I L Weissman

Stanford Medicine, Stanford, California, United States

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Publications (716)7782.44 Total impact

  • Experimental hematology. 08/2014; 42(8S):S24.
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    ABSTRACT: The requirement and influence of the peripheral nervous system on tissue replacement in mammalian appendages remain largely undefined. To explore this question, we have performed genetic lineage tracing and clonal analysis of individual cells of mouse hind limb tissues devoid of nerve supply during regeneration of the digit tip, normal maintenance, and cutaneous wound healing. We show that cellular turnover, replacement, and cellular differentiation from presumed tissue stem/progenitor cells within hind limb tissues remain largely intact independent of nerve and nerve-derived factors. However, regenerated digit tips in the absence of nerves displayed patterning defects in bone and nail matrix. These nerve-dependent phenotypes mimic clinical observations of patients with nerve damage resulting from spinal cord injury and are of significant interest for translational medicine aimed at understanding the effects of nerves on etiologies of human injury.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian heart has long been considered a postmitotic organ, implying that the total number of cardiomyocytes is set at birth. Analysis of cell division in the mammalian heart is complicated by cardiomyocyte binucleation shortly after birth, which makes it challenging to interpret traditional assays of cell turnover [Laflamme MA, Murray CE (2011) Nature 473(7347):326-335; Bergmann O, et al. (2009) Science 324(5923):98-102]. An elegant multi-isotope imaging-mass spectrometry technique recently calculated the low, discrete rate of cardiomyocyte generation in mice [Senyo SE, et al. (2013) Nature 493(7432):433-436], yet our cellular-level understanding of postnatal cardiomyogenesis remains limited. Herein, we provide a new line of evidence for the differentiated α-myosin heavy chain-expressing cardiomyocyte as the cell of origin of postnatal cardiomyogenesis using the "mosaic analysis with double markers" mouse model. We show limited, life-long, symmetric division of cardiomyocytes as a rare event that is evident in utero but significantly diminishes after the first month of life in mice; daughter cardiomyocytes divide very seldom, which this study is the first to demonstrate, to our knowledge. Furthermore, ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery, which causes a myocardial infarction in the mosaic analysis with double-marker mice, did not increase the rate of cardiomyocyte division above the basal level for up to 4 wk after the injury. The clonal analysis described here provides direct evidence of postnatal mammalian cardiomyogenesis.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2014; 111(24):8850. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although in utero hematopoietic cell transplantation is a promising strategy to treat congenital hematopoietic disorders, levels of engraftment have not been therapeutic for diseases in which donor cells have no survival advantage. We used an antibody against the murine c-Kit receptor (ACK2) to deplete fetal host hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and increase space within the hematopoietic niche for donor cell engraftment. Fetal mice were injected with ACK2 on E13.5-14.5 and surviving pups were transplanted with congenic hematopoietic cells on day of life 1. Low-dose ACK2 treatment effectively depleted HSCs within the bone marrow with minimal toxicity and the antibody was cleared from the serum before the neonatal transplantation. Chimerism levels were significantly higher in treated pups than in controls; both myeloid and lymphoid cell chimerism increased due to higher engraftment of HSCs in the bone marrow. To test the strategy of repeated HSC depletion and transplantation, some mice were treated with ACK2 postnatally, but the increase in engraftment was lower than that seen with prenatal treatment. We demonstrate a successful fetal conditioning strategy associated with minimal toxicity. Such strategies could be used to achieve clinically relevant levels of engraftment to treat congenital stem cell disorders.
    Blood 05/2014; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism and magnitude by which the mammalian kidney generates and maintains its proximal tubules, distal tubules, and collecting ducts remain controversial. Here, we use long-term in vivo genetic lineage tracing and clonal analysis of individual cells from kidneys undergoing development, maintenance, and regeneration. We show that the adult mammalian kidney undergoes continuous tubulogenesis via expansions of fate-restricted clones. Kidneys recovering from damage undergo tubulogenesis through expansions of clones with segment-specific borders, and renal spheres developing in vitro from individual cells maintain distinct, segment-specific fates. Analysis of mice derived by transfer of color-marked embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into uncolored blastocysts demonstrates that nephrons are polyclonal, developing from expansions of singly fated clones. Finally, we show that adult renal clones are derived from Wnt-responsive precursors, and their tracing in vivo generates tubules that are segment specific. Collectively, these analyses demonstrate that fate-restricted precursors functioning as unipotent progenitors continuously maintain and self-preserve the mouse kidney throughout life.
    Cell reports. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) maintain homeostasis and regenerate the blood system throughout life. It has been postulated that HSCs may be uniquely capable of preserving their genomic integrity in order to ensure lifelong function. To directly test this, we quantified DNA damage in HSCs and downstream progenitors from young and old mice, revealing that strand breaks significantly accrue in HSCs during aging. DNA damage accumulation in HSCs was associated with broad attenuation of DNA repair and response pathways that was dependent upon HSC quiescence. Accordingly, cycling fetal HSCs and adult HSCs driven into cycle upregulated these pathways leading to repair of strand breaks. Our results demonstrate that HSCs are not comprehensively geno-protected during aging. Rather, HSC quiescence and concomitant attenuation of DNA repair and response pathways underlies DNA damage accumulation in HSCs during aging. These results provide a potential mechanism through which premalignant mutations accrue in HSCs.
    Cell stem cell 05/2014; · 23.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoiesis in the embryo proceeds in a series of waves, with primitive erythroid-biased waves succeeded by definitive waves, within which the properties of hematopoietic stem cells (multilineage potential, self-renewal, and engraftability) gradually arise. Whereas self-renewal and engraftability have previously been examined in the embryo, multipotency has not been thoroughly addressed, especially at the single-cell level or within well-defined populations. To identify when and where clonal multilineage potential arises during embryogenesis, we developed a single-cell multipotency assay. We find that, during the initiation of definitive hematopoiesis in the embryo, a defined population of multipotent, engraftable progenitors emerges that is much more abundant within the yolk sac (YS) than the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) or fetal liver. These experiments indicate that multipotent cells appear in concert within both the YS and AGM and strongly implicate YS-derived progenitors as contributors to definitive hematopoiesis.
    Stem cell reports. 04/2014; 2(4):457-72.
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    ABSTRACT: Analysis of hematopoietic stem cell function in nonhuman primates provides insights that are relevant for human biology and therapeutic strategies. In this study, we applied quantitative genetic barcoding to track the clonal output of transplanted autologous rhesus macaque hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells over a time period of up to 9.5 months. We found that unilineage short-term progenitors reconstituted myeloid and lymphoid lineages at 1 month but were supplanted over time by multilineage clones, initially myeloid restricted, then myeloid-B clones, and then stable myeloid-B-T multilineage, long-term repopulating clones. Surprisingly, reconstitution of the natural killer (NK) cell lineage, and particularly the major CD16(+)/CD56(-) peripheral blood NK compartment, showed limited clonal overlap with T, B, or myeloid lineages, and therefore appears to be ontologically distinct. Thus, in addition to providing insights into clonal behavior over time, our analysis suggests an unexpected paradigm for the relationship between NK cells and other hematopoietic lineages in primates.
    Cell stem cell 04/2014; 14(4):486-99. · 23.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer is widely characterized by the sequential acquisition of genetic lesions in a single lineage of cells. Our previous studies have shown that, in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), mutation acquisition occurs in functionally normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These preleukemic HSCs harbor some, but not all, of the mutations found in the leukemic cells. We report here the identification of patterns of mutation acquisition in human AML. Our findings support a model in which mutations in "landscaping" genes, involved in global chromatin changes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and chromatin looping, occur early in the evolution of AML, whereas mutations in "proliferative" genes occur late. Additionally, we analyze the persistence of preleukemic mutations in patients in remission and find CD34+ progenitor cells and various mature cells that harbor preleukemic mutations. These findings indicate that preleukemic HSCs can survive induction chemotherapy, identifying these cells as a reservoir for the reevolution of relapsed disease. Finally, through the study of several cases of relapsed AML, we demonstrate various evolutionary patterns for the generation of relapsed disease and show that some of these patterns are consistent with involvement of preleukemic HSCs. These findings provide key insights into the monitoring of minimal residual disease and the identification of therapeutic targets in human AML.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; 111(7):2548-53. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence indicates that myeloid cells are essential for promoting new blood vessel formation by secreting various angiogenic factors. Given that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is a critical regulator for angiogenesis, we questioned whether HIF in myeloid cells also plays a role in promoting angiogenesis. To address this question, we generated a unique strain of myeloid-specific knockout mice targeting HIF pathways using human S100A8 as a myeloid-specific promoter. We observed that mutant mice where HIF-1 is transcriptionally activated in myeloid cells (by deletion of the von Hippel-Lindau gene) resulted in erythema, enhanced neovascularization in matrigel plugs, and increased production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the bone marrow, all of which were completely abrogated by either genetic or pharmacological inactivation of HIF-1. We further found that monocytes were the major effector producing VEGF and S100A8 proteins driving neovascularization in matrigel. Moreover, by using a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia we observed significantly improved blood flow in mice intramuscularly injected with HIF-1-activated monocytes. This study therefore demonstrates that HIF-1 activation in myeloid cells promotes angiogenesis through VEGF and S100A8 and that this may become an attractive therapeutic strategy to treat diseases with vascular defects.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) differentiation typically yields heterogeneous populations. Knowledge of signals controlling embryonic lineage bifurcations could efficiently yield desired cell types through exclusion of alternate fates. Therefore, we revisited signals driving induction and anterior-posterior patterning of definitive endoderm to generate a coherent roadmap for endoderm differentiation. With striking temporal dynamics, BMP and Wnt initially specified anterior primitive streak (progenitor to endoderm), yet, 24 hr later, suppressed endoderm and induced mesoderm. At lineage bifurcations, cross-repressive signals separated mutually exclusive fates; TGF-β and BMP/MAPK respectively induced pancreas versus liver from endoderm by suppressing the alternate lineage. We systematically blockaded alternate fates throughout multiple consecutive bifurcations, thereby efficiently differentiating multiple hPSC lines exclusively into endoderm and its derivatives. Comprehensive transcriptional and chromatin mapping of highly pure endodermal populations revealed that endodermal enhancers existed in a surprising diversity of "pre-enhancer" states before activation, reflecting the establishment of a permissive chromatin landscape as a prelude to differentiation.
    Cell stem cell 01/2014; · 23.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cationic, amphipathic host defense peptides represent a promising group of agents to be developed for anticancer applications. Poly-N-substituted glycines, or peptoids, are a class of biostable, peptidomimetic scaffold that can display a great diversity of side chains in highly tunable sequences via facile solid-phase synthesis. Herein, we present a library of anti-proliferative peptoids that mimics the cationic, amphipathic structural feature of the host defense peptides and explore the relationships between the structure, anticancer activity and selectivity of these peptoids. Several peptoids are found to be potent against a broad range of cancer cell lines at low-micromolar concentrations including cancer cells with multidrug resistance (MDR), causing cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. They can penetrate into cells, but their cytotoxicity primarily involves plasma membrane perturbations. Furthermore, peptoid 1, the most potent peptoid synthesized, significantly inhibited tumor growth in a human breast cancer xenotransplantation model without any noticeable acute adverse effects in mice. Taken together, our work provided important structural information for designing host defense peptides or their mimics for anticancer applications. Several cationic, amphipathic peptoids are very attractive for further development due to their high solubility, stability against protease degradation, their broad, potent cytotoxicity against cancer cells and their ability to overcome multidrug resistance.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e90397. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Discriminating cellular heterogeneity is important for understanding cellular physiology. However, it is limited by the technical difficulties of single-cell measurements. Here we develop a two-stage system to determine cellular heterogeneity. In the first stage, we perform multiplex single-cell RNA cytometry in a microwell array containing over 60,000 reaction chambers. In the second stage, we use the RNA cytometry data to determine cellular heterogeneity by providing a heterogeneity likelihood score (HLS). Moreover, we use Monte-Carlo simulation and RNA cytometry data to calculate the minimum number of cells required for detecting heterogeneity. We apply this system to characterize the RNA distributions of ageing-related genes in a highly purified mouse haematopoietic stem cell population. We identify genes that reveal novel heterogeneity of these cells. We also show that changes in expression of genes such as Birc6 during ageing can be attributed to the shift of relative portions of cells in the high-expressing subgroup versus low-expressing subgroup.
    Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:3451. · 10.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of C57BL/6 Rag2(-/-)γc(-/-) mice as recipients for xenotransplantation with human immune systems (humanization) has been problematic because C57BL/6 SIRPα does not recognize human CD47, and such recognition is required to suppress macrophage-mediated phagocytosis of transplanted human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). We show that genetic inactivation of CD47 on the C57BL/6 Rag2(-/-)γc(-/-) background negates the requirement for CD47-SIRPα signaling and induces tolerance to transplanted human HSCs. These triple-knockout, bone marrow, liver, thymus (TKO-BLT) humanized mice develop organized lymphoid tissues including mesenteric lymph nodes, splenic follicles and gut-associated lymphoid tissue that demonstrate high levels of multi-lineage hematopoiesis. Importantly, these mice have an intact complement system and showed no signs of graft versus host disease (GVHD) out to 29 weeks post-transplantation. Sustained, high-level HIV-1 infection was observed via either intrarectal or intraperitoneal inoculation. TKO-BLT mice exhibited hallmarks of human HIV infection including CD4(+) T cell depletion, immune activation, and development of HIV-specific B cell and T cell responses. The lack of GVHD makes the TKO-BLT mouse a significantly improved model for long-term studies of pathogenesis, immune responses, therapeutics and vaccines to human pathogens.
    Blood 09/2013; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CD47 transduces inhibitory signals through signal-regulatory protein α (SIRPα), a plasma membrane receptor expressed by macrophages. Many cancers upregulate CD47 to evade immunosurveillance. We have recently engineered SIRPα variants that potently antagonize CD47 for use as anticancer immunotherapeutics. These high-affinity SIRPα variants synergize with antineoplastic antibodies by lowering the threshold for macrophage-mediated destruction of malignant cells.
    Oncoimmunology. 09/2013; 2(9):e25773.
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    ABSTRACT: Detection and characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may reveal insights into the diagnosis and treatment of malignant disease. Technologies for isolating CTCs developed thus far suffer from one or more limitations, such as low throughput, inability to release captured cells, and reliance on expensive instrumentation for enrichment or subsequent characterization. We report a continuing development of a magnetic separation device, the magnetic sifter, which is a miniature microfluidic chip with a dense array of magnetic pores. It offers high efficiency capture of tumor cells, labeled with magnetic nanoparticles, from whole blood with high throughput and efficient release of captured cells. For subsequent characterization of CTCs, an assay, using a protein chip with giant magnetoresistive nanosensors, has been implemented for mutational analysis of CTCs enriched with the magnetic sifter. The use of these magnetic technologies, which are separate devices, may lead the way to routine preparation and characterization of "liquid biopsies" from cancer patients.
    Lab on a Chip 08/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a leading candidate for cell-based therapies because of their capacity for unlimited self renewal and pluripotent differentiation. These advances have recently culminated in the first-in-human PSC clinical trials by Geron, Advanced Cell Technology and the Kobe Center for Developmental Biology for the treatment of spinal cord injury and macular degeneration. Despite their therapeutic promise, a crucial hurdle for the clinical implementation of human PSCs is their potential to form tumors in vivo. In this Perspective, we present an overview of the mechanisms underlying the tumorigenic risk of human PSC-based therapies and discuss current advances in addressing these challenges.
