Dr. Elke Stein, Ph.D. - Yale University - Associate Professor

Dr. Elke Stein

Ph.D.

Yale University

Associate Professor

New Haven, CT | United States

Main Specialties: Biochemical Genetics, Biology, Chemical Pathology, Child Neurology, Medical Genetics, Neurology, Oncology, Pharmacology

Additional Specialties: Pharmacology; Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Biochemistry


Top Author

Dr. Elke Stein, Ph.D. - Yale University - Associate Professor

Dr. Elke Stein

Ph.D.

Introduction

I am born and raised in Lower Saxony, Germany. I was born left-handed and in the first-grade required to relearn writing using the right hand, leading initially to a dysgraphia. I overcame dysgraphia through intense reading and practicing writing. After this, I skipped three years of high school. Since middle school I developed a strong interest in a number of subjects -from history, arts to politics, but especially for science, particular for chemistry. I enrolled into a private College in Braunschweig, Germany, where I received a degree as a CTA and graduated with “staatlich geprueft" (federal exam). My first two research experiences were at the Gesellschaft fuer Biotechnologische Forschung (GBF) in the Department of Immunobiology and in the Department of Cytogenetics. Here I successfully worked on purifying and cloning human Interleukin-2. Some of the IL-2 was subsequently used in a clinical trial. Then I joined the laboratory of Dr. Bert Sakmann at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen and moved with the lab to the MPI for medical Research in Heidelberg. The stimulating environment created by the groups of Drs. Bert Sakmann, Erwin Neher, Otto Creutzfeld and later in Heidelberg by Peter Seeburg encouraged me to pursue graduate school. The flexibility in my work schedule enabled me to take classes and still work full-time. I audited courses each semester at the University Goettingen and at the University Heidelberg. Whereas most of the classes I took were leading to a medical degree, such as Human Physiology, Botany or Introduction to Clinical Medicine, I also audited courses such as Anthropology and Physics. During that time I also took a test for individuals with exceptional abilities in the sciences. I am most grateful to the encouragement that I got from Bert Sakmann to continue my education to follow my dream to be an independent scientist and educator. The most important advice I got from Bert Sakmann was: “It never hurts to ask a question and keep your eyes open.”

In 1991 I was recruited by Lee Limbird the Chair and Professor to Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville (TN) and joined the lab of Todd Verdoorn (at that time a new Assistant Professor to Pharmacology) on the day that Bert Sakmann received the Nobel Prize. Within one year, next to setting up his laboratory, I learned whole cell recording and conducted several independent projects, among one that characterized the pharmacological properties of AMPA receptors. The outcome of this study is my first first-author publication that was accepted for publication the first day I started graduate school.
In the Fall of 1992, I enrolled into the interdisciplinary graduate program at Vanderbilt University. I received my Ph.D. in Pharmacology in Summer of 1996. An important factor that made me chose Pharmacology as my major was the "Introduction to Mechanism of Action of Drugs, Signal Transduction as well as to Clinical Pharmacology, especially to the areas of Cardiovascular and Neuropharmacology. My dissertation research was entitled "The Eph receptor, ELK, plays an essential role in signaling endothelial cell aggregatory responses utilizing specific signaling molecules". I had an outstanding dissertation committee (Joey Barnett, Stanley Cohen (Nobel Laurate), Tom Daniel, Brigid Hogan, Lee Limbird, Brian Wadzinski) that guided me through an exceptional time in exploratory research that yielded to six publication. Next to being an advisor for my research, Lee was also a role model for being a successful scientist and educator, committee member and someone that handled science and family really well. The most important advice I got during my Ph.D. was “that you can do almost anything if you just want it” and “be persistent to reach your goals”.

In Fall of 1997 I started as a HHMI Postdoctoral Associate with Marc Tessier-Lavigne at that time an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute first at UCSF and later at Stanford University. Here my studies provided key insights into the molecular mechanism that developing axons use to contribute to the establishment of the neuronal circuit in vertebrates. My favorite and most frequent comment that I liked to hear from Marc Tessier-Lavigne was “go for it”, thus giving me totally independence in my research. Part of my research outcomes were published in six manuscripts.

In 2003 I was recruited to Yale University as a Faculty member in the Department of MCDBiology with a joined appointment in the Department of Cell Biology in the Yale School of Medicine. My research activities continue to focus on axon guidance, but I also started to explore the contributions of guidance receptors, specifically DCC, DSCAM, Robo and members of the Unc5 family to dendrite and synapse development. During this time I taught some of the most outstanding undergraduates- who were hungry for learning and exploring science and what else the universe has to offer. Over the first 10 years I was the academic advisor and mentor for about 500 undergraduate students and served on about 100 dissertation and thesis committees and trained 24 undergraduate students in my lab, all of them do exceptional well in Medicine, Science and in Economy. During that time I was excited how these students contributed to society using their spare time during the semester or during Spring or Summer break. I learned about building an app for mosquito attacks, teaching women in South Africa to set up their independent business through building brick ovens, serving the blinds and HIV infected in East and South Africa, teaching K5 students to read, reading to the blinds and many more activities.
Through application I received a National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Award, was selected as a McKnight Scholar in the Neuroscience, a Basil O’Connor Fellow by the Connecticut chapter of the March of Dimes Foundation and as a Esther & Joseph Klingenstein Fellow in the Neurosciences. Other activities were limited to local and field politics that are unknown to "First's".

In addition, to following what I think is a Dream Job- a Professor in an Undergraduate Department - I took some time to look into entrepreneurial research and other ventures, but it brought me back to my own research. During this time I discovered six targets for brain tumors (contract), a key mechanism/molecule for Alzheimers (available to anyone interested), a mechanism to transfer molecules across the BBB, got an advocate for gluten-intolerance, clean food and fat-free or low-fat diary. Most important I got an advocate for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and identified a biomaker that will allow to detect autism early on in life using a biochemical read out.

Currently, I am a Visiting Faculty Scholar at the Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society conducting a study in the area of Computational Psychiatry and working on the completion of 12 research manuscripts and two reviews.

Next to this I am working on organizing a new working group (that centers around Bioethics, Drugs, Law Neuroscience and the Society). Details are included in my CV that you can find below.

The professional hurdles that I face and have faced as a single female scientist, educator and administrator - first generation academics and first generation U.S. immigrant in both academia and in the public sector has been comparable to climbing Mount Everest without an oxygen mask. I am still climbing to place my flags as it is tradition for first's.

Primary Affiliation: Yale University - New Haven, CT , United States

Specialties:

Additional Specialties:

Research Interests:

Education

Aug 2018
Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society
Visiting Faculty Scholar
Prediction of Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Jan 2011
Yale University
Associate Professor
Molecule, Cell and Developmental Biology and Cell Biology
Feb 2003
Yale University
Assistant Professor
Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Cell Biology
Jan 2003
HHMI-UCSF and Stanford
HHMI-Postdoctoral Associate
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Aug 1997
Vanderbilt University
PostDoc
Medicine-Cancer
Jun 1996
Vanderbilt University
Ph.D.
Pharmacology

Experience

Feb 2011
Kavli Institute at Yale University
Awardee
Contributions of guidance receptors to cortical development
Feb 2009
Kavli Institute at Yale University
Awardee
Morphometric analysis of brains deficient in guidance receptors
Jul 2006
McKnight Scholar Award in the Neuroscience
McKnight Scholar
McKnight Foundation
Apr 2006
NIH-National Institute of Mental Health
Awardee
National Institute of Health
Mar 2006
Early Career Award, National Science Foundation
Career Awardee
National Science Foundation
Sep 2005
Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University
Awardee
Undergraduate Research meetings and symposiums
Oct 2004
March of Dimes Foundation
Basil OConnor Fellow
CT-Chapter
Feb 2003
Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Foundation
Klingenstein Fellow
Klingenstein Foundation

Publications

22Publications

659Reads

30Profile Views

1245PubMed Central Citations

DSCAM contributes to dendrite arborization and spine formation in the developing cerebral cortex.

J Neurosci 2012 Nov;32(47):16637-50

Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Cell Biology and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2811-12.2012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6621782PMC
November 2012
24 Reads
20 Citations
6.344 Impact Factor

Presenilin-dependent receptor processing is required for axon guidance.

Cell 2011 Jan;144(1):106-18

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2010.11.053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3034090PMC
January 2011
42 Reads
45 Citations
32.242 Impact Factor

DSCAM is a netrin receptor that collaborates with DCC in mediating turning responses to netrin-1.

Cell 2008 Jun;133(7):1241-54

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, 266 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S00928674080069
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2008.05.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2491333PMC
June 2008
19 Reads
91 Citations
32.242 Impact Factor

Netrin signaling leading to directed growth cone steering.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2007 Feb 24;17(1):15-21. Epub 2007 Jan 24.

Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Cell Biology, Yale University, 219 Prospect Street, Kline Biology Tower-232, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2007.01.003DOI Listing
February 2007
42 Reads
55 Citations
6.630 Impact Factor

Novel role for Netrins in regulating epithelial behavior during lung branching morphogenesis.

Curr Biol 2004 May;14(10):897-905

Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

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https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S09609822040032
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2004.05.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2925841PMC
May 2004
15 Reads
59 Citations
9.571 Impact Factor

The morphogen sonic hedgehog is an axonal chemoattractant that collaborates with netrin-1 in midline axon guidance.

Cell 2003 Apr;113(1):11-23

Department of Biological Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0092-8674(03)00199-5DOI Listing
April 2003
23 Reads
174 Citations
32.242 Impact Factor

Netrin-1-mediated axon outgrowth requires deleted in colorectal cancer-dependent MAPK activation.

Nature 2002 May 1;417(6887):443-7. Epub 2002 May 1.

Apoptosis/Differentiation Laboratory label 'La Ligue' Molecular and Cellular Genetic Center, CNRS UMR 5534, University of Lyon, 69622 Villeurbanne, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature748DOI Listing
May 2002
16 Reads
62 Citations
42.351 Impact Factor

Regulation of cortical dendrite development by Slit-Robo interactions.

Neuron 2002 Jan;33(1):47-61

Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0896-6273(01)00566-9DOI Listing
January 2002
19 Reads
61 Citations
15.054 Impact Factor

Plexin-A3 mediates semaphorin signaling and regulates the development of hippocampal axonal projections.

Neuron 2001 Oct;32(2):249-63

Department of Anatomy, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0452, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0896-6273(01)00478-0DOI Listing
October 2001
20 Reads
52 Citations
15.054 Impact Factor

Plexin-A3 mediates semaphorin signaling and regulates the development of hippocampal axonal projections

Neuron 2001 Oct 25;32(2):249-63.

Neuron

Plexins are receptors implicated in mediating signaling by semaphorins, a family of axonal chemorepellents. The role of specific plexins in mediating semaphorin function in vivo has not, however, yet been examined in vertebrates. Here, we show that plexin-A3 is the most ubiquitously expressed plexin family member within regions of the developing mammalian nervous system known to contain semaphorin-responsive neurons. Using a chimeric receptor construct, we provide evidence that plexin-A3 can transduce a repulsive signal in growth cones in vitro. Analysis of plexin-A3 knockout mice shows that plexin-A3 contributes to Sema3F and Sema3A signaling and that plexin-A3 regulates the development of hippocampal axonal projections in vivo.

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October 2001
26 Reads

Binding of DCC by netrin-1 to mediate axon guidance independent of adenosine A2B receptor activation.

Science 2001 Mar;291(5510):1976-82

Department of Anatomy, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0452, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1059391DOI Listing
March 2001
20 Reads
56 Citations
31.480 Impact Factor

Hierarchical organization of guidance receptors: silencing of netrin attraction by slit through a Robo/DCC receptor complex.

Science 2001 Mar 8;291(5510):1928-38. Epub 2001 Feb 8.

Department of Anatomy and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1058445DOI Listing
March 2001
23 Reads
146 Citations
31.480 Impact Factor

A ligand-gated association between cytoplasmic domains of UNC5 and DCC family receptors converts netrin-induced growth cone attraction to repulsion.

Cell 1999 Jun;97(7):927-41

Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, 92093, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80804-1DOI Listing
June 1999
171 Reads
172 Citations
32.242 Impact Factor

Surface densities of ephrin-B1 determine EphB1-coupled activation of cell attachment through alphavbeta3 and alpha5beta1 integrins.

EMBO J 1999 Apr;18(8):2165-73

Division of Nephrology, Departments of Medicine and Cell Biology, and the Vanderbilt Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232-2372, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/emboj/18.8.2165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1171300PMC
April 1999
24 Reads
42 Citations
10.434 Impact Factor

Eph receptors discriminate specific ligand oligomers to determine alternative signaling complexes, attachment, and assembly responses.

Genes Dev 1998 Mar;12(5):667-78

Department of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC316584PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.12.5.667DOI Listing
March 1998
38 Reads
81 Citations
10.800 Impact Factor

Nck recruitment to Eph receptor, EphB1/ELK, couples ligand activation to c-Jun kinase.

J Biol Chem 1998 Jan;273(3):1303-8

Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.273.3.1303DOI Listing
January 1998
20 Reads
31 Citations
4.573 Impact Factor

Eph family receptors and ligands in vascular cell targeting and assembly.

Trends Cardiovasc Med 1997 Nov;7(8):329-34

Department of Pharmacology, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1050-1738(97)00095-9DOI Listing
November 1997
16 Reads
2 Citations
2.910 Impact Factor

ELK and LERK-2 in developing kidney and microvascular endothelial assembly.

Kidney Int Suppl 1996 Dec;57:S73-81

Division of Nephrology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

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December 1996
12 Reads
17 Citations

Ligand activation of ELK receptor tyrosine kinase promotes its association with Grb10 and Grb2 in vascular endothelial cells.

J Biol Chem 1996 Sep;271(38):23588-93

Departments of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.271.38.23588DOI Listing
September 1996
21 Reads
27 Citations
4.573 Impact Factor

Complex pharmacological properties of recombinant alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptor subtypes.

Mol Pharmacol 1992 Nov;42(5):864-71

Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-6600.

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November 1992
12 Reads
6 Citations
4.130 Impact Factor

Primary structure and functional expression of the alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta- and epsilon-subunits of the acetylcholine receptor from rat muscle.

Eur J Biochem 1990 Dec;194(2):437-48

Max-Planck-Institut für medizinische Forschung, Abteilung Zellphysiologie, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1432-1033.1990.tb15637.xDOI Listing
December 1990
52 Reads
21 Citations

Developmental regulation of five subunit specific mRNAs encoding acetylcholine receptor subtypes in rat muscle.

FEBS Lett 1989 Jan;242(2):419-24

Max-Planck-Insitut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, FRG.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(89)80514-9DOI Listing
January 1989
30 Reads
25 Citations
3.170 Impact Factor