Gabriel A Rabinovich

THE UNIVERSITY OF BAMENDA, Bamenda, North-West Province, Cameroon

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Publications (294)1594.35 Total impact

  • No preview · Article · May 2016 · Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant glycosylation, a common feature associated with malignancy, has been implicated in important events during cancer progression. Our understanding of the role of glycans in cancer has grown exponentially in the last few years, concurrent with important advances in glycomics and glycoproteomic technologies, paving the way for the validation of a number of glycan structures as potential glycobiomarkers. However, the molecular bases underlying cancer-associated glycan modifications are still far from understood. Glycans exhibit a natural heterogeneity, crucial for their diverse functional roles as specific carriers of biologically-relevant information. This information is decoded by families of proteins named lectins, including siglecs, C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) and galectins. Siglecs, sialic-acid binding transmembrane lectins, are primarily expressed on the surface of immune cells and differentially control innate and adaptive immune responses. Among CLRs, selectins are a family of cell adhesion molecules that mediate interactions between cancer cells and platelets, leukocytes and endothelial cells, thus facilitating tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Galectins, a family of soluble proteins that bind β-galactoside-containing glycans, have been implicated in diverse events associated with cancer biology such as apoptosis, homotypic cell aggregation, angiogenesis, cell migration and tumor-immune escape. Consequently, individual members of these lectin families have become promising targets for the design of novel anticancer therapies. During the past decade a number of inhibitors of lectin-glycan interactions have been developed including small-molecule inhibitors, multivalent saccharide ligands, and more recently peptides and peptidomimetics have offered alternatives for tackling tumor progression. In this article, we review the current status of the discovery and development of chemical lectin inhibitors and discuss novel strategies to limit cancer progression by targeting lectin-glycan interactions.
    No preview · Article · May 2016 · Frontiers in Oncology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), intravenous (i.v.) injection of the antigen, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-derived peptide, MOG35-55 , suppresses disease development, a phenomenon called i.v. tolerance. Galectin-1, an endogenous glycan-binding protein, is upregulated during autoimmune neuroinflammation and plays immunoregulatory roles by inducing tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs) and IL-10-producing regulatory type 1 T (Tr1) cells. To examine the role of galectin-1 in i.v. tolerance, we administered MOG35-55 -i.v. to wild-type (WT) and galectin-1-deficient (Lgals1(-/-) ) mice with ongoing EAE. MOG35-55 suppressed disease in the WT, but not in the Lgals1(-/-) mice. The numbers of Tr1 cells and Treg cells were increased in the CNS and periphery of tolerized WT mice. In contrast, Lgals1(-/-) MOG- i.v. mice had reduced numbers of Tr1 cells and Treg cells in the CNS and periphery, and reduced IL-27, IL-10 and TGF-β1 expression in DCs in the periphery. DCs derived from i.v.-tolerized WT mice suppressed disease when adoptively transferred into mice with ongoing EAE, whereas DCs from Lgals1(-/-) MOG-i.v. mice were not suppressive. These findings demonstrate that galectin-1 is required for i.v. tolerance induction, likely via induction of tolerogenic DCs leading to enhanced development of Tr1 cells, Treg cells and downregulation of pro-inflammatory responses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2016 · European Journal of Immunology
  • No preview · Article · Apr 2016 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: We previously demonstrated that the activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/CD166) can interact with galectin-8 (Gal-8) in endothelial cells. ALCAM is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily that promotes homophilic and heterophilic cell-cell interactions. Gal-8 is a "tandem-repeat"-type galectin, known as a matricellular protein involved in cell adhesion. Here, we analyzed the physical interaction between both molecules in breast cancer cells and the functional relevance of this phenomenon. Methods: We performed binding assays by surface plasmon resonance to study the interaction between Gal-8 and the recombinant glycosylated ALCAM ectodomain or endogenous ALCAM from MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We also analyzed the binding of ALCAM-silenced or control breast cancer cells to immobilized Gal-8 by SPR. In internalization assays, we evaluated the influence of Gal-8 on ALCAM surface localization. Results: We showed that recombinant glycosylated ALCAM and endogenous ALCAM from breast carcinoma cells physically interacted with Gal-8 in a glycosylation-dependent fashion displaying a differential behavior compared to non-glycosylated ALCAM. Moreover, ALCAM-silenced breast cancer cells exhibited reduced binding to Gal-8 relative to control cells. Importantly, exogenously added Gal-8 provoked ALCAM segregation, probably trapping this adhesion molecule at the surface of breast cancer cells. Conclusions: Our data indicate that Gal-8 interacts with ALCAM at the surface of breast cancer cells through glycosylation-dependent mechanisms. General significance: A novel heterophilic interaction between ALCAM and Gal-8 is demonstrated here, suggesting its physiologic relevance in the biology of breast cancer cells.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
  • Gabriel A. Rabinovich · José R. Conejo-García
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Along with the discovery of tumor-driven inflammatory pathways, there has been considerable progress over the past 10 years in understanding the mechanisms leading to cancer immunosurveillance and immunoediting. Several regulatory pathways, typically involved in immune cell homeostasis, are co-opted by cancer cells to thwart development of effective antitumor responses. These regulatory circuits include engagement of inhibitory checkpoint pathways (CTLA-4, PD-1/PD-L1, LAG-3 and TIM-3), secretion of immunosuppressive cytokines (TGF-β, IL-10) and expansion and/or recruitment of myeloid or lymphoid regulatory cell populations. Elucidation of these pathways has inspired the design and implementation of novel immunotherapeutic modalities, which have already generated clinical benefits in an important number of cancer patients. Galectins, a family of glycan-binding proteins widely expressed in the tumor microenvironment (TME), have emerged as key players in immune evasion programs that differentially control the fate of effector and regulatory lymphoid and myeloid cell populations. How do galectins translate glycan-containing information into cellular programs that control immune regulatory cancer networks? Here we uncover the selective roles of individual members of the galectin family in cancer-promoting inflammation, immunosuppression and angiogenesis. Moreover, we highlight the relevance of corresponding glycosylated ligands and counter-receptors and the emerging function of these lectins as biological liaisons connecting commensal microbiota, systemic inflammation and distal tumor growth. Understanding the molecular and cellular components of galectin-driven regulatory circuits, the implications of different glycosylation pathways in their functions and their clinical relevance in human cancer might lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches in a broad range of tumor types.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Journal of Molecular Biology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic and relapsing inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract including Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Galectins, defined by shared consensus amino acid sequence and affinity for β-galactosides, are critical modulators of the inflammatory response. However, the relevance of the galectin network in the pathogenesis of human IBD has not yet been explored. Here, we analyzed the expression of relevant members of the galectin family in intestinal biopsies, and identified their contribution as novel mucosal markers in IBD. Colonic biopsies were obtained from 59 IBD patients (22 CD and 37 UC), 9 patients with gut rejection after transplantation, 8 adult celiac patients, and 32 non-IBD donors. Galectin mRNA expression was analyzed by RT-PCR and qPCR using specific primers for individual galectins. A linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used to analyze galectin expression in individual intestinal samples. Expression of common mucosal-associated galectins (Gal-1, -3, -4, -9) is dysregulated in inflamed tissues of IBD patients compared with non-inflamed IBD or control samples. LDA discriminated between different inflammation grades in active IBD and showed that remission IBD samples were clusterized with control samples. Galectin profiling could not distinguish CD and UC. Furthermore, inflamed IBD was discriminated from inflamed tissue of rejected gut in transplanted patients and duodenum of celiac patients, which could not be distinguished from control duodenum samples. The integrative analysis of galectins discriminated IBD from other intestinal inflammatory conditions and could be used as potential mucosal biomarker. © 2016 BioFactors, 42(1):93-105, 2016.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · BioFactors
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 1 (Satb1) governs genome-wide transcriptional programs. Using a conditional knockout mouse, we find that Satb1 is required for normal differentiation of conventional dendritic cells (DCs). Furthermore, Satb1 governs the differentiation of inflammatory DCs by regulating major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) expression through Notch1 signaling. Mechanistically, Satb1 binds to the Notch1 promoter, activating Notch expression and driving RBPJ occupancy of the H2-Ab1 promoter, which activates MHC II transcription. However, tumor-driven, unremitting expression of Satb1 in activated Zbtb46+ inflammatory DCs that infiltrate ovarian tumors results in an immunosuppressive phenotype characterized by increased secretion of tumor-promoting Galectin-1 and IL-6. In vivo silencing of Satb1 in tumor-associated DCs reverses their tumorigenic activity and boosts protective immunity. Therefore, dynamic fluctuations in Satb1 expression govern the generation and immunostimulatory activity of steady-state and inflammatory DCs, but continuous Satb1 overexpression in differentiated DCs converts them into tolerogenic/pro-inflammatory cells that contribute to malignant progression.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Cell Reports
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent efforts toward defining the molecular features of the tumor microenvironment have revealed dramatic changes in the expression of glycan-related genes including glycosyltransferases and glycosidases. These changes affect glycosylation of proteins and lipids not only in cancer cells themselves, but also in cancer associated-stromal, endothelial and immune cells. These glycan alterations including increased frequency of β1,6-branched N-glycans and bisecting N-glycans, overexpression of tumor-associated mucins, preferred expression of T, Tn and sialyl-Tn antigen and altered surface sialylation, may contribute to tumor progression by masking or unmasking specific ligands for endogenous lectins, including members of the C-type lectin, siglec and galectin families. Differential expression of glycans or glycan-binding proteins could be capitalized for the identification of novel biomarkers and might provide novel opportunities for therapeutic intervention. This review focuses on the biological relevance of lectin-glycan interactions in the tumor microenvironment (mainly illustrated by the immunosuppressive and pro-angiogenic activities of galectin-1) and the design of functionalized nanoparticles for pharmacological delivery of multimeric glycans, lectins or selective inhibitors of lectin-glycan interactions with antitumor activity.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Pharmacological Research
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    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Key messages: T cell lymphoma phenotype is paradoxically influenced by thyroid status. Hyperthyroidism favors tumor growth and hypothyroidism rises tumor dissemination. Thyroid status affects the distribution of immune cell types in the tumor milieu. Thyroid status also modifies the nature of local and systemic immune responses.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectins play key roles in the inflammatory cascade. In this study we aimed to analyze the effect of galectin-1 (Gal-1) on function of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) isolated from healthy and inflamed mucosa. IECs isolated from mice or patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) were incubated with different pro-inflammatory cytokines, and Gal-1 binding, secretion of homeostatic factors and viability were assessed. Experimental models of food allergy and colitis were used to evaluate the in vivo influence of inflammation on Gal-1 binding and modulation of IECs. We found an enhanced binding of Gal-1 to: a) murine IECs exposed to IL-1β, TNF, and IL-13, b) IECs from inflamed areas in intestinal tissue from IBD patients, c) small bowel of allergic mice and d) colon from mice with experimental colitis. Our results showed that low concentrations of Gal-1 favored a tolerogenic microenvironment, while high concentrations of this lectin modulated viability of IECs through mechanisms involving activation of caspase-9- and modulation of Bcl-2 protein family members. Our results showed that, when added in the presence of diverse pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL-13 and IL-5), Gal-1 differentially promoted the secretion of growth factors including TSLP, EGF, IL-10, IL-25, and TGF-β1 . In conclusion, we found an augmented binding of Gal-1 to IECs when exposed in vitro or in vivo to inflammatory stimuli, showing different effects depending on Gal-1 concentration. These findings highlight the importance of the inflammatory microenvironment of mucosal tissues in modulating IECs susceptibility to the immunoregulatory lectin Gal-1 and its role in epithelial cell homeostasis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Cellular Physiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectin-1 (Gal1), a β-galactoside-binding protein elevated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its expression correlates with HCC growth, invasiveness and metastasis. During the early stages of HCC, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1 ) acts as a tumor suppressor; however in advanced stages, HCC cells lose their cytostatic response to TGF-β1 and undergo EMT. Here, we investigated the role of Gal1 on liver endothelial cell biology, and the interplay between Gal1 and TGF-β1 in HCC progression. By Western blot and immunofluorescence, we analyzed Gal1 expression, secretion and localization in HepG2 and HuH-7 human HCC cells, and in SK-HEP-1 human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs). We used loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments to down- or up-regulate Gal1 expression, respectively, in HepG2 cells. We cultured SK-HEP-1 cells with conditioned media from HCC cells secreting different levels of Gal1, and demonstrated that Gal1 derived from tumor hepatocytes induced its own expression in SECs. Colorimetric and scratch-wound assays revealed that secretion of Gal1 by HCC cells induced SEC proliferation and migration. Moreover, by fluorescence microscopy we demonstrated that Gal1 promoted glycan-dependent heterotypic adhesion of HepG2 cells to SK-HEP-1 SECs. Furthermore, TGF-β1 induced Gal1 expression and secretion by HCC cells, and promoted HepG2 cell adhesion to SK-HEP-1 SECs through a Gal1-dependent mechanism. Finally, Gal1 modulated HepG2 cell proliferation and sensitivity to TGF-β1 -induced growth inhibition. Our results suggest that Gal1 and TGF-β1 might function coordinately within the HCC microenvironment to regulate tumor growth, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Cellular Physiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas' disease, has anti-cancer effects mediated, at least in part, by parasite-derived products which inhibit growth of tumor cells. We investigated whether immunity to T. cruzi antigens could induce anti-tumor activity, using two rat models which reproduce human carcinogenesis: colon cancer induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH), and mammary cancer induced by N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU). We found that vaccination with T. cruzi epimastigote lysates strongly inhibits tumor development in both animal models. Rats immunized with T. cruzi antigens induce activation of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and splenocytes from these animals showed higher cytotoxic responses against tumors as compared to rats receiving adjuvant alone. Tumor-associated immune responses included increasing number of CD11b/c(+) His48(-) MHC II(+) cells corresponding to macrophages and/or dendritic cells, which exhibited augmented NADPH-oxidase activity. We also found that T. cruzi lysate vaccination developed antibodies specific for colon and mammary rat cancer cells, which were capable of mediating antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in vitro. Anti-T. cruzi antibodies cross-reacted with human colon and breast cancer cell lines and recognized 41/60 (68%) colon cancer and 38/63 (60%) breast cancer samples in a series of 123 human tumors. Our results suggest that T. cruzi antigens can evoke an integrated anti-tumor response involving both the cellular and humoral components of the immune response and provide novel insights into the understanding of the intricate relationship between parasite infection and tumor growth. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · International Journal of Cancer
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy caused by Trypanosoma cruzi is the result of a pathologic process starting during the acute phase of parasite infection. Among different factors, the specific recognition of glycan structures by glycan-binding proteins from the parasite or from the mammalian host cells may play a critical role in the evolution of the infection. Methodology and principal findings: Here we investigated the contribution of galectin-1 (Gal-1), an endogenous glycan-binding protein abundantly expressed in human and mouse heart, to the pathophysiology of T. cruzi infection, particularly in the context of cardiac pathology. We found that exposure of HL-1 cardiac cells to Gal-1 reduced the percentage of infection by two different T. cruzi strains, Tulahuén (TcVI) and Brazil (TcI). In addition, Gal-1 prevented exposure of phosphatidylserine and early events in the apoptotic program by parasite infection on HL-1 cells. These effects were not mediated by direct interaction with the parasite surface, suggesting that Gal-1 may act through binding to host cells. Moreover, we also observed that T. cruzi infection altered the glycophenotype of cardiac cells, reducing binding of exogenous Gal-1 to the cell surface. Consistent with these data, Gal-1 deficient (Lgals1-/-) mice showed increased parasitemia, reduced signs of inflammation in heart and skeletal muscle tissues, and lower survival rates as compared to wild-type (WT) mice in response to intraperitoneal infection with T. cruzi Tulahuén strain. Conclusion/significance: Our results indicate that Gal-1 modulates T. cruzi infection of cardiac cells, highlighting the relevance of galectins and their ligands as regulators of host-parasite interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seasonal changes in disease activity have been observed in multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that affects the CNS. These epidemiological observations suggest that environmental factors influence the disease course. Here, we report that melatonin levels, whose production is modulated by seasonal variations in night length, negatively correlate with multiple sclerosis activity in humans. Treatment with melatonin ameliorates disease in an experimental model of multiple sclerosis and directly interferes with the differentiation of human and mouse T cells. Melatonin induces the expression of the repressor transcription factor Nfil3, blocking the differentiation of pathogenic Th17 cells and boosts the generation of protective Tr1 cells via Erk1/2 and the transactivation of the IL-10 promoter by ROR-α. These results suggest that melatonin is another example of how environmental-driven cues can impact T cell differentiation and have implications for autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Cell
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Programs that control immune cell homeostasis are orchestrated through the coordinated action of a number of regulatory cell populations, including regulatory T cells, regulatory B cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, alternatively-activated macrophages and tolerogenic dendritic cells. These regulatory cell populations can prevent harmful inflammation following completion of protective responses and thwart the development of autoimmune pathology. However, they also have a detrimental role in cancer by favoring escape from immune surveillance. One of the hallmarks of regulatory cells is their remarkable plasticity as they can be positively or negatively modulated by a plethora of cytokines, growth factors and co-stimulatory signals that tailor their differentiation, stability and survival. Here we focus on the emerging roles of galectins, a family of highly conserved glycan-binding proteins in regulating the fate and function of regulatory immune cell populations, both of lymphoid and myeloid origins. Given the broad distribution of circulating and tissue-specific galectins, understanding the relevance of lectin-glycan interactions in shaping regulatory cell compartments will contribute to the design of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at modulating their function in a broad range of immunological disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · FEBS letters
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectin-1 (Gal-1), an endogenous glycan-binding protein, is widely distributed at sites of inflammation and microbial invasion. Despite considerable progress regarding the immunoregulatory activity of this lectin, the role of endogenous Gal-1 during acute parasite infections is uncertain. In this study, we show that Gal-1 functions as a negative regulator to limit host-protective immunity following intradermal infection with Trypanosoma cruzi. Concomitant with the upregulation of immune inhibitory mediators, including IL-10, TGF-β1, IDO, and programmed death ligand 2, T. cruzi infection induced an early increase of Gal-1 expression in vivo. Compared to their wild-type (WT) counterpart, Gal-1-deficient (Lgals1(-/-)) mice exhibited reduced mortality and lower parasite load in muscle tissue. Resistance of Lgals1(-/-) mice to T. cruzi infection was associated with a failure in the activation of Gal-1-driven tolerogenic circuits, otherwise orchestrated by WT dendritic cells, leading to secondary dysfunction in the induction of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. This effect was accompanied by an increased number of CD8(+) T cells and higher frequency of IFN-γ-producing CD4(+) T cells in muscle tissues and draining lymph nodes as well as reduced parasite burden in heart and hindlimb skeletal muscle. Moreover, dendritic cells lacking Gal-1 interrupted the Gal-1-mediated tolerogenic circuit and reinforced T cell-dependent anti-parasite immunity when adoptively transferred into WT mice. Thus, endogenous Gal-1 may influence T. cruzi infection by fueling tolerogenic circuits that hinder anti-parasite immunity. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectins (Gals) have emerged as potent immunoregulatory molecules that control chronic inflammation through distinct mechanisms. Gal-8, a tandem-repeat type Gal with unique preference for α2,3-sialylated glycans, is ubiquitously expressed, but little is known about its role in T-cell differentiation. Here we report that Gal-8 promotes the polyclonal differentiation of primary mouse regulatory T (Treg) cells in vitro. We further show that Gal-8 also facilitates antigen-specific differentiation of Treg cells, and that Treg cells polarized in the presence of Gal-8 express cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 and interleukin (IL)-10 at a higher frequency than control Treg cells, and efficiently inhibit proliferation of activated T-cells in vitro. Investigation of the mechanism by which Gal-8 promotes Treg conversion revealed that Gal-8 activates transforming growth factor-β signaling and promotes sustained IL-2R signaling. Taken together, these data suggest that Gal-8 promotes the differentiation of highly suppressive Treg cells, which has implications for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.Immunology and Cell Biology advance online publication, 18 August 2015; doi:10.1038/icb.2015.72.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Immunology and Cell Biology
  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Cancer Research

Publication Stats

12k Citations
1,594.35 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
      Bamenda, North-West Province, Cameroon
  • 2009-2015
    • National Scientific and Technical Research Council
      • IBYME - Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
  • 2001-2013
    • University of Buenos Aires
      • • Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Biological Chemistry Department
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
  • 2010
    • Julphar School of Pharmacy
      Richmond, California, United States
  • 2007
    • Hospital de Clínicas (Argentina)
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina
  • 2002
    • National University of Cordoba, Argentina
      Córdoba, Cordoba, Argentina