P Agre

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (239)2071.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Anopheles gambiae is a major vector mosquito for Plasmodium falciparum, the deadly pathogen causing most human malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Synthesized in the fat body, trehalose is the predominant sugar in mosquito hemolymph. It not only provides energy but also protects the mosquito against desiccation and heat stresses. Trehalose enters the mosquito hemolymph by the trehalose transporter AgTreT1. In adult female A. gambiae, AgTreT1 is predominantly expressed in the fat body. We found that AgTreT1 expression is induced by environmental stresses such as low humidity or elevated temperature. AgTreT1 RNA silencing reduces the hemolymph trehalose concentration by 40%, and the mosquitoes succumb sooner after exposure to desiccation or heat. After an infectious blood meal, AgTreT1 RNA silencing reduces the number of P. falciparum oocysts in the mosquito midgut by over 70% compared with mock-injected mosquitoes. These data reveal important roles for AgTreT1 in stress adaptation and malaria pathogen development in a major vector mosquito. Thus, AgTreT1 may be a potential target for malaria vector control.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporin (AQP) water channels are important for water homeostasis in all organisms. Malaria transmission is dependent on Anopheles mosquitoes. Water balance is a major factor influencing mosquito survival, which may indirectly affect pathogen transmission. We obtained full-length mRNA sequences for Anopheles gambiae aquaporin 1 (AgAQP1) and identified two splice variants for the gene. In vitro expression analysis showed that both variants transported water and were inhibited by Hg(2+). One splice variant (AgAQP1A) was exclusively expressed in adult female ovaries indicating a function in mosquito reproduction. The other splice variant (AgAQP1B) was expressed in the midgut, malpighian tubules and the head in adult mosquitoes. Immunolabeling showed that in malpighian tubules, AgAQP1 is expressed in principal cells in the proximal portion and in stellate cells in the distal portion. Moreover, AgAQP1 is expressed in Johnston's organ (the "ear"), which is important for courtship behavior. These results suggest that AgAQP1 may play roles associated with mating (courtship) and reproduction in addition to water homeostasis in this important African malaria vector.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75888. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tragically common among children in sub-Saharan Africa, cerebral malaria is characterized by rapid progression to coma and death. In this study, we used a model of cerebral malaria appearing in C57BL/6 WT mice after infection with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei ANKA. Expression and cellular localization of the brain water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4) was investigated during the neurological syndrome. Semiquantitative real-time PCR comparing uninfected and infected mice showed a reduction of brain AQP4 transcript in cerebral malaria, and immunoblots revealed reduction of brain AQP4 protein. Reduction of brain AQP4 protein was confirmed in cerebral malaria by quantitative immunogold EM; however, polarized distribution of AQP4 at the perivascular and subpial astrocyte membranes was not altered. To further examine the role of AQP4 in cerebral malaria, WT mice and littermates genetically deficient in AQP4 were infected with P. berghei. Upon development of cerebral malaria, WT and AQP4-null mice exhibited similar increases in width of perivascular astroglial end-feet in brain. Nevertheless, the AQP4-null mice exhibited more severe signs of cerebral malaria with greater brain edema, although disruption of the blood-brain barrier was similar in both groups. In longitudinal studies, cerebral malaria appeared nearly 1 d earlier in the AQP4-null mice, and reduced survival was noted when chloroquine rescue was attempted. We conclude that the water channel AQP4 confers partial protection against cerebral malaria.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2012; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surveillance for drug-resistant parasites in human blood is a major effort in malaria control. Here we report contrasting antifolate resistance polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum when parasites in human blood were compared with parasites in Anopheles vector mosquitoes from sleeping huts in rural Zambia. DNA encoding P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (EC was amplified by PCR with allele-specific restriction enzyme digestions. Markedly prevalent pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were evident in human P. falciparum infections--S108N (>90%), with N51I, C59R, and 108N+51I+59R triple mutants (30-80%). This resistance level may be from selection pressure due to decades of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use in the region. In contrast, cycloguanil-resistant mutants were detected in very low frequency in parasites from human blood samples-S108T (13%), with A16V and 108T+16V double mutants (∼4%). Surprisingly, pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were of very low prevalence (2-12%) in the midguts of Anopheles arabiensis vector mosquitoes, but cycloguanil-resistant mutants were highly prevalent-S108T (90%), with A16V and the 108T+16V double mutant (49-57%). Structural analysis of the dihydrofolate reductase by in silico modeling revealed a key difference in the enzyme within the NADPH binding pocket, predicting the S108N enzyme to have reduced stability but the S108T enzyme to have increased stability. We conclude that P. falciparum can bear highly host-specific drug-resistant polymorphisms, most likely reflecting different selective pressures found in humans and mosquitoes. Thus, it may be useful to sample both human and mosquito vector infections to accurately ascertain the epidemiological status of drug-resistant alleles.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 108(46):18796-801. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Altered patterns of malaria endemicity reflect, in part, changes in feeding behavior and climate adaptation of mosquito vectors. Aquaporin (AQP) water channels are found throughout nature and confer high-capacity water flow through cell membranes. The genome of the major malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae contains at least seven putative AQP sequences. Anticipating that transmembrane water movements are important during the life cycle of A. gambiae, we identified and characterized the A. gambiae aquaporin 1 (AgAQP1) protein that is homologous to AQPs known in humans, Drosophila, and sap-sucking insects. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, AgAQP1 transports water but not glycerol. Similar to mammalian AQPs, water permeation of AgAQP1 is inhibited by HgCl(2) and tetraethylammonium, with Tyr185 conferring tetraethylammonium sensitivity. AgAQP1 is more highly expressed in adult female A. gambiae mosquitoes than in males. Expression is high in gut, ovaries, and Malpighian tubules where immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that AgAQP1 resides in stellate cells but not principal cells. AgAQP1 expression is up-regulated in fat body and ovary by blood feeding but not by sugar feeding, and it is reduced by exposure to a dehydrating environment (42% relative humidity). RNA interference reduces AgAQP1 mRNA and protein levels. In a desiccating environment (<20% relative humidity), mosquitoes with reduced AgAQP1 protein survive significantly longer than controls. These studies support a role for AgAQP1 in water homeostasis during blood feeding and humidity adaptation of A. gambiae, a major mosquito vector of human malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2011; 108(15):6062-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of ethanol and acetaldehyde on uptake of glycerol and on cell size of hepatocytes and a role Aquaporin 9 (AQP9), a glycerol transport channel, were evaluated. The studies were done in primary rat and mouse hepatocytes. The uptake of [(14) C] glycerol was determined with hepatocytes in suspension. For determination of cell size, rat hepatocytes on coated dishes were incubated with a lipophilic fluorochrome that is incorporated into the cell membrane and examined by confocal microscopy. A three-dimensional z scan of the cell was performed, and the middle slice of the z scan was used for area measurements. Acute exposure to acetaldehyde, but not to ethanol, causes a rapid increase in the uptake of glycerol and an increase in hepatocyte size, which was inhibited by HgCl(2) , an inhibitor of aquaporins. This was not observed in hepatocytes from AQP9 knockout mice, nor observed by direct application of acetaldehyde to AQP9 expressed in Xenopus Laevis oocytes. Prolonged 24-hour exposure to either acetaldehyde or ethanol did not result in an increase in glycerol uptake by rat hepatocytes. Acetaldehyde decreased AQP9 mRNA and AQP9 protein, while ethanol decreased AQP9 mRNA but not AQP9 protein. Ethanol, but not acetaldehyde, increased the activities of glycerol kinase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. The acute effects of acetaldehyde, while mediated by AQP9, are probably influenced by binding of acetaldehyde to hepatocyte membranes and changes in cell permeability. The effects of ethanol in enhancing glucose kinase, and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase leading to increased formation of glycerol-3-phosphate most likely contribute to alcoholic fatty liver.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 02/2011; 35(5):939-45. · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • Peter Agre
    Science 01/2011; 331(6016):416-421. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2011; 15. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Peter Agre
    Science 01/2011; 331(6016):416-21. · 31.20 Impact Factor
  • Peter Agre, Alan I Leshner
    Science 02/2010; 327(5968):921. · 31.20 Impact Factor
