K. Kjaer

IT University of Copenhagen, København, Capital Region, Denmark

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Publications (132)515.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Laurin-Sandrow syndrome (LSS) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by polysyndactyly of hands and/or feet, mirror image duplication of the feet, nasal defects, and loss of identity between fibula and tibia. The genetic basis of LSS is currently unknown. LSS shows phenotypic overlap with Haas type polysyndactyly (HTS) regarding the digital phenotype. Here we report on five unrelated families with overlapping microduplications encompassing the Sonic hedgehog (SHH) limb enhancer ZRS on chromosome 7q36. Clinically, the patients show polysyndactyly phenotypes and various types of lower limb malformations ranging from syndactyly to mirror image polydactyly with duplications of the fibulae. We show that larger duplications of the ZRS region (> 80 kb) are associated with HTS, whereas smaller duplications (< 80 kb) result in the LSS phenotype. Based on our data, the latter can be clearly distinguished from HTS by the presence of mirror image polysyndactyly of the feet with duplication of the fibula. Our results expand the clinical phenotype of the ZRS-associated syndromes and suggest that smaller duplications (<75 kb) are associated with a more severe phenotype. In addition, we show that these small microduplications within the ZRS region are the underlying genetic cause of Laurin-Sandrow syndrome.
    Clinical Genetics 01/2014; 86(4). DOI:10.1111/cge.12352 · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: All TGF-beta family members have a prodomain that is important for secretion. Lack of secretion of a TGF-beta family member GDF5 is known to underlie some skeletal abnormalities, such as brachydactyly type C that is characterized by a huge and unexplained phenotypic variability. To search for potential phenotypic modifiers regulating secretion of GDF5, we compared cells overexpressing wild type (Wt) GDF5 and GDF5 with a novel mutation in the prodomain identified in a large Pakistani family with Brachydactyly type C and mild Grebe type chondrodyslplasia (c527T>C; p.Leu176Pro). Initial in vitro expression studies revealed that the p.Leu176Pro mutant (Mut) GDF5 was not secreted outside the cells. We subsequently showed that GDF5 was capable of forming a complex with latent transforming growth factor binding proteins, LTBP1 and LTBP2. Furthermore, secretion of LTBP1 and LTBP2 was severely impaired in cells expressing the Mut-GDF5 compared to Wt-GDF5. Finally, we demonstrated that secretion of Wt-GDF5 was inhibited by the Mut-GDF5, but only when LTBP (LTBP1 or LTBP2) was co-expressed. Based on these findings, we suggest a novel model, where the dosage of secretory co-factors or stabilizing proteins like LTBP1 and LTBP2 in the microenvironment may affect the extent of GDF5 secretion and thereby function as modifiers in phenotypes caused by GDF5 mutations.
    Human Genetics 06/2013; 132(11). DOI:10.1007/s00439-013-1330-3 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXD) measurements were performed to determine the effects of SP-B 1.35, the N-terminus peptide of lung surfactant specific protein SP-B, on the structure of palmitic acid (PA) monolayers. In-plane diffraction shows that the peptide fluidizes a portion of the monolayer, but does not affect the packing of the residual ordered phase. This implies that the peptide resides in the disordered phase, and that the ordered phase is essentially pure lipid. The quantitative insights afforded by this study lead to a better understanding of the lipid/protein interactions found in lung surfactant systems.
    MRS Online Proceeding Library 01/2011; 590. DOI:10.1557/PROC-590-177
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    ABSTRACT: A cis-regulatory sequence also known as zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) regulatory sequence (ZRS) located in intron 5 of LMBR1 is essential for expression of sonic hedgehog (SHH) in the developing posterior limb bud mesenchyme. Even though many point mutations causing preaxial duplication defects have been reported in ZRS, the underlying regulatory mechanism is still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the effect on transcription factor binding of a novel ZRS point mutation (463T>G) in a Pakistani family with preaxial polydactyly and triphalangeal thumb. Electrophoretical mobility shift assay demonstrated a marked difference between wild-type and the mutant probe, which uniquely bound one or several transcription factors extracted from Caco-2 cells. This finding supports a model in which ectopic anterior SHH expression in the developing limb results from abnormal binding of one or more transcription factors to the mutant sequence.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 06/2010; 18(6):733-6. DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2009.225 · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • Muhammad Farooq · Shahid Baig · Niels Tommerup · Klaus W Kjaer ·

    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 02/2010; 152A(2):495-7. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.33234 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy (HJMD) and ectodermal dysplasia, ectrodactyly and macular dystrophy (EEM) are both caused by mutations in the CDH3 gene. In this report, we describe a family with EEM syndrome caused by a novel CDH3 gene mutation and review the mutation spectrum and limb abnormalities in both EEM and HJMD. A protein structure model showing the localization of different mutations causing both syndromes is presented. The CDH3 gene was sequenced and investigation of the mutations performed using a protein structure model. The conservation score was calculated by ConSurf. We identified a novel CDH3 gene mutation, p.G277V, which resides in a conserved residue located on a β-strand in the second cadherin domain. Review of the data on previously published mutations showed intra-familial and inter-familial variations in the severity of the limb abnormalities. Syndactyly was the most consistent clinical finding present in all the patients regardless of mutation type. The results of our study point to a phenotypic continuum between HJMD and EEM. It is important for genetic counseling to keep in mind the possible clinical/phenotypic overlap between these 2 syndromes and to be aware of the possible risk of limb abnormalities in future pregnancies in families with HJMD syndrome. CDH3 gene mutation screening is recommended in patients with both these syndromes as part of the work-up in order to offer appropriate genetic counseling.
    Molecular syndromology 01/2010; 1(5):223-230. DOI:10.1159/000327156
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray scattering experiments on mixed films of cholesterol and phospholipids at air-water and Si solid-water interfaces were undertaken to glean information on pathological crystallization of cholesterol bilayers. Grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction patterns at the air-water interface of various cholesterol:dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (Ch:DPPC) monolayer mixtures compressed beyond monolayer collapse yielded the established 10 x 7.5 Ų Ch bilayer motif, for Ch:DPPC molar ratios higher than 2.5:1. Attempts to obtain a diffraction signal from various Ch:phospholipid film mixtures at the Si solid-water interface, indicative of the presence of the Ch bilayer motif, were unsuccessful. Only after removal of sufficient water from the cell was a weak diffraction signal obtained suggestive of a cholesterol film two bilayers thick. Off-specular X-ray reflectivity measurements made on a 1.75:1 mixture of Ch and bovine cardiac phosphatidylcholine (BCPC) deposited as a bilayer on a Si wafer and placed in a cell filled with water yielded positive results. The derived electron density profile showed the presence of a bilayer mixture consistent with a phase separation of cholesterol and BCPC, and possible formation of a crystalline cholesterol bilayer within the hydrated mixed bilayer, but not a proof thereof.
    The European Physical Journal E 08/2009; 30(2):215-21. DOI:10.1140/epje/i2009-10498-2 · 1.76 Impact Factor

  • American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 07/2009; 149A(7):1571-3. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32905 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) is characterized by reduced head circumference (<or=4 SD) and mental retardation without any other neurological manifestation. Of the four identified MCPH genes, homozygous truncating mutations in ASPM (MCPH5) account for >50% of all reported families. In spite of the high frequency of MCPH in Pakistan only one case of compound heterozygosity for mutations in ASPM has been reported yet. In this large MCPH study we ascertained 37 families including 319 persons (140 patients). Haplotype analysis of eight STS markers suggested linkage by homozygosity in 20 families, and re-analysis of single sib ships in the remaining families demonstrated possible compound heterozygosity in two families. Direct sequencing indeed confirmed compound heterozygosity in two and homozygous mutations in 20 families, respectively, showing that up to 10% of families with MCPH caused by ASPM are compound heterozygous. In total we identified 16 different nonsense or frameshift mutations of which 12 were novel thereby increasing the number of mutations in ASPM significantly from 35 to 47. We found no correlation between the severity of the condition and the site of truncation. We suggest that the high frequency of compound heterozygosity observed in this study is taken into consideration as part of future genetic testing and counseling in Pakistani MCPH families.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 05/2009; 149A(5):926-30. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32749 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autosomal-dominant brachydactyly type A2 (BDA2), a limb malformation characterized by hypoplastic middle phalanges of the second and fifth fingers, has been shown to be due to mutations in the Bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1B (BMPR1B) or in its ligand Growth and differentiation factor 5 (GDF5). A linkage analysis performed in a mutation-negative family identified a novel locus for BDA2 on chromosome 20p12.3 that incorporates the gene for Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2). No point mutation was identified in BMP2, so a high-density array CGH analysis covering the critical interval of approximately 1.3 Mb was performed. A microduplication of approximately 5.5 kb in a noncoding sequence approximately 110 kb downstream of BMP2 was detected. Screening of other patients by qPCR revealed a similar duplication in a second family. The duplicated region contains evolutionary highly conserved sequences suggestive of a long-range regulator. By using a transgenic mouse model we can show that this sequence is able to drive expression of a X-Gal reporter construct in the limbs. The almost complete overlap with endogenous Bmp2 expression indicates that a limb-specific enhancer of Bmp2 is located within the identified duplication. Our results reveal an additional functional mechanism for the pathogenesis of BDA2, which is duplication of a regulatory element that affects the expression of BMP2 in the developing limb.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 04/2009; 84(4):483-92. DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.03.001 · 10.93 Impact Factor

  • American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 10/2008; 146A(19):2570-3. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32394 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    Liselotte Sonnesen · Dorrit Nolting · Klaus Wilbrandt Kjaer · Inger Kjaer ·
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    ABSTRACT: Immunohistochemical analyses on the axial skeleton from wild type mice. In the clinic, we have previously observed cervical spine defects associated with deviations in the posterior part of the occipital bone and with morphologic and functional variations in the craniofacial skeleton. As examples, cervical spine fusions occurred frequently in patients with mandibular overjet and even more frequently and more caudally in the cervical spine in patients with sleep apnoea. The aims of the present study were to elucidate this association between the spine and the cranium by comparing gene expression domains of important developmental genes known to be involved in vertebral column formation with gene expression in the craniofacial region. This is the first study looking specifically on gene expression in the basilar part of the occipital bone that is formed around the cranial part of the notochord, thus connecting the spine and the craniofacial skeleton. The material consisted of 4 mouse embryos p.c. day 13.5, NMRI wild-type mice, from the same litter. The body axis, the cranial base, and the craniofacial area were studied by immunohistochemical analyses using Collagen II, Pax9, Pax1, and Noggin antibodies. Pax1 expression was highly similar in the posterior part of the occipital bone and in the vertebral column, indicating that the basilar part of the occipital bone from a developmental standpoint can be considered the uppermost vertebra. Pax9 and Noggin expression domains were in accordance with those described previously. The present study supports that the basilar part of the occipital bone may be regulated by similar developmental mechanisms as the vertebral column and may thus be regarded the uppermost vertebra. Thus, the clinically observed association between the cervical column and the craniofacial area has been proved by immunohistochemical methods.
    Spine 08/2008; 33(15):1622-6. DOI:10.1097/BRS.0b013e31817b61d1 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated a family with a brachydactyly type A2 and identified a heterozygous arginine to glutamine (R380Q) substitution in the growth/differentiation factor 5 (GDF5) in all affected individuals. The observed mutation is located at the processing site of the protein, at which the GDF5 precursor is thought to be cleaved releasing the mature molecule from the prodomain. In order to test the effect of the mutation, we generated the GDF5-R380Q mutant and a cleavage-resistant proGDF5 mutant (R380A/R381A) in vitro. Both mutants were secreted from chicken micromass cultures, but showed diminished biological activity. Western blot analyses showed that wt GDF5 was processed by the chicken micromass cells, whereas the mutants were not, indicating that the mutations interfere with processing and that this leads to a strong reduction of biological activity. To test the requirements for GDF5 processing in vitro we produced recombinant human (rh) proGDF5 wild-type protein in Escherichia coli. The results show that unprocessed (rh) proGDF5 is virtually inactive but can be proteolytically activated by different enzymes such as trypsin, furin, and MMP3. (rh) proGDF5 could thus be used as a locally administered depot form with retarded release of activity. In contrast to mature rhGDF5, (rh) proGDF5 shows a high solubility at physiological pH, a characteristic that might be useful for therapeutic applications.