    Nature medicine 08/2013; 19(8):998-1004. · 27.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Histocompatibility is the basis by which multicellular organisms of the same species distinguish self from nonself. Relatively little is known about the mechanisms underlying histocompatibility reactions in lower organisms. Botryllus schlosseri is a colonial urochordate, a sister group of vertebrates, that exhibits a genetically determined natural transplantation reaction, whereby self-recognition between colonies leads to formation of parabionts with a common vasculature, whereas rejection occurs between incompatible colonies. Using genetically defined lines, whole-transcriptome sequencing, and genomics, we identified a single gene that encodes self-nonself and determines "graft" outcomes in this organism. This gene is significantly up-regulated in colonies poised to undergo fusion and/or rejection, is highly expressed in the vasculature, and is functionally linked to histocompatibility outcomes. These findings establish a platform for advancing the science of allorecognition.
    Science 07/2013; 341(6144):384-7. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Organs are composites of tissue types with diverse developmental origins, and they rely on distinct stem and progenitor cells to meet physiological demands for cellular production and homeostasis. How diverse stem cell activity is coordinated within organs is not well understood. Here we describe a lineage-restricted, self-renewing common skeletal progenitor (bone, cartilage, stromal progenitor; BCSP) isolated from limb bones and bone marrow tissue of fetal, neonatal, and adult mice. The BCSP clonally produces chondrocytes (cartilage-forming) and osteogenic (bone-forming) cells and at least three subsets of stromal cells that exhibit differential expression of cell surface markers, including CD105 (or endoglin), Thy1 [or CD90 (cluster of differentiation 90)], and 6C3 [ENPEP glutamyl aminopeptidase (aminopeptidase A)]. These three stromal subsets exhibit differential capacities to support hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem and progenitor cells. Although the 6C3-expressing subset demonstrates functional stem cell niche activity by maintaining primitive hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) renewal in vitro, the other stromal populations promote HSC differentiation to more committed lines of hematopoiesis, such as the B-cell lineage. Gene expression analysis and microscopic studies further reveal a microenvironment in which CD105-, Thy1-, and 6C3-expressing marrow stroma collaborate to provide cytokine signaling to HSCs and more committed hematopoietic progenitors. As a result, within the context of bone as a blood-forming organ, the BCSP plays a critical role in supporting hematopoiesis through its generation of diverse osteogenic and hematopoietic-promoting stroma, including HSC supportive 6C3(+) niche cells.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acquired resistance to imatinib is a significant problem for the clinical management of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) patients, and second-line small molecules have shown limited efficacy in this setting. We have recently demonstrated that a monoclonal antibody targeting KIT could potentially bypass imatinib resistance in preclinical models of GIST.
    Oncoimmunology. 06/2013; 2(6):e24452.

Publication Stats

67k Citations
7,782.44 Total Impact Points


  • 1975–2014
    • Stanford Medicine
      • • Department of Developmental Biology
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
      • • Division of Immunology and Rheumatology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 1971–2014
    • Stanford University
      • • Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
      • • Division of Pediatric Cardiology
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Developmental Biology
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2013
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Division of Cardiology
      Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 2012
    • Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 2009–2012
    • Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
      Bengalūru, Karnātaka, India
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2010
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
      Houston, TX, United States
    • Joslin Diabetes Center
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Biomolecular Engineering
      Santa Cruz, CA, United States
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2006–2010
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • University of California, San Diego
      • Moores Cancer Center/Oncology
      San Diego, CA, United States
  • 1997–2008
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Division of Biology
      Pasadena, CA, United States
  • 1991–2008
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Maryland, United States
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      Maryland, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Department of Plant Pathology
      Madison, MS, United States
  • 1974–2004
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 2003
    • Bar Ilan University
      Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel
    • Duke University Medical Center
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2000–2002
    • Union College
      Schenectady, New York, United States
  • 2001
    • Salk Institute
      • Laboratory of Genetics
      La Jolla, California, United States
  • 1997–2001
    • VU University Amsterdam
      • Faculty of Medicine/VU University Medical Center
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1974–2001
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      • • School of Dentistry
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1998
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Department of Pathology
      Birmingham, AL, United States
    • University of Tsukuba
      Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  • 1997–1998
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 1994
    • Tel Aviv University
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1993
    • Albany Medical College
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Albany, NY, United States
    • McGill University
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1990–1992
    • Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute (IOLR)
      H̱efa, Haifa District, Israel
  • 1988
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Department of Histology
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands