Derek J Quinn

Queen's University Belfast, Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom

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Publications (18)71.39 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inhaled antibiotics, such as tobramycin, for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pulmonary infections are associated with the increase in life expectancy seen in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients over recent years. However, the effectiveness of this aminoglycoside is still limited by its inability to penetrate the thick DNA-rich mucus in the lungs of these patients, leading to low antibiotic exposure to resident bacteria. In this study, we created novel polymeric nanoparticle (NP) delivery vehicles for tobramycin. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we showed that tobramycin binds with alginate polymer and, by exploiting this interaction, optimised the production of tobramycin alginate/chitosan NPs. It was established that NP antimicrobial activity against P. aeruginosa PA01 was equivalent to unencapsulated tobramycin (minimum inhibitory concentration 0.625mg/L). Galleria mellonella was employed as an in vivo model for P. aeruginosa infection. Survival rates of 90% were observed following injection of NPs, inferring low NP toxicity. After infection with P. aeruginosa, we showed that a lethal inoculum was effectively cleared by tobramycin NPs in a dose dependent manner. Crucially, a treatment with NPs prior to infection provided a longer window of antibiotic protection, doubling survival rates from 40% with free tobramycin to 80% with NP treatment. Tobramycin NPs were then functionalised with dornase alfa (recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I, DNase), demonstrating DNA degradation and improved NP penetration of CF sputum. Following incubation with CF sputum, tobramycin NPs both with and without DNase functionalisation, exhibited anti-pseudomonal effects. Overall, this work demonstrates the production of effective antimicrobial NPs, which may have clinical utility as mucus-penetrating tobramycin delivery vehicles, combining two widely used CF therapeutics into a single NP formulation. This nano-antibiotic represents a strategy to overcome the mucus barrier, increase local drug concentrations, avoid systemic adverse effects and improve outcomes for pulmonary infections in CF. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Elafin is a serine protease inhibitor produced by epithelial and immune cells with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that dysregulated protease activity may elicit proteolytic cleavage of elafin, thereby impairing the innate immune function of the protein. The aim of this study was to generate variants of elafin (GG- and QQ-elafin) that exhibit increased protease resistance whilst retaining the biological properties of wild-type (WT) elafin. Similar to WT-elafin, GG- and QQ-elafin variants retained antiprotease activity and susceptibility to transglutaminase-mediated fibronectin cross-linking. However, in contrast to WT-elafin, GG- and QQ-elafin displayed significantly enhanced resistance to degradation when incubated with bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Intriguingly, both variants, particularly GG-elafin, demonstrated improved lipopolysaccharide (LPS) neