David J Steger

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States

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Publications (37)364.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Rosiglitazone (rosi) is a powerful insulin sensitizer, but serious toxicities have curtailed its widespread clinical use. Rosi functions as a high-affinity ligand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), the adipocyte-predominant nuclear receptor (NR). The classic model, involving binding of ligand to the NR on DNA, explains positive regulation of gene expression, but ligand-dependent repression is not well understood. We addressed this issue by studying the direct effects of rosi on gene transcription using global run-on sequencing (GRO-seq). Rosi-induced changes in gene body transcription were pronounced after 10 min and correlated with steady-state mRNA levels as well as with transcription at nearby enhancers (enhancer RNAs [eRNAs]). Up-regulated eRNAs occurred almost exclusively at PPARγ-binding sites, to which rosi treatment recruited coactivators, including MED1, p300, and CBP. In contrast, transcriptional repression by rosi involved a loss of coactivators from eRNA sites devoid of PPARγ and enriched for other transcription factors, including AP-1 factors and C/EBPs. Thus, rosi activates and represses transcription by fundamentally different mechanisms that could inform the future development of anti-diabetic drugs.
    Genes & development 05/2014; 28(9):1018-1028. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Metabolic homeostasis in mammals critically depends on the regulation of fasting-induced genes by CREB in the liver. Previous genome-wide analysis has shown that only a small percentage of CREB target genes are induced in response to fasting-associated signaling pathways. The precise molecular mechanisms by which CREB specifically targets these genes in response to alternating hormonal cues remain to be elucidated. RESULTS: We performed chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to high-throughput sequencing of CREB in livers from both fasted and re-fed mice. In order to quantitatively compare the extent of CREB-DNA interactions genome-wide between these two physiological conditions we developed a novel, robust analysis method, termed the 'single sample independence' (SSI) test that greatly reduced the number of false-positive peaks. We found that CREB remains constitutively bound to its target genes in the liver regardless of the metabolic state. Integration of the CREB cistrome with expression microarrays of fasted and re-fed mouse livers and ChIP-seq data for additional transcription factors revealed that the gene expression switches between the two metabolic states are associated with co-localization of additional transcription factors at CREB sites. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support a model in which CREB is constitutively bound to thousands of target genes, and combinatorial interactions between DNA-binding factors are necessary to achieve the specific transcriptional response of the liver to fasting. Furthermore, our genome-wide analysis identifies thousands of novel CREB target genes in liver, and suggests a previously unknown role for CREB in regulating ER stress genes in response to nutrient influx.
    BMC Genomics 05/2013; 14(1):337. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fibroblastic preadipocyte cells are recruited to differentiate into new adipocytes during the formation and hyperplastic growth of white adipose tissue. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), the master regulator of adipogenesis, is expressed at low levels in preadipocytes, and its levels increase dramatically and rapidly during the differentiation process. However, the mechanisms controlling the dynamic and selective expression of PPARγ in the adipocyte lineage remain largely unknown. We show here that the zinc finger protein Evi1 increases in preadipocytes at the onset of differentiation prior to increases in PPARγ levels. Evi1 expression converts nonadipogenic cells into adipocytes via an increase in the predifferentiation levels of PPARγ2, the adipose-selective isoform of PPARγ. Conversely, loss of Evi1 in preadipocytes blocks the induction of PPARγ2 and suppresses adipocyte differentiation. Evi1 binds with C/EBPβ to regulatory sites in the Pparγ locus at early stages of adipocyte differentiation, coincident with the induction of Pparγ2 expression. These results indicate that Evi1 is a key regulator of adipogenic competency.
    Molecular and cellular biology 04/2012; 32(12):2289-99. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages, a key cellular component of inflammation, become functionally polarized in a signal- and context-specific manner. Th2 cytokines such as interleukin 4 (IL-4) polarize macrophages to a state of alternative activation that limits inflammation and promotes wound healing. Alternative activation is mediated by a transcriptional program that is influenced by epigenomic modifications, including histone acetylation. Here we report that macrophages lacking histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) display a polarization phenotype similar to IL-4-induced alternative activation and, furthermore, are hyperresponsive to IL-4 stimulation. Throughout the macrophage genome, HDAC3 deacetylates histone tails at regulatory regions, leading to repression of many IL-4-regulated genes characteristic of alternative activation. Following exposure to Schistosoma mansoni eggs, a model of Th2 cytokine-mediated disease that is limited by alternative activation, pulmonary inflammation was ameliorated in mice lacking HDAC3 in macrophages. Thus, HDAC3 functions in alternative activation as a brake whose release could be of benefit in the treatment of multiple inflammatory diseases.
    Genes & development 12/2011; 25(23):2480-8. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of factors that define adipocyte precursor potential has important implications for obesity. Preadipocytes are fibroblastoid cells committed to becoming round lipid-laden adipocytes. In vitro, this differentiation process is facilitated by confluency, followed by adipogenic stimuli. During adipogenesis, a large number of cytostructural genes are repressed before adipocyte gene induction. Here we report that the transcriptional repressor transcription factor 7-like 1 (TCF7L1) binds and directly regulates the expression of cell structure genes. Depletion of TCF7L1 inhibits differentiation, because TCF7L1 indirectly induces the adipogenic transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ in a manner that can be replaced by inhibition of myosin II activity. TCF7L1 is induced by cell contact in adipogenic cell lines, and ectopic expression of TCF7L1 alleviates the confluency requirement for adipocytic differentiation of precursor cells. In contrast, TCF7L1 is not induced during confluency of non-adipogenic fibroblasts, and, remarkably, forced expression of TCF7L1 is sufficient to commit non-adipogenic fibroblasts to an adipogenic fate. These results establish TCF7L1 as a transcriptional hub coordinating cell-cell contact with the transcriptional repression required for adipogenic competency.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(39):16271-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    David J Steger, Mitchell A Lazar
    The EMBO Journal 04/2011; 30(8):1418-9. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transcriptional mechanisms by which temporary exposure to developmental signals instigates adipocyte differentiation are unknown. During early adipogenesis, we find transient enrichment of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (CEBPbeta), p300, mediator subunit 1, and histone H3 acetylation near genes involved in cell proliferation, development, and differentiation, including the gene encoding the master regulator of adipocyte differentiation, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma2 (PPARgamma2). Occupancy and enhancer function are triggered by adipogenic signals, and diminish upon their removal. GR, which is important for adipogenesis but need not be active in the mature adipocyte, functions transiently with other enhancer proteins to propagate a new program of gene expression that includes induction of PPARgamma2, thereby providing a memory of the earlier adipogenic signal. Thus, the conversion of preadipocyte to adipocyte involves the formation of an epigenomic transition state that is not observed in cells at the beginning or end of the differentiation process.
    Genes & development 05/2010; 24(10):1035-44. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator activator receptor gamma (PPARgamma) is the target of antidiabetic thiazolidinedione drugs, which improve insulin resistance but have side effects that limit widespread use. PPARgamma is required for adipocyte differentiation, but it is also expressed in other cell types, notably macrophages, where it influences atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, and inflammation. A central question is whether PPARgamma binding in macrophages occurs at genomic locations the same as or different from those in adipocytes. Here, utilizing chromatin immunoprecipitation and high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq), we demonstrate that PPARgamma cistromes in mouse adipocytes and macrophages are predominantly cell type specific. In thioglycolate-elicited macrophages, PPARgamma colocalizes with the hematopoietic transcription factor PU.1 in areas of open chromatin and histone acetylation, near a distinct set of immune genes in addition to a number of metabolic genes shared with adipocytes. In adipocytes, the macrophage-unique binding regions are marked with repressive histone modifications, typically associated with local chromatin compaction and gene silencing. PPARgamma, when introduced into preadipocytes, bound only to regions depleted of repressive histone modifications, where it increased DNA accessibility, enhanced histone acetylation, and induced gene expression. Thus, the cell specificity of PPARgamma function is regulated by cell-specific transcription factors, chromatin accessibility, and histone marks. Our data support the existence of an epigenomic hierarchy in which PPARgamma binding to cell-specific sites not marked by repressive marks opens chromatin and leads to local activation marks, including histone acetylation.
    Molecular and cellular biology 02/2010; 30(9):2078-89. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Resistin antagonizes insulin action in mouse, making it a potential therapeutic target for treating metabolic diseases such as diabetes. To better understand how mouse resistin gene (Retn) expression is restricted to fat tissue, we identified an adipocyte-specific enhancer located approximately 8.8-kb upstream of the transcription start site. This region contains a binding site for the master adipogenic regulator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma), and binds endogenous PPARgamma together with its partner retinoid-X receptor alpha (RXRalpha). It also contains three binding sites for CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP), and is bound by endogenous C/EBPalpha and C/EBPbeta in adipocytes. Exogenous expression of PPARgamma/RXRalpha and C/EBPalpha in non-adipocyte cells synergistically drives robust expression from the enhancer. Although PPARgamma ligands repress Retn transcription in adipocytes, rosiglitazone paradoxically stimulates the enhancer activity, suggesting that the enhancer is not directly involved in negative regulation. Unlike expression of Retn in mouse, human resistin (RETN) is expressed primarily in macrophages. Interestingly, the region homologous to the mouse Retn enhancer in the human gene contains all three C/EBP elements, but is not conserved for the sequence bound by PPARgamma. Furthermore, it displays little or no binding by PPARgamma in vitro. Taken together, the data suggest that a composite enhancer binding both PPARgamma and C/EBP factors confers adipocyte-specific expression to Retn in mouse, and its absence from the human gene may explain the lack of adipocyte expression in humans.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2009; 284(10):6116-25. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adipocyte differentiation is controlled by many transcription factors, but few known downstream targets of these factors are necessary for adipogenesis. Here we report that retinol saturase (RetSat), which is an enzyme implicated in the generation of dihydroretinoid metabolites, is induced during adipogenesis and is directly regulated by the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma). Ablation of RetSat dramatically inhibited adipogenesis but, surprisingly, this block was not overcome by the putative product of RetSat enzymatic activity. On the other hand, ectopic RetSat with an intact, but not a mutated, FAD/NAD dinucleotide-binding motif increased endogenous PPARgamma transcriptional activity and promoted adipogenesis. Indeed, RetSat was not required for adipogenesis when cells were provided with exogenous PPARgamma ligands. In adipose tissue, RetSat is expressed in adipocytes but is unexpectedly downregulated in obesity, most likely owing to infiltration of macrophages that we demonstrate to repress RetSat expression. Thiazolidinedione treatment reversed low RetSat expression in adipose tissue of obese mice. Thus, RetSat plays an important role in the biology of adipocytes, where it favors normal differentiation, yet is reduced in the obese state. RetSat is thus a novel target for therapeutic intervention in metabolic disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 106(4):1105-10. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) is required for adipocyte differentiation, but its role in mature adipocytes is less clear. Here, we report that knockdown of PPARgamma expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes returned the expression of most adipocyte genes to preadipocyte levels. Consistently, down-regulated but not up-regulated genes showed strong enrichment of PPARgamma binding. Surprisingly, not all adipocyte genes were reversed, and the adipocyte morphology was maintained for an extended period after PPARgamma depletion. To explain this, we focused on transcriptional regulators whose adipogenic regulation was not reversed upon PPARgamma depletion. We identified GATA2, a transcription factor whose down-regulation early in adipogenesis is required for preadipocyte differentiation and whose levels remain low after PPARgamma knockdown. Forced expression of GATA2 in mature adipocytes complemented PPARgamma depletion and impaired adipocyte functionality with a more preadipocyte-like gene expression profile. Ectopic expression of GATA2 in adipose tissue in vivo had a similar effect on adipogenic gene expression. These results suggest that PPARgamma-independent down-regulation of GATA2 prevents reversion of mature adipocytes after PPARgamma depletion.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2009; 284(14):9458-64. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma(PPARgamma), a nuclear receptor and the target of anti-diabetic thiazolinedione drugs, is known as the master regulator of adipocyte biology. Although it regulates hundreds of adipocyte genes, PPARgamma binding to endogenous genes has rarely been demonstrated. Here, utilizing chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled with whole genome tiling arrays, we identified 5299 genomic regions of PPARgamma binding in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes. The consensus PPARgamma/RXRalpha "DR-1"-binding motif was found at most of the sites, and ChIP for RXRalpha showed colocalization at nearly all locations tested. Bioinformatics analysis also revealed CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP)-binding motifs in the vicinity of most PPARgamma-binding sites, and genome-wide analysis of C/EBPalpha binding demonstrated that it localized to 3350 of the locations bound by PPARgamma. Importantly, most genes induced in adipogenesis were bound by both PPARgamma and C/EBPalpha, while very few were PPARgamma-specific. C/EBPbeta also plays a role at many of these genes, such that both C/EBPalpha and beta are required along with PPARgamma for robust adipocyte-specific gene expression. Thus, PPARgamma and C/EBP factors cooperatively orchestrate adipocyte biology by adjacent binding on an unanticipated scale.
    Genes & Development 12/2008; 22(21):2941-52. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Classically, activated transcription by nuclear receptors (NRs) is due to a ligand-induced switch from corepressor- to coactivator-bound states. However, coactivators and corepressors recognize overlapping surfaces of liganded and unliganded NRs, respectively. Here we show that, at sufficiently high concentration, the NR corepressor (NCoR) influences the activity of the liver X receptor (LXR) even in the presence of a potent full agonist that destabilizes NCoR binding. Partial agonist ligands that less effectively dissociate NCoR from LXR are even more sensitive to NCoR levels, in a target gene-selective manner. Thus, differential recruitment of NCoR is a major determinant of partial agonism and selective LXR modulation of target genes.
    Molecular Endocrinology 08/2008; 22(10):2241-9. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    Felix H Lam, David J Steger, Erin K O'Shea
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    ABSTRACT: Chromatin influences gene expression by restricting access of DNA binding proteins to their cognate sites in the genome. Large-scale characterization of nucleosome positioning in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has revealed a stereotyped promoter organization in which a nucleosome-free region (NFR) is present within several hundred base pairs upstream of the translation start site. Many transcription factors bind within NFRs and nucleate chromatin remodelling events which then expose other cis-regulatory elements. However, it is not clear how transcription-factor binding and chromatin influence quantitative attributes of gene expression. Here we show that nucleosomes function largely to decouple the threshold of induction from dynamic range. With a series of variants of one promoter, we establish that the affinity of exposed binding sites is a primary determinant of the level of physiological stimulus necessary for substantial gene activation, and sites located within nucleosomal regions serve to scale expression once chromatin is remodelled. Furthermore, we find that the S. cerevisiae phosphate response (PHO) pathway exploits these promoter designs to tailor gene expression to different environmental phosphate levels. Our results suggest that the interplay of chromatin and binding-site affinity provides a mechanism for fine-tuning responses to the same cellular state. Moreover, these findings may be a starting point for more detailed models of eukaryotic transcriptional control.
    Nature 06/2008; 453(7192):246-50. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The histone H3 lysine 79 methyltransferase DOT1L/KMT4 can promote an oncogenic pattern of gene expression through binding with several MLL fusion partners found in acute leukemia. However, the normal function of DOT1L in mammalian gene regulation is poorly understood. Here we report that DOT1L recruitment is ubiquitously coupled with active transcription in diverse mammalian cell types. DOT1L preferentially occupies the proximal transcribed region of active genes, correlating with enrichment of H3K79 di- and trimethylation. Furthermore, Dot1l mutant fibroblasts lacked H3K79 di- and trimethylation at all sites examined, indicating that DOT1L is the sole enzyme responsible for these marks. Importantly, we identified chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay conditions necessary for reliable H3K79 methylation detection. ChIP-chip tiling arrays revealed that levels of all degrees of genic H3K79 methylation correlate with mRNA abundance and dynamically respond to changes in gene activity. Conversion of H3K79 monomethylation into di- and trimethylation correlated with the transition from low- to high-level gene transcription. We also observed enrichment of H3K79 monomethylation at intergenic regions occupied by DNA-binding transcriptional activators. Our findings highlight several similarities between the patterning of H3K4 methylation and that of H3K79 methylation in mammalian chromatin, suggesting a widespread mechanism for parallel or sequential recruitment of DOT1L and MLL to genes in their normal "on" state.
    Molecular and cellular biology 05/2008; 28(8):2825-39. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of small molecule ligands for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) has been instrumental in elucidating their biological roles. In particular, agonists have been the focus of much of the research in the field with relatively few antagonists being described and all of those being selective for PPARalpha or PPARgamma. The comparison of these agonist and antagonist ligands in cellular and animal systems has often led to surprising results and new insights into the biology of the PPARs. The PPARbeta/delta receptor is emerging as an important regulator of energy metabolism, inflammation, and cell growth and differentiation; however, only agonist ligands have been described for this receptor thus far. Here we describe the first report of a PPARbeta/delta small molecule antagonist ligand. This antagonist ligand will be a useful tool for elucidating the biological roles of PPARbeta/delta.
    Molecular Endocrinology 03/2008; 22(2):523-9. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    David J Steger, Erin K O'Shea
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    ABSTRACT: Novel discoveries result from genetic analyses of transcription and chromatin remodeling because these methods identify activities in an unbiased manner. By describing our genetic approaches to identify regulators of PHO5 transcription and chromatin remodeling, we hope to encourage others to apply similar strategies to their genes of interest.
    Methods in Enzymology 02/2004; 377:55-60. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromatin remodeling is required for efficient transcription of eukaryotic genes. In a genetic selection for budding yeast mutants that were defective in induction of the phosphate-responsive PHO5 gene, we identified mutations in ARG82/IPK2, which encodes a nuclear inositol polyphosphate kinase. In arg82 mutant strains, remodeling of PHO5 promoter chromatin is impaired, and the adenosine triphosphate-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes SWI/SNF and INO80 are not efficiently recruited to phosphate-responsive promoters. These results suggest a role for the small molecule inositol polyphosphate in the regulation of chromatin remodeling and transcription.
    Science 02/2003; 299(5603):114-6. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We analyzed the targeting of histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complexes by DNA-binding activators during transcriptional activation and the resulting distribution of acetylated histones. An in vitro competition assay was developed to acetylate and transcribe a nucleosomal array template in the presence of excess non-specific chromatin, which mimics in vivo conditions. Stimulation of transcription from the nucleosomal array template under competitive conditions by the SAGA and NuA4 HAT complexes depended on the presence of the Gal4-VP16 activator, which recognizes sites in the promoter and directly interacts with these HATs. Importantly, the stimulation of transcription by SAGA and NuA4 depended on the presence of Gal4-VP16 during histone acetylation, and Gal4-VP16-bound nucleosomal templates were acetylated preferentially by SAGA and NuA4 relative to the competitor chromatin. While targeting of the SAGA complex led to H3 acetylation of promoter-proximal nucleosomes, targeting of the NuA4 complex led to a broader domain of H4 acetylation of >3 kbp. Thus, either promoter-proximal H3 acetylation by SAGA or broadly distributed acetylation of H4 by NuA4 activated transcription from chromatin templates.
    The EMBO Journal 07/2000; 19(11):2629-40. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    H G Tran, D J Steger, V R Iyer, A D Johnson
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    ABSTRACT: CHD proteins are members of the chromo domain family, a class of proteins involved in transcription, DNA degradation and chromatin structure. In higher eukaryotes, there are two distinct subfamilies of CHD proteins: CHD1 and CHD3/4. Analyses carried out in vitro indicate that the CHD3/4 proteins may regulate transcription via alteration of chromatin structure. However, little is known about the role of CHD proteins in vivo, particularly the CHD1 subfamily. To understand better the cellular function of CHD proteins, we initiated a study on the Chd1p protein from budding yeast. Using genomic DNA arrays, we identified genes whose expression is affected by the absence of Chd1p. A synthetic-lethal screen uncovered genetic interactions between SWI/SNF genes and CHD1. Biochemical experiments using Chd1p purified from yeast showed that it reconfigures the structure of nucleosome core particles in a manner distinct from the SWI-SNF complex. Taken together, these results suggest that Chd1p functions as a nucleosome remodeling factor, and that Chd1p may share overlapping roles with the SWI-SNF complex to regulate transcription.
    The EMBO Journal 06/2000; 19(10):2323-31. · 9.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
364.79 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2011
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • • Perelman School of Medicine
      • • Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Division of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
      Cambridge, MA, United States
    • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
      • Division of Hematology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1998–2004
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 1999
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1996–1999
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      University Park, MD, United States
  • 1994
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Department of Reproductive Medicine
      San Diego, CA, United States