  • Peter Agre, Alan I. Leshner
    Science 01/2010; 327(5968). · 31.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expressed in liver, aquaglyceroporin-9 (AQP9) is permeated by glycerol, arsenite, and other small, neutral solutes. To evaluate a possible protective role, AQP9-null mice were evaluated for in vivo arsenic toxicity. After injection with NaAsO(2), AQP9-null mice suffer reduced survival rates (LD(50), 12 mg/kg) compared with WT mice (LD(50), 15 mg/kg). The highest tissue level of arsenic is in heart, with AQP9-null mice accumulating 10-20 times more arsenic than WT mice. Within hours after NaAsO(2) injection, AQP9-null mice sustain profound bradycardia, despite normal serum electrolytes. Increased arsenic levels are also present in liver, lung, spleen, and testis of AQP9-null mice. Arsenic levels in the feces and urine of AQP9-null mice are only approximately 10% of the WT levels, and reduced clearance of multiple arsenic species by the AQP9-null mice suggests that AQP9 is involved in the export of multiple forms of arsenic. Immunohistochemical staining of liver sections revealed that AQP9 is most abundant in basolateral membrane of hepatocytes adjacent to the sinusoids. AQP9 is not detected in heart or kidney by PCR or immunohistochemistry. We propose that AQP9 provides a route for excretion of arsenic by the liver, thereby providing partial protection of the whole animal from arsenic toxicity.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2009; 106(37):15956-60. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporin 6 (AQP6) is an anion channel that is expressed primarily in acid secreting alpha-intercalated cells of the kidney collecting duct. In addition, AQP6 anion channel permeability is gated by low pH. Inspection of the N-terminus of AQP6 revealed a putative calmodulin binding site. AQP6-expressing CHO-K1 cell lysates were mixed with calmodulin beads and AQP6 was pulled down in the presence of calcium. Mutagenesis of the N-terminal calmodulin binding site in full length mouse AQP6 resulted in a loss of calmodulin binding activity. Mouse and human AQP6 calmodulin binding site peptides bound dansyl-calmodulin with a dissociation constant of approximately 1microM. The binding of AQP6 to calmodulin may be an important key to determining the physiological role of AQP6 in the kidney.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2009; 383(1):54-7. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoclasts are multinucleated bone-resorbing cells responsible for constant remodeling of bone tissue and for maintaining calcium homeostasis. The osteoclast creates an enclosed space, a lacuna, between their ruffled border membrane and the mineralized bone. They extrude H(+) and Cl(-) into these lacunae by the combined action of vesicular H(+)-ATPases and ClC-7 exchangers to dissolve the hydroxyapatite of bone matrix. Along with intracellular production of H(+) and HCO(3)(-) by carbonic anhydrase II, the H(+)-ATPases and ClC-7 exchangers seems prerequisite for bone resorption, because genetic disruption of either of these proteins leads to osteopetrosis. We aimed to complete the molecular model for lacunar acidification, hypothesizing that a HCO(3)(-) extruding and Cl(-) loading anion exchange protein (Ae) would be necessary to sustain bone resorption. The Ae proteins can provide both intracellular pH neutrality and serve as cellular entry mechanism for Cl(-) during bone resorption. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Ae2 is exclusively expressed at the contra-lacunar plasma membrane domain of mouse osteoclast. Severe osteopetrosis was encountered in Ae2 knockout (Ae2-/-) mice where the skeletal development was impaired with a higher diffuse radio-density on x-ray examination and the bone marrow cavity was occupied by irregular bone speculae. Furthermore, osteoclasts in Ae2-/- mice were dramatically enlarged and fail to form the normal ruffled border facing the lacunae. Thus, Ae2 is likely to be an essential component of the bone resorption mechanism in osteoclasts.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 106(5):1638-41. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Jennifer M Carbrey, Peter Agre
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    ABSTRACT: The study of water transport began long before the molecular identification of water channels with studies of water-permeable tissues. The discovery of the first aquaporin, AQP1, occurred during experiments focused on the identity of the Rh blood group antigens. Since then the field has expanded dramatically to study aquaporins in all types of organisms. In mammals, some of the aquaporins transport only water. However, there are some family members that collectively transport a diverse set of solutes. The aquaporins can be regulated by factors that affect channel permeability or subcellular localization. An extensive set of studies examines the physiological role of many of the mammalian aquaporins. However, much is still to be discovered about the physiological role of this membrane protein family.
    Handbook of experimental pharmacology 02/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: Osteoclasts are cells specialized for bone resorption and play important roles in bone growth and calcium homoeostasis. Differentiation of osteoclasts involves fusion of bone marrow macrophage mononuclear precursors in response to extracellular signals. A dramatic increase in osteoclast cell volume occurs during osteoclast biogenesis and is believed to be mediated by AQP9 (aquaporin 9), a membrane protein that can rapidly transport water and other small neutral solutes across cell membranes. In the present study we report an increase in expression of AQP9 during differentiation of a mouse macrophage cell line into osteoclasts. Bone marrow macrophages from wild-type and AQP9-null mice differentiate into osteoclasts that have similar morphology, contain comparable numbers of nuclei, and digest synthetic bone to the same extent. Bones from wild-type and AQP9-null mice contain similar numbers of osteoclasts and have comparable density and structure as measured by X-ray absorptiometry and microcomputed tomography. Our results confirm that AQP9 expression rises during osteoclast biogenesis, but indicate that AQP9 is not essential for osteoclast function or differentiation under normal physiological conditions.
    Biology of the Cell 08/2008; 101(3):133-40. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mercurials inhibit AQPs (aquaporins), and site-directed mutagenesis has identified Cys(189) as a site of the mercurial inhibition of AQP1. On the other hand, AQP4 has been considered to be a mercury-insensitive water channel because it does not have the reactive cysteine residue corresponding to Cys(189) of AQP1. Indeed, the osmotic water permeability (P(f)) of AQP4 expressed in various types of cells, including Xenopus oocytes, is not inhibited by HgCl2. To examine the direct effects of mercurials on AQP4 in a proteoliposome reconstitution system, His-tagged rAQP4 [corrected] (rat AQP4) M23 was expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, purified with an Ni2+-nitrilotriacetate affinity column, and reconstituted into liposomes with the dilution method. The water permeability of AQP4 proteoliposomes with or without HgCl2 was measured with a stopped-flow apparatus. Surprisingly, the P(f) of AQP4 proteoliposomes was significantly decreased by 5 microM HgCl2 within 30 s, and this effect was completely reversed by 2-mercaptoethanol. The dose- and time-dependent inhibitory effects of Hg2+ suggest that the sensitivity to mercury of AQP4 is different from that of AQP1. Site-directed mutagenesis of six cysteine residues of AQP4 demonstrated that Cys(178), which is located at loop D facing the intracellular side, is a target responding to Hg2+. We confirmed that AQP4 is reconstituted into liposome in a bidirectional orientation. Our results suggest that mercury inhibits the P(f) of AQP4 by mechanisms different from those for AQP1 and that AQP4 may be gated by modification of a cysteine residue in cytoplasmic loop D.
    Biology of the Cell 07/2008; 100(6):355-63. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lithium is a commonly prescribed mood-stabilizing drug. However, chronic treatment with lithium induces numerous kidney-related side effects, such as dramatically reduced aquaporin 2 (AQP2) abundance, altered renal function, and structural changes. As a model system, inner medullary collecting ducts (IMCD) isolated from rats treated with lithium for either 1 or 2 weeks were subjected to differential 2D gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry and bioinformatics analysis to identify (i) signaling pathways affected by lithium and (ii) unique candidate proteins for AQP2 regulation. After 1 or 2 weeks of lithium treatment, we identified 6 and 74 proteins with altered abundance compared with controls, respectively. We randomly selected 17 proteins with altered abundance caused by lithium treatment for validation by immunoblotting. Bioinformatics analysis of the data indicated that proteins involved in cell death, apoptosis, cell proliferation, and morphology are highly affected by lithium. We demonstrate that members of several signaling pathways are activated by lithium treatment, including the PKB/Akt-kinase and the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), such as extracellular regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38. Lithium treatment increased the intracellular accumulation of beta-catenin in association with increased levels of phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase type 3beta (GSK3beta). This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the proteins affected by lithium treatment in the IMCD and, as such, provides clues to potential lithium targets in the brain.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2008; 105(9):3634-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human and rodent erythrocytes are known to be highly permeable to glycerol. Aquaglyceroporin aquaporin (AQP)3 is the major glycerol channel in human and rat erythrocytes. However, AQP3 expression has not been observed in mouse erythrocytes. Here we report the presence of an aquaglyceroporin, AQP9, in mouse erythrocytes. AQP9 levels rise as reticulocytes mature into erythrocytes and as neonatal pups develop into adult mice. Mice bearing targeted disruption of both alleles encoding AQP9 have erythrocytes that appear morphologically normal. Compared with WT cells, erythrocytes from AQP9-null mice are defective in rapid glycerol transport across the cell membrane when measured by osmotic lysis, [(14)C]glycerol uptake, or stopped-flow light scattering. In contrast, the water and urea permeabilities are intact. Although the physiological role of glycerol in the normal function of erythrocytes is not clear, plasma glycerol is an important substrate for lipid biosynthesis of intraerythrocytic malarial parasites. AQP9-null mice at the age of 4 months infected with Plasmodium berghei survive longer during the initial phase of infection compared with WT mice. We conclude that AQP9 is the major glycerol channel in mouse erythrocytes and suggest that this transport pathway may contribute to the virulence of intraerythrocytic stages of malarial infection.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2007; 104(30):12560-4. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporin channels facilitate the transport of water, glycerol, and other small solutes across cell membranes. The physiological roles of many aquaporins remain unclear. To better understand aquaporin function, we characterized the aquaporin gene family in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Eight canonical aquaporin-encoding genes (aqp) are present in the worm genome. Expression of aqp-2, aqp-3, aqp-4, aqp-6, or aqp-7 in Xenopus oocytes increased water permeability five- to sevenfold. Glycerol permeability was increased three to sevenfold by expression of aqp-1, aqp-3, or aqp-7. Green fluorescent protein transcriptional and translational reporters demonstrated that aqp genes are expressed in numerous C. elegans cell types, including the intestine, excretory cell, and hypodermis, which play important roles in whole animal osmoregulation. To define the role of C. elegans aquaporins in osmotic homeostasis, we isolated deletion alleles for four aqp genes, aqp-2, aqp-3, aqp-4, and aqp-8, which are expressed in osmoregulatory tissues and mediate water transport. Single, double, triple, and quadruple aqp mutant animals exhibited normal survival, development, growth, fertility, and movement under normal and hypertonic culture conditions. aqp-2;aqp-3;aqp-4;aqp-8 quadruple mutants exhibited a slight defect in recovery from hypotonic stress but survived hypotonic stress as well as wild-type animals. These results suggest that C. elegans aquaporins are not essential for whole animal osmoregulation and/or that deletion of aquaporin genes activates mechanisms that compensate for loss of water channel function.
    AJP Cell Physiology 06/2007; 292(5):C1867-73. · 3.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

19k Citations
2,071.71 Total Impact Points


  • 1988–2013
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
      • • Department of Biological Chemistry
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • University of Rochester
      • School of Medicine and Dentistry
      Rochester, NY, United States
  • 2011
    • Harbin Medical University
      Charbin, Heilongjiang Sheng, China
    • Malaria Institute at Macha
      Choma, Southern, Zambia
  • 2009–2011
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1988–2011
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • • Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
      • • Department of Biological Chemistry
      • • Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2006–2009
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • Department of Cell Biology
      Durham, NC, United States
  • 2007
    • Duke University
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 1993–2007
    • Aarhus University
      • • MR Research Centre
      • • Institute of Anatomy
      Aars, Region North Jutland, Denmark
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States
  • 2005
    • The University of Tokushima
      • Department of Medical Pharmacology
      Tokusima, Tokushima, Japan
  • 2004
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States
    • University of Debrecen
      • Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology
      Debrecen, Hajdu-Bihar, Hungary
  • 2001
    • Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2000
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1997–1999
    • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
      • Mayo Medical School
      Scottsdale, AZ, United States
    • Université Libre de Bruxelles
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital Region, Belgium
  • 1994–1999
    • Universität Basel
      • Department of Biophysical Chemistry
      Basel, BS, Switzerland
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Hospital Internal Medicine
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
      Boston, MA, United States
    • University of California, San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1998
    • Colorado State University
      • Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
      Fort Collins, CO, United States
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1997–1998
    • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
      • Dipartimento di Biologia
      Bari, Apulia, Italy
  • 1996–1998
    • University of Oslo
      • Department of Anatomy
      Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 1995
    • Radboud University Nijmegen
      • Department of Physiology
      Nijmegen, Provincie Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 1988–1993
    • Institut National de la Transfusion Sanguine, Paris
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 1990
    • Yale University
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      New Haven, CT, United States
  • 1988–1990
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      San Francisco, CA, United States