participate in NLRP3 inflammasome assembly. Taken together, these findings reveal a IKKi-IKKα-ASC axis that serves as a common regulatory mechanism for ASC-dependent inflammasomes.
    Nature Communications 09/2014; 5:4977. DOI:10.1038/ncomms5977 · 11.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: When nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs) sense cytosolic-invading bacteria, they induce the formation of inflammasomes and initiate an innate immune response. In quiescent cells, inflammasome activity is tightly regulated to prevent excess inflammation and cell death. Many bacterial pathogens provoke inflammasome activity and induce inflammatory responses, including cell death, by delivering type III secreted effectors, the rod component flagellin, and toxins. Recent studies indicated that Shigella deploy multiple mechanisms to stimulate NLR inflammasomes through type III secretion during infection. Here, we show that Shigella induces rapid macrophage cell death by delivering the invasion plasmid antigen H7.8 (IpaH7.8) enzyme 3 (E3) ubiquitin ligase effector via the type III secretion system, thereby activating the NLR family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) and NLR family CARD domain-containing 4 (NLRC4) inflammasomes and caspase-1 and leading to macrophage cell death in an IpaH7.8 E3 ligase-dependent manner. Mice infected with Shigella possessing IpaH7.8, but not with Shigella possessing an IpaH7.8 E3 ligase-null mutant, exhibited enhanced bacterial multiplication. We defined glomulin/flagellar-associated protein 68 (GLMN) as an IpaH7.8 target involved in IpaH7.8 E3 ligase-dependent inflammasome activation. This protein originally was identified through its association with glomuvenous malformations and more recently was described as a member of a Cullin ring ligase inhibitor. Modifying GLMN levels through overexpression or knockdown led to reduced or augmented inflammasome activation, respectively. Macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide/ATP induced GLMN puncta that localized with the active form of caspase-1. Macrophages from GLMN(+/-) mice were more responsive to inflammasome activation than those from GLMN(+/+) mice. Together, these results highlight a unique bacterial adaptation that hijacks inflammasome activation via interactions between IpaH7.8 and GLMN.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2014; 111(40). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1324021111 · 9.67 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

49k Citations
3,270.64 Total Impact Points


  • 1993–2015
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
    • University of Michigan
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Comprehensive Cancer Center
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2012
    • Lerner Research Institute
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 2010
    • Michigan State University
      • Division of Cardiology
      Ист-Лансинг, Michigan, United States
  • 2009
    • Bogazici University
      • Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
      İstanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Waseda University
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2006–2008
    • Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
      Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • 2007
    • Utrecht University
      • Division of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2003
    • The University of Sheffield
      • Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
      Sheffield, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1995–2002
    • Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla
      • Servicio de Inmunología
      Santander, Cantabria, Spain
  • 1988–2002
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ашбърн, Virginia, United States
  • 1997
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • Division of Pharmacology & Toxicology
      Austin, Texas, United States
  • 1989–1990
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • Department of Medicine
      San Luis, Missouri, United States