Gabriel A Rabinovich

University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina

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Publications (176)1108.47 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Galectin-1 (Gal1), a β-galactoside-binding protein abundantly expressed in tumor microenvironments, is associated with the development of metastasis in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). However, the precise roles of Gal1 in HCC cell invasiveness and dissemination are uncertain. Here, we investigated whether Gal1 mediate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HCC cells, a key process during cancer progression. We used the well-differentiated and low invasive HepG2 cells and performed 'gain-of-function' and 'loss-function' experiments by transfecting cells with Gal1 cDNA constructs or by siRNA strategies, respectively. Epithelial and mesenchymal markers expression, changes in apico-basal polarity, independent-anchorage growth and activation of specific signaling pathways were studied using Western blot, fluorescence microscopy, soft-agar assays and FOP/TOP flash reporter system. Gal1 up-regulation in HepG2 cells induced down-regulation of the adherens junction protein E-cadherin and increased expression of the transcription factor Snail, one of the main inducers of EMT in HCC. Enhanced Gal1 expression facilitated the transition from epithelial cell morphology towards a fibroblastoid phenotype and favored up-regulation of the mesenchymal marker vimentin in HCC cells. Cells overexpressing Gal1 showed enhanced anchorage-independent growth and loss of apico-basal polarity. Remarkably, Gal1 promoted Akt activation, β-catenin nuclear translocation, TCF4/LEF1 transcriptional activity and increased cyclin D1 and c-Myc expression, suggesting activation of the Wnt pathway. Furthermore, Gal1 overexpression induced E-cadherin downregulation through a PI3K/Akt-dependent mechanism. Our results provide the first evidence of a role of Gal1 as an inducer of EMT in HCC cells, with critical implications in HCC metastasis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 06/2015; 230(6). DOI:10.1002/jcp.24865 · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are key regulatory cells that control inflammation and promote tumor-immune escape. To date, no specific immunomodulatory drug has proven efficacy in targeting the expansion and/or function of these cells in different pathophysiologic settings. In this study, we identified a context-dependent effect of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin (IND) on MDSCs, depending on whether they were derived from tumor microenvironments (TME) or from tumor-free microenvironments (TFME). Treatment of mice bearing the LP07 lung adenocarcinoma with IND inhibited the suppressive activity of splenic MDSCs, which restrained tumor growth through mechanisms involving CD8(+) T cells. The same effect was observed when MDSCs were treated with IND and conditioned media from LP07 tumor cells in vitro. However, in the absence of a tumor context, IND enhanced the intrinsic suppressive function of MDSCs and amplified their protumoral activity. In a model of autoimmune neuroinflammation, IND-treated MDSCs differentiated in TFME attenuated inflammation, whereas IND-treated MDSCs differentiated in TME aggravated clinical symptoms and delayed resolution of the disease. Mechanistically, IND reduced arginase activity as well as NO and reactive oxygen species production in MDSCs differentiated in TME but not in TFME. Moreover, expression of the C/EBP-β transcription factor isoforms correlated with the suppressive activity of IND-treated MDSCs. Our study unveils the dual and context-dependent action of IND, a drug that serves both as an anti-inflammatory and anticancer agent, which differentially affects MDSC activity whether these cells are derived from TME or TFME. These results have broad clinical implication in cancer, chronic inflammation and autoimmunity. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: Bi-directional crosstalk between the neuroendocrine and immune systems orchestrates immune responses in both physiologic and pathologic settings. In this study, we provide in vivo evidence of a critical role for the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) in controlling the maturation and antitumor functions of dendritic cells (DC). We used a thyroid hormone receptor (TR) β mutant mouse (TRβPV) to establish the relevance of the T3-TRβ system in vivo. In this model, TRβ signaling endowed DC with the ability to stimulate antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cell responses during tumor development. T3 binding to TRβ increased DC viability and augmented DC migration to lymph nodes. Moreover, T3 stimulated the ability of DC to cross-present antigens and to stimulate cytotoxic T cell responses. In a B16-OVA mouse model of melanoma, vaccination with T3-stimulated DC inhibited tumor growth and prolonged host survival, in part by promoting the generation of IFN-γ-producing CD8+ T cells. Overall, our results establish an adjuvant effect of T3-TRβ signaling in DC, suggesting an immediately translatable method to empower DC vaccination approaches for cancer immunotherapy. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.
  • Maria A Romaniuk, Gabriel A Rabinovich, Mirta Schattner
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    ABSTRACT: Platelets are anucleated blood cells derived from megakaryocytes, and although they are essential for proper hemostasis, their function extends to physiologic processes such as tissue repair, wound remodeling, and antimicrobial host defense, or pathologic conditions such as thrombosis, atherosclerosis, chronic inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Recently, we demonstrated that two structurally divergent members of the galectin family, galectin-1 and galectin-8, are potent platelet agonists. The emergence of galectins as soluble mediators capable of triggering platelet activation opens a new field of research that will provide further insights into the mechanisms linking inflammatory responses to thrombus formation and could expand our view of the role of platelets much beyond hemostasis to their pathophysiologic role during inflammation and cancer. The present article details the various protocols and reagents currently used in our laboratory to study the role of galectins in human platelet function.
    Methods in Molecular Biology 01/2015; 1207:269-83. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4939-1396-1_17 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the past decade, a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tumor immunity has provided the appropriate framework for the development of therapeutic strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Under this complex scenario, galectins have emerged as promising molecular targets for cancer therapy responsible of creating immunosuppressive microenvironments at sites of tumor growth and metastasis. Galectins, expressed in tumor, stromal, and endothelial cells, contribute to thwart the development of immune responses by favoring the expansion of T regulatory cells and contributing to their immunosuppressive activity, driving the differentiation of tolerogenic dendritic cells, limiting T cell viability, and maintaining T cell anergy. The emerging data promise a future scenario in which the selective blockade of individual members of the galectin family, either alone or in combination with other therapeutic regimens, will contribute to halt tumor progression by counteracting tumor-immune escape. Here we describe a selection of methods used to investigate the role of galectin-1 in tumor-immune escape.
    Methods in Molecular Biology 01/2015; 1207:249-68. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4939-1396-1_16 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Formation of an aberrant and heterogeneous vascular network is a key pathological event in the multistep process of tumor growth and metastasis. Pro-angiogenic factors are synthesized and released from tumor, stromal, endothelial, and myeloid cells in response to hypoxic and immunosuppressive microenvironments which are commonly found during cancer progression. Emerging data indicate key roles for galectins, particularly galectin-1, -3, -8, and -9 in the regulation of angiogenesis in different pathophysiologic settings. Each galectin interacts with a preferred set of glycosylated receptors, triggers different signaling pathway, and promotes sprouting angiogenesis through different mechanisms. Understanding the role of galectins in tumor neovascularization will contribute to the design of novel anti-angiogenic therapies aimed at complementing current clinical approaches. Here we describe selected strategies and methods used to study the galectin-1 regulation by hypoxia and its role in blood vessel formation.
    Methods in Molecular Biology 01/2015; 1207:293-304. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4939-1396-1_19 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dominant TLR5(R392X) polymorphism abrogates flagellin responses in >7% of humans. We report that TLR5-dependent commensal bacteria drive malignant progression at extramucosal locations by increasing systemic IL-6, which drives mobilization of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Mechanistically, expanded granulocytic MDSCs cause γδ lymphocytes in TLR5-responsive tumors to secrete galectin-1, dampening antitumor immunity and accelerating malignant progression. In contrast, IL-17 is consistently upregulated in TLR5-unresponsive tumor-bearing mice but only accelerates malignant progression in IL-6-unresponsive tumors. Importantly, depletion of commensal bacteria abrogates TLR5-dependent differences in tumor growth. Contrasting differences in inflammatory cytokines and malignant evolution are recapitulated in TLR5-responsive/unresponsive ovarian and breast cancer patients. Therefore, inflammation, antitumor immunity, and the clinical outcome of cancer patients are influenced by a common TLR5 polymorphism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cancer Cell 12/2014; 27(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ccell.2014.11.009 · 23.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During the past decades, anticancer immunotherapy has evolved from a promising therapeutic option to a robust clinical reality. Many immunotherapeutic regimens are now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for use in cancer patients, and many others are being investigated as standalone therapeutic interventions or combined with conventional treatments in clinical studies. Immunotherapies may be subdivided into "passive" and "active" based on their ability to engage the host immune system against cancer. Since the anticancer activity of most passive immunotherapeutics (including tumor-targeting monoclonal antibodies) also relies on the host immune system, this classification does not properly reflect the complexity of the drug-host-tumor interaction. Alternatively, anticancer immunotherapeutics can be classified according to their antigen specificity. While some immunotherapies specifically target one (or a few) defined tumor-associated antigen(s), others operate in a relatively non-specific manner and boost natural or therapy-elicited anticancer immune responses of unknown and often broad specificity. Here, we propose a critical, integrated classification of anticancer immunotherapies and discuss the clinical relevance of these approaches.
    Oncotarget 12/2014; 5(24). · 6.63 Impact Factor
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    Victor L Thijssen, Gabriel A Rabinovich
    Glycobiology 12/2014; 24(12):1235-6. DOI:10.1093/glycob/cwu093 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus that causes severe pelvic pain and infertility in women of reproductive age. Although not completely understood, the pathophysiology of the disease involves chronic dysregulation of inflammatory and vascular signaling. In the quest for novel therapeutic targets, we investigated the involvement of galectin-1 (Gal-1), an endogenous glycan-binding protein endowed with both immunosuppressive and pro-angiogenic activities, in the pathophysiology of endometriotic lesions. Here we show that Gal-1 is selectively expressed in stromal and endothelial cells of human endometriotic lesions. Using an experimental endometriosis model induced in wild-type and Gal-1-deficient (Lgals1−/−) mice, we showed that this lectin orchestrates the formation of vascular networks in endometriotic lesions in vivo, facilitating their ectopic growth independently of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the keratinocyte-derived CXC-motif (CXC-KC) chemokine. Targeting Gal-1 using a specific neutralizing mAb reduced the size and vascularized area of endometriotic lesions within the peritoneal compartment. These results underline the essential role of Gal-1 during endometriosis and validate this lectin as a possible target for the treatment of disease.
    The Journal of Pathology 11/2014; 234(3). DOI:10.1002/path.4397 · 7.33 Impact Factor
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    Gabriel A Rabinovich, Victor L Thijssen
    Glycobiology 10/2014; 24(10):885. DOI:10.1093/glycob/cwu081 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Galectin-1 (Gal1), a carbohydrate-binding protein is implicated in cancer cell proliferation, invasion and tumour angiogenesis. Several Gal1-targeting compounds have recently emerged. OTX008 is a calixarene derivative designed to bind the Gal1 amphipathic β-sheet conformation. Our study contributes to the current understanding of the role of Gal1 in cancer progression, providing mechanistic insights into the anti-tumoural activity of a novel small molecule Gal1-inhibitor. Methods We evaluated in vitro OTX008 effects in a panel of human cancer cell lines. For in vivo studies, an ovarian xenograft model was employed to analyse the antitumour activity. Finally, combination studies were performed to analyse potential synergistic effects of OTX008. Results In cultured cancer cells, OTX008 inhibited proliferation and invasion at micromolar concentrations. Antiproliferative effects correlated with Gal1 expression across a large panel of cell lines. Furthermore, cell lines expressing epithelial differentiation markers were more sensitive than mesenchymal cells to OTX008. In SQ20B and A2780-1A9 cells, OTX008 inhibited Gal1 expression and ERK1/2 and AKT-dependent survival pathways, and induced G2/M cell cycle arrest through CDK1. OTX008 enhanced the antiproliferative effects of Semaphorin-3A (Sema3A) in SQ20B cells and reversed invasion induced by exogenous Gal1. In vivo, OTX008 inhibited growth of A2780-1A9 xenografts. OTX008 treatment was associated with downregulation of Gal1 and Ki67 in treated tumours, as well as decreased microvessel density and VEGFR2 expression. Finally, combination studies showed OTX008 synergy with several cytotoxic and targeted therapies, principally when OTX008 was administered first. Conclusion This study provides insights into the role of Gal1 in cancer progression as well as OTX008 mechanism of action, and supports its further development as an anticancer agent.
    European Journal of Cancer 09/2014; 50(14). DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.06.015 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abnormal glycosylation is a typical hallmark of the transition from healthy to neoplastic tissues. Although the importance of glycans and glycan-binding proteins in cancer-related processes such as tumor cell adhesion, migration, metastasis and immune escape has been largely appreciated, our awareness of the impact of lectin-glycan recognition in tumor vascularization is relatively new. Regulated glycosylation can influence vascular biology by controlling trafficking, endocytosis and signaling of endothelial cell (EC) receptors including vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs), platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM), Notch and integrins. In addition, glycans may control angiogenesis by regulating migration of endothelial tip cells and influencing EC survival and vascular permeability. Recent evidence indicated that changes in the EC surface glycome may also serve 'on-and-off' switches that control galectin binding to signaling receptors by displaying or masking specific glycan epitopes. These glycosylation-depedent lectin-receptor interactions can link tumor hypoxia to EC signaling and control tumor sensitivity to anti-angiogenic treatment.
    Glycobiology 08/2014; 24(12). DOI:10.1093/glycob/cwu083 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galectin-8 (gal-8) is a 'tandem-repeat'-type galectin, containing two carbohydrate recognition domains connected by a linker peptide. gal-8 is expressed both in the cytoplasm and nucleus in vascular endothelial cells from normal and tumor-associated blood vessels, and in lymphatic endothelial cells. Herein we describe a novel role for gal-8 in the regulation of vascular and lymphatic angiogenesis and provide evidence of its critical implications in tumor biology. Functional assays revealed central roles for gal-8 in the control of capillary-tube formation, endothelial cell migration, and in vivo angiogenesis. So far, two endothelial ligands have been described for gal-8, namely podoplanin in lymphatic vessels and CD166 (ALCAM, activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule) in vascular endothelial cells. Other related gal-8 functions are also summarized here including cell adhesion and migration, which collectively demonstrate the multi-functionality of this complex lectin. Thus, gal-8 is an important component of the angiogenesis network, and an essential molecule in the extracellular matrix by providing molecular anchoring to this surrounding matrix. The implications of gal-8 in tumor angiogenesis remain to be further explored, but it is exciting to speculate that modulating gal-8-glycan interactions could be used to block lymphatic-vascular connections vital for metastasis.
    Glycobiology 06/2014; 24(10). DOI:10.1093/glycob/cwu054 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive degenerative disorder of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by inflammation, demyelination and axonal loss. While the majority of MS patients experience relapsing-remitting symptoms followed by a secondary progressive phase, about 10-15% patients exhibit a primary progressive disease involving continuous progression from its onset. Here we review the role of lectin-glycan recognition systems, including those concerning siglecs, C-type lectins and galectins in the pathogenesis of MS and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Particularly, we will focus on the role of galectins in the fate of T cells, dendritic cells and CNS cell populations. Understanding the regulatory circuits governed by lectin-glycan interactions and their association with disease-associated cytokine networks will contribute to develop novel therapeutic strategies in MS.
    Cytokine & growth factor reviews 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.cytogfr.2014.02.003 · 6.54 Impact Factor
  • Gastroenterology 05/2014; 146(5):S-642. DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(14)62330-1 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelets contribute to vessel formation through the release of angiogenesis-modulating factors stored in their α-granules. Galectins, a family of lectins that bind β-galactoside residues, are up-regulated in inflammatory and cancerous tissues, trigger platelet activation and mediate vascularization processes. Here we aimed to elucidate whether the release of platelet-derived proangiogenic molecules could represent an alternative mechanism through which galectins promote neovascularization. We show that different members of the galectin family can selectively regulate the release of angiogenic molecules by human platelets. Whereas Galectin (Gal)-1, -3, and -8 triggered vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) release, only Gal-8 induced endostatin secretion. Release of VEGF induced by Gal-8 was partially prevented by COX-1, PKC, p38 and Src kinases inhibitors, whereas Gal-1-induced VEGF secretion was inhibited by PKC and ERK blockade, and Gal-3 triggered VEGF release selectively through a PKC-dependent pathway. Regarding endostatin, Gal-8 failed to stimulate its release in the presence of PKC, Src and ERK inhibitors, whereas aspirin or p38 inhibitor had no effect on endostatin release. Despite VEGF or endostatin secretion, platelet releasates generated by stimulation with each galectin stimulated angiogenic responses in vitro including endothelial cell proliferation and tubulogenesis. The platelet angiogenic activity was independent of VEGF and was attributed to the concerted action of other proangiogenic molecules distinctly released by each galectin. Thus, secretion of platelet-derived angiogenic molecules may represent an alternative mechanism by which galectins promote angiogenic responses and its selective blockade may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for angiogenesis-related diseases.
    PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e96402. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0096402 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galectin-8 (Gal-8) is a 'tandem-repeat'-type galectin, which possesses two carbohydrate recognition domains connected by a linker peptide. Gal-8 complexity is related to the alternative splicing of its mRNA precursor, which is known to generate isoforms. Regarding its carbohydrate-binding specificity, Gal-8 has a unique feature among galectins, since its C-terminal domain has higher affinity for N-glycan-type branched oligosaccharides, while its N-terminal domain shows strong affinity for α2-3-sialylated or 3'-sulfated β-galactosides. We integrate here the available information on Gal-8 expression in different tumor types and attempt to elucidate associations of its expression and localization with tumor progression with the overarching goal of analyzing its potential applications in diagnosis and prognosis. Differential diagnosis is still a prime concern in tumor pathology, and Gal-8 could be of great value in some types of primary or secondary tumors (i.e. papillary thyroid carcinoma, advanced colon carcinoma from patients with distant metastases, or metastases from primary lung carcinoma). The prognostic value of Gal-8 has been described for laryngeal carcinoma as well as advanced colon carcinoma. Further studies are needed to explain the relevance of Gal-8 and its isoforms in tumor pathology and their different intra- or extracellular roles (cytoplasmic, nuclear or extracellular) in tumor biology.
    Histology and histopathology 03/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The clinical benefit conferred by vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF)-targeted therapies is variable, and tumors from treated patients eventually reinitiate growth. Here, we identify a glycosylation-dependent pathway that compensates for the absence of cognate ligand and preserves angiogenesis in response to VEGF blockade. Remodeling of the endothelial cell (EC) surface glycome selectively regulated binding of galectin-1 (Gal1), which upon recognition of complex N-glycans on VEGFR2, activated VEGF-like signaling. Vessels within anti-VEGF-sensitive tumors exhibited high levels of α2-6-linked sialic acid, which prevented Gal1 binding. In contrast, anti-VEGF refractory tumors secreted increased Gal1 and their associated vasculature displayed glycosylation patterns that facilitated Gal1-EC interactions. Interruption of β1-6GlcNAc branching in ECs or silencing of tumor-derived Gal1 converted refractory into anti-VEGF-sensitive tumors, whereas elimination of α2-6-linked sialic acid conferred resistance to anti-VEGF. Disruption of the Gal1-N-glycan axis promoted vascular remodeling, immune cell influx and tumor growth inhibition. Thus, targeting glycosylation-dependent lectin-receptor interactions may increase the efficacy of anti-VEGF treatment. PAPERFLICK:
    Cell 02/2014; 156(4):744-58. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2014.01.043 · 33.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galectin-1 (Gal-1), a member of a family of multifunctional lectins, plays key roles in diverse biological processes including cell signalling, immunomodulation, neuroprotection and angiogenesis. The presence of an unusual number of six cysteine residues within Gal-1 sequence prompted a detailed analysis of the impact of the redox environment on the functional activity of this lectin. We examined the role of each cysteine residue in the structure and function of Gal-1 using both experimental and computational approaches. Our results show that: (i) only three cysteine residues present in each carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) (Cys2, Cys16 and Cys88) were important in protein oxidation, (ii) oxidation promoted the formation of the Cys16-Cys88 disulfide bond, as well as multimers through Cys2, (iii) the oxidized protein did not bind to lactose, probably due to poor interactions with Arg48 and Glu71, (iv) in vitro oxidation by air was completely reversible and (v) oxidation by hydrogen peroxide was relatively slow (1.7±0.2 M(-1) s(-1) at pH 7.4 and 25 °C). Finally, an analysis of key cysteines in other human galectins is also provided in order to predict their behaviour in response to redox variations. Collectively, our data provide new insights into the structural basis of Gal-1 redox regulation with critical implications in physiology and pathology.
    Glycobiology 01/2014; DOI:10.1093/glycob/cwu008 · 3.75 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,108.47 Total Impact Points


  • 2000–2015
    • University of Buenos Aires
      • • Biological Chemistry Department
      • • Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Department of Microbiology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
  • 2007–2014
    • Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
    • National Scientific and Technical Research Council
      • IBYME - Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Hospital de Clínicas (Argentina)
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
  • 2012
    • National University of General San Martín
      San Martín, San Juan, Argentina
  • 2011
    • IVI Buenos Aires
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
  • 1999–2011
    • National University of Cordoba, Argentina
      • • Center of Electronic Microscopy
      • • Center for Research in Clinic Biochemistry and Immunology (CIBICI)
      • • Department of Clinical Biochemistry
      Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina
  • 2010
    • Julphar School of Pharmacy
      Richmond, California, United States
    • Universidad Nacional de San Luis
      San Luis, San Luis, Argentina
  • 2009
    • Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara
      Chieta, Abruzzo, Italy
  • 2008
    • VU University Medical Center
      • Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2005
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Dermatology
      Davis, CA, United States