Xuejun Jiang

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (37)412.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The mitochondria-mediated caspase activation pathway is a major apoptotic pathway characterized by mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and subsequent release of cytochrome c into the cytoplasm to activate caspases. MOMP is regulated by the Bcl-2 family of proteins. This pathway plays important roles not only in normal development, maintenance of tissue homeostasis and the regulation of immune system, but also in human diseases such as immune disorders, neurodegeneration and cancer. In the past decades the molecular basis of this pathway and the regulatory mechanism have been comprehensively studied, yet a great deal of new evidence indicates that cytochrome c release from mitochondria does not always lead to irreversible cell death, and that caspase activation can also have non-death functions. Thus, many unsolved questions and new challenges are still remaining. Furthermore, the dysfunction of this pathway involved in cancer development is obvious, and targeting the pathway as a therapeutic strategy has been extensively explored, but the efficacy of the targeted therapies is still under development. In this review we will discuss the mitochondria-mediated apoptosis pathway and its physiological roles and therapeutic implications.
    Protein & Cell 07/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The biological function of the PTEN tumor suppressor is mainly attributed to its lipid phosphatase activity. This study demonstrates that mammalian PTEN is a protein tyrosine phosphatase that selectively dephosphorylates insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS1), a mediator of insulin and IGF signals. IGF signaling was defective in cells lacking NEDD4, a PTEN ubiquitin ligase, whereas AKT activation triggered by EGF or serum was unimpaired. Defective IGF signaling caused by NEDD4 deletion, including phosphorylation of IRS1 and AKT, was rescued by PTEN ablation. We demonstrate the nature of PTEN as an IRS1 phosphatase by direct biochemical analysis and cellular reconstitution, showing that NEDD4 supports insulin-mediated glucose metabolism and is required for the proliferation of IGF1 receptor-dependent but not EGF receptor-dependent tumor cells. Thus, PTEN is a protein phosphatase for IRS1, and its antagonism by NEDD4 promotes signaling by IGF and insulin.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 05/2014; · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of selective PI3K and AKT inhibitors were compared in human tumor cell lines in which the pathway is dysregulated. Both caused inhibition of AKT, relief of feedback inhibition of RTKs, and growth arrest. However, only the PI3K inhibitors caused rapid induction of cell death. In seeking a mechanism for this phenomenon, we found that PI3K inhibition, but not AKT inhibition, causes rapid inhibition of wild type RAS and of RAF/MEK/ERK signaling. Inhibition of RAS-ERK signaling is transient, rebounding a few hours after drug addition, and is required for rapid induction of apoptosis. Combined MEK and AKT inhibition also promotes cell death and in murine models of HER2+ cancer, either pulsatile PI3K inhibition or combined MEK and AKT inhibition causes tumor regressions. We conclude that PI3K is upstream of RAS and AKT and that pulsatile inhibition of both pathways is sufficient for effective antitumor activity.
    Cancer Discovery 01/2014; · 10.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Atg1/ULK1 complex plays a central role in starvation-induced autophagy, integrating signals from upstream sensors such as MTOR and AMPK and transducing them to the downstream autophagy pathway. Much progress has been made in the last few years in understanding the mechanisms by which the complex is regulated through protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications, providing insights into how the cell modulates autophagy, particularly in response to nutrient status. However, how the ULK1 complex transduces upstream signals to the downstream central autophagy pathway is still unclear. Although the protein kinase activity of ULK1 is required for its autophagic function, its protein substrate(s) responsible for autophagy activation has not been identified. Furthermore, examples of potential ULK1-independent autophagy have emerged, indicating that under certain specific contexts, the ULK1 complex might be dispensable for autophagy activation. This raises the question of how the autophagic machinery is activated independent of the ULK1 complex and what are the biological functions of such noncanonical autophagy pathways.
    Autophagy 01/2013; 9(2). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a finely orchestrated cellular catabolic process that requires multiple autophagy-related gene products (ATG proteins). The ULK1 complex functions to integrate upstream signals to downstream ATG proteins through an unknown mechanism. Here we have identified an interaction between mammalian FIP200 and ATG16L1, essential components of the ULK1 and ATG5 complexes, respectively. Further analyses show this is a direct interaction mediated by a short domain of ATG16L1 that we term the FIP200-binding domain (FBD). The FBD is not required for ATG16L1 self-dimerization or interaction with ATG5. Notably, an FBD-deleted ATG16L1 mutant is defective in mediating amino acid starvation-induced autophagy, which requires the ULK1 complex. However, this mutant retains its function in supporting glucose deprivation-induced autophagy, a ULK1 complex-independent process. This study therefore identifies a previously uncharacterized interaction between the ULK1 and ATG5 complexes that can distinguish ULK1-dependent and -independent autophagy processes.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 12/2012; · 11.90 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Cell Science 10/2012; 125(Pt 20):4687-92. · 5.88 Impact Factor
  • Noor Gammoh, Paul A Marks, Xuejun Jiang
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    ABSTRACT: Cells respond to cytotoxicity by activating a variety of signal transduction pathways. One pathway frequently upregulated during cytotoxic response is macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy). Previously, we demonstrated that pan-histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, such as the anticancer agent suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, Vorinostat), can induce autophagy. In this study, we show that HDAC inhibition triggers autophagy by suppressing MTOR and activating the autophagic kinase ULK1. Furthermore, autophagy inhibition can sensitize cells to both apoptotic and nonapoptotic cell death induced by SAHA, suggesting the therapeutic potential of autophagy targeting in combination with SAHA therapy. This study also raised a series of questions: What is the role of HDACs in regulating autophagy? Do individual HDACs have distinct functions in autophagy? How do HDACs regulate the nutrient-sensing kinase MTOR? Since SAHA-induced nonapoptotic cell death is not driven by autophagy, what then is the mechanism underlying the apoptosis-independent death? Tackling these questions should lead to a better understanding of autophagy and HDAC biology and contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
    Autophagy 10/2012; 8(10):1521-2. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Caspase inhibition is a promising approach for treating multiple diseases. Using a reconstituted assay and high-throughput screening, we identified a group of nonpeptide caspase inhibitors. These inhibitors share common chemical scaffolds, suggesting the same mechanism of action. They can inhibit apoptosis in various cell types induced by multiple stimuli; they can also inhibit caspase-1-mediated interleukin generation in macrophages, indicating potential anti-inflammatory application. While these compounds inhibit all the tested caspases, kinetic analysis indicates they do not compete for the catalytic sites of the enzymes. The cocrystal structure of one of these compounds with caspase-7 reveals that it binds to the dimerization interface of the caspase, another common structural element shared by all active caspases. Consistently, biochemical analysis demonstrates that the compound abates caspase-8 dimerization. Based on these kinetic, biochemical, and structural analyses, we suggest that these compounds are allosteric caspase inhibitors that function through binding to the dimerization interface of caspases.
    Molecular cell 07/2012; 47(4):585-95. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    Xinjiang Wang, Xuejun Jiang
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    ABSTRACT: Mdm2 regulates the stability, translation, subcellular localization and transcriptional activity of p53 protein. Mdm2-dependent p53 inhibition is essential in regulating p53 activity during embryonic development and in adult tissues. MdmX, an Mdm2 homolog, is also essential for p53 inhibition in vivo. Recent advances in the field from biochemical and genetic studies have revealed an essential role for the MdmX RING domain in Mdm2-dependent p53 polyubiquitination and degradation. Mdm2 on its own is a monoubiquitin E3 ligase for p53, but is converted to a p53 polyubiquitin E3 ligase by MdmX through their RING-RING domain interactions. MdmX acts as an activator as well as a substrate of Mdm2/MdmX E3 complex. The insufficiency of Mdm2 for p53 polyubiquitination also demands other p53 E3 ligases or E4 factors be incorporated into the p53 degradation arena. Deubiquitinases nullify the effects of E3 actions and reverse the ubiquitination process, which permits a diverse and dynamic pattern of p53 stability control. Unsurprisingly, stress signals target MdmX to disengage the p53/Mdm2 feedback loop for timely and appropriate p53 responses to these stresses.
    FEBS letters 05/2012; 586(10):1390-6. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor PTEN is a lipid phosphatase that is frequently mutated in various human cancers. PTEN suppresses tumor cell proliferation, survival, and growth mainly by inhibiting the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway through dephosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate. In addition to it role in tumor suppression, the PTEN-PI3K pathway controls many cellular functions, some of which may be important for cellular resistance to infection. Currently, the intersection between tumorigenic signaling pathways and cellular susceptibility to infection is not well defined. In this study we report that PTEN signaling regulates infection of both noncancerous and cancerous cells by multiple intracellular mycobacterial pathogens and that pharmacological modulation of PTEN signaling can affect mycobacterial infection. We found that PTEN deficiency renders multiple types of cells hyper-susceptible to infection by Mycoplasma and Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The lipid phosphatase activity of PTEN is required for attenuating infection. Furthermore, we found mycobacterial infection activates host cell Akt phosphorylation, and pharmacological inhibition of Akt or PI3K activity reduced levels of intracellular infection. Intriguingly, inhibition of mTOR, one of the downstream components of the Akt signaling and a promising cancer therapeutic target, also lowered intracellular Bacillus Calmette-Guérin levels in mammary epithelial cancer MCF-7 cells. These findings demonstrate a critical role of PTEN-regulated pathways in pathogen infection. The relationship of PTEN-PI3K-Akt mTOR status and susceptibility to mycobacterial infection suggests that the interaction of mycobacterial pathogens with cancer cells may be influenced by genetic alterations in the tumor cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2012; 287(27):23196-202. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a cellular catabolic pathway by which long-lived proteins and damaged organelles are targeted for degradation. Activation of autophagy enhances cellular tolerance to various stresses. Recent studies indicate that a class of anticancer agents, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, can induce autophagy. One of the HDAC inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), is currently being used for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and under clinical trials for multiple other cancer types, including glioblastoma. Here, we show that SAHA increases the expression of the autophagic factor LC3, and inhibits the nutrient-sensing kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). The inactivation of mTOR results in the dephosphorylation, and thus activation, of the autophagic protein kinase ULK1, which is essential for autophagy activation during SAHA treatment. Furthermore, we show that the inhibition of autophagy by RNAi in glioblastoma cells results in an increase in SAHA-induced apoptosis. Importantly, when apoptosis is pharmacologically blocked, SAHA-induced nonapoptotic cell death can also be potentiated by autophagy inhibition. Overall, our findings indicate that SAHA activates autophagy via inhibiting mTOR and up-regulating LC3 expression; autophagy functions as a prosurvival mechanism to mitigate SAHA-induced apoptotic and nonapoptotic cell death, suggesting that targeting autophagy might improve the therapeutic effects of SAHA.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2012; 109(17):6561-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4):1-100. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process);5,6 thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4). · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4):445-544. · 12.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Autophagy 04/2012; 8(4):445. · 12.04 Impact Factor
  • Ian G Ganley, Pui-Mun Wong, Xuejun Jiang
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    ABSTRACT: A close relationship exists between autophagy and endocytosis with both sharing lysosomes as their common end-point. Autophagy even requires a functional endocytic pathway. The point at which the two pathways merge, i.e., fusion of autophagosomes and endosomes with lysosomes is poorly understood. Early work in yeast and more recent studies in mammalian cells suggested that conventional membrane trafficking pathways control the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes; Rab GTPases are required to recruit tethering proteins which in turn coordinate the SNARE family of proteins that directly drive membrane fusion. Some components required for endosomes to fuse with lysosomes are also shared by autophagosomes; both are thought to require the GTPase Rab7 and the homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) complex. Essentially, the autophagosome becomes endosome-like, allowing it to recruit the common fusion machinery to deliver its contents to the lysosome. This raises an interesting question of how the cell determines when the autophagosome is ready to fuse with the endocytic system and bestows upon it the properties required to recruit the fusion machinery. Our recent work has highlighted this conundrum and shown that autophagosome fusion with lysosomes has specific distinctions from the parallel endosomal-lysosomal pathway.
    Autophagy 11/2011; 7(11):1397-9. · 12.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Conjugation of Nedd8 to a cullin protein, termed neddylation, is an evolutionarily conserved process that functions to activate the cullin-RING family E3 ubiquitin ligases, leading to increased proteasomal degradation of a wide range of substrate proteins. Recent emerging evidence demonstrates that cellular neddylation requires the action of Dcn1, which, in humans, consists of five homologues designated as hDCNL1-5. Here we revealed a previously unknown mechanism that regulates hDCNL1. In cultured mammalian cells ectopically expressed hDCNL1 was mono-ubiquitinated predominantly at K143, K149, and K171. Using a classical chromatographic purification strategy, we identified Nedd4-1 as an E3 ligase that can catalyze mono-ubiquitination of hDCNL1 in a reconstituted ubiquitination system. In addition, the hDCNL1 N-terminal ubiquitin-binding domain is necessary and sufficient to mediate mono-ubiquitination. Finally, fluorescence microscopic and subcellular fractionation analyses revealed a role for mono-ubiquitination in driving nuclear export of hDCNL1. Taken together, these results suggest a mono-ubiquitination-mediated mechanism that governs nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of hDCNL1, thereby regulating hDCNL1-dependent activation of the cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligases in selected cellular compartments.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2011; 286(39):34060-70. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macroautophagy mediates the degradation of long-lived proteins and organelles via the de novo formation of double-membrane autophagosomes that sequester cytoplasm and deliver it to the vacuole/lysosome; however, relatively little is known about autophagosome biogenesis. Atg8, a phosphatidylethanolamine-conjugated protein, was previously proposed to function in autophagosome membrane expansion, based on the observation that it mediates liposome tethering and hemifusion in vitro. We show here that with physiological concentrations of phosphatidylethanolamine, Atg8 does not act as a fusogen. Rather, we provide evidence for the involvement of exocytic Q/t-SNAREs in autophagosome formation, acting in the recruitment of key autophagy components to the site of autophagosome formation, and in regulating the organization of Atg9 into tubulovesicular clusters. Additionally, we found that the endosomal Q/t-SNARE Tlg2 and the R/v-SNAREs Sec22 and Ykt6 interact with Sso1-Sec9, and are required for normal Atg9 transport. Thus, multiple SNARE-mediated fusion events are likely to be involved in autophagosome biogenesis.
    Cell 07/2011; 146(2):290-302. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy, a catabolic pathway that delivers cellular components to lysosomes for degradation, can be activated by stressful conditions such as nutrient starvation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. We report that thapsigargin, an ER stressor widely used to induce autophagy, in fact blocks autophagy. Thapsigargin does not affect autophagosome formation but leads to accumulation of mature autophagosomes by blocking autophagosome fusion with the endocytic system. Strikingly, thapsigargin has no effect on endocytosis-mediated degradation of epidermal growth factor receptor. Molecularly, while both Rab7 and Vps16 are essential regulatory components for endocytic fusion with lysosomes, we found that Rab7 but not Vps16 is required for complete autophagy flux, and that thapsigargin blocks recruitment of Rab7 to autophagosomes. Therefore, autophagosomal-lysosomal fusion must be governed by a distinct molecular mechanism compared to general endocytic fusion.
    Molecular cell 06/2011; 42(6):731-43. · 14.61 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
412.12 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2013
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Michigan
      • Life Sciences Institute
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 2011–2012
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      • Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
      Buffalo, NY, United States
    • University of Dundee
      • MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit
      Dundee, SCT, United Kingdom