    Human Molecular Genetics 06/2008; 17(9):1222-33. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddn012 · 6.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant inheritance is described in about 20% of all nonsyndromic hearing loss with currently 54 distinct loci (DFNA1-54), and >20 different genes identified. Seven different unconventional myosin genes are involved in ten different types of syndromic and nonsyndromic hearing loss with different patterns of inheritance: MYO7A in DFNA11/DFNB2/USH1B, MYH9 in DFNA17, MYH14 in DFNA4, MYO6 in DFNA22/DFNB37, MYO3A in DFNB30, MYO1A in DFNA48, and MYO15A in DFNB3. Two missense mutations in MYO6 (p.C442Y and p.H246R) have been characterized in families of Italian and American Caucasian extraction with autosomal dominant hearing loss, respectively, and the latter was associated with cardiomyopathy in some patients. Three Pakistani families had homozygosity for three MYO6 mutations (c.36insT, p.R1166X, and p.E216V, respectively), and was in one instance associated with retinal degeneration. In the present study, we linked autosomal dominant hearing loss in a large Danish family to a 38.9 Mb interval overlapping with the DFNA22/DFNB37 locus on chromosome 6q13. A novel nonsense mutation in MYO6 exon 25 (c.2545C > T; p.R849X) was identified in the family. The mutation co-segregated with the disease and the mutant allele is predicted to encode a truncated protein lacking the coiled-coil and globular tail domains. These domains are hypothesized to be essential for targeting myosin VI to its cellular compartments. No other system was involved indicating nonsyndromic loss. In conclusion, a novel nonsense MYO6 mutation causes post-lingual, slowly progressive autosomal dominant nonsyndromic moderate to severe hearing loss in a Danish family.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 04/2008; 146A(8):1017-25. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32174 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human eye color is a quantitative trait displaying multifactorial inheritance. Several studies have shown that the OCA2 locus is the major contributor to the human eye color variation. By linkage analysis of a large Danish family, we finemapped the blue eye color locus to a 166 Kbp region within the HERC2 gene. By association analyses, we identified two SNPs within this region that were perfectly associated with the blue and brown eye colors: rs12913832 and rs1129038. Of these, rs12913832 is located 21.152 bp upstream from the OCA2 promoter in a highly conserved sequence in intron 86 of HERC2. The brown eye color allele of rs12913832 is highly conserved throughout a number of species. As shown by a Luciferase assays in cell cultures, the element significantly reduces the activity of the OCA2 promoter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrate that the two alleles bind different subsets of nuclear extracts. One single haplotype, represented by six polymorphic SNPs covering half of the 3' end of the HERC2 gene, was found in 155 blue-eyed individuals from Denmark, and in 5 and 2 blue-eyed individuals from Turkey and Jordan, respectively. Hence, our data suggest a common founder mutation in an OCA2 inhibiting regulatory element as the cause of blue eye color in humans. In addition, an LOD score of Z = 4.21 between hair color and D14S72 was obtained in the large family, indicating that RABGGTA is a candidate gene for hair color.
    Human Genetics 04/2008; 123(2):177-87. DOI:10.1007/s00439-007-0460-x · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The branchio-oto-renal (BOR) syndrome is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by hearing loss, branchial and renal anomalies. BOR is genetically heterogeneous and caused by mutations in EYA1 (8q13.3), SIX1 (14q23.1), SIX5 (19q13.3) and in an unidentified gene on 1q31. We examined six Danish families with BOR syndrome by assessing linkage to BOR loci, by performing EYA1 multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis for deletions and duplications and by sequencing of EYA1, SIX1 and SIX5. We identified four EYA1 mutations (c.920delG, IVS10-1G>A, IVS12+4A>G and p.Y591X) and one SIX1 mutation (p.W122R), providing a molecular diagnosis in five out of the six families (83%). The present, yet preliminary, observation that renal and temporal bone malformations are less frequent in SIX1-related disease suggests a slightly different clinical profile compared to EYA1-related disease. Unidentified mutations impairing mRNA expression or further genetic heterogeneity may explain the lack of mutation finding in one family despite LOD score indications of EYA1 involvement.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 12/2007; 15(11):1121-31. DOI:10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201900 · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) is a common congenital malformation with a complex etiology, as many genes and environmental factors have been shown to play a role in craniofacial development. We used a genetic mapping approach to analyze a family with multiplex CL/P. A genome-wide scan with a 10 kb single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip followed by fine mapping with microsatellite markers in a CL/P multiplex family suggested linkage (maximum multipoint LOD score of 2.41) to a 6.5 Mb interval at 1q32.1-q32.2. This interval was close to, but excluded IRF6. Mutations in the IRF6 (1q32.2) cause syndromic forms of CL/P, and several association studies have shown that polymorphisms in and around IRF6 are associated with non-syndromic CL/P (NSCLP). However, in the family described here, IRF6 was excluded from the linkage interval. Sequencing of selected genes in the interval and comparative genome hybridization (CGH) did not reveal any mutations or genomic aberrations. Our data suggest that an unidentified CL/P gene, or a non-coding IRF6 regulatory element in this linkage interval may have caused CL/P in this family.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 11/2007; 143A(22):2716-21. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32011 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To unravel the molecular genetic background in families with congenital cataract in association with microcornea (CCMC, OMIM 116150). CCMC families were recruited from a national database on hereditary eye diseases; DNA was procured from a national gene bank on hereditary eye diseases and by blood sampling from one large family. Genomewide linkage analysis, fine mapping, and direct genomic DNA sequencing of nine cataract candidate genes were applied. Restriction enzyme digests confirmed identified mutations. Analyses of 10 Danish families with hereditary congenital cataract and microcornea revealed five novel mutations. Three of these affected the crystallin, alpha-A gene (CRYAA), including two mutations (R12C and R21W) in the crystallin domain and one mutation (R116H) in the small heat shock domain. One mutation (P189L) affected the gap junction protein alpha 8 (GJA8), and one mutation (Y134X) was detected in crystallin gamma-D (CRYGD). The identification of a CRYGD mutation adds another gene to those that may be mutated in CCMC and underscores the genetic heterogeneity of this condition. Three CRYAA mutations at the R116 position, in association with CCMC, suggest that R116 represents a CCMC-mutational hotspot. The CCMC phenotype demonstrates variable expression with regard to cataract morphology and age of appearance. Clinical heterogeneity, including additional malformation of the anterior segment of the eye, confirm that dedicated cataract genes may be involved in the largely unknown developmental molecular mechanisms involved in lens-anterior segment interactions.
    Investigative Ophthalmology &amp Visual Science 10/2007; 48(9):3937-44. DOI:10.1167/iovs.07-0013 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brachydactyly type B (BDB) is characterized by terminal deficiency of fingers and toes, which is caused by heterozygous truncating mutations in the receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2) in the majority of patients. In a subset of ROR2-negative patients with BDB, clinically defined by the additional occurrence of proximal symphalangism and carpal synostosis, we identified six different point mutations (P35A, P35S, A36P, E48K, R167G, and P187S) in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist NOGGIN (NOG). In contrast to previously described loss-of-function mutations in NOG, which are known to cause a range of conditions associated with abnormal joint formation but without BDB, the newly identified BDB mutations do not indicate a major loss of function, as suggested by calculation of free-binding energy of the modeled NOG-GDF5 complex and functional analysis of the micromass culture system. Rather, they presumably alter NOG's ability to bind to BMPs and growth-differentiation factors (GDFs) in a subtle way, thus disturbing the intricate balance of BMP signaling. The combined features observed in this phenotypic subtype of BDB argue for a functional connection between BMP and ROR2 signaling and support previous findings of a modulating effect of ROR2 on the BMP-receptor pathway through the formation of a heteromeric complex of the receptors at the cell surface.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 09/2007; 81(2):388-96. DOI:10.1086/519697 · 10.93 Impact Factor
  • C. A. Helm · H. Möhwald · K. Kjær · J. Als-Nielsen ·
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    ABSTRACT: Phospholipid monolayers at the air-water interface have been studied by synchrotron x-ray reflection methods. The range of momentum transfers (perpendicular to the surface) exceeded 2π/(layer thickness) thus yielding information about the density distribution across the layer. Data for a monolayer of L-α-dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) in the solid phase (surface pressure 40 mN/m) are interpreted in terms of a simple model of the density with adjustable values for the densities and the projected lengths of the aliphatic tail and the polar head as well as an overall Gaussian smearing of the densities. We find that the tails are close-packed but uniformly tilted 30° relative to the interface normal.
    EPL (Europhysics Letters) 07/2007; 4(6):697. DOI:10.1209/0295-5075/4/6/010 · 2.10 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
515.37 Total Impact Points


  • 1995-2014
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2006
    • Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
      • Department of Human Molecular Genetics
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2005
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Institute of Medical Genetics and Human Genetics
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 2000
    • Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre
      • Department of Pathology
      Hvidovre, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1998
    • Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
      • Department of Interfaces
      Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
    • Sultan Qaboos University
      Masqaţ, Masqaţ, Oman
  • 1994
    • Weizmann Institute of Science
      • Department of Materials and Interfaces
  • 1993
    • Iowa State University
      Ames, Iowa, United States
  • 1992
    • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
      • Institute of Physical Chemistry
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 1990
    • Bar Ilan University
      • Department of Physics
      Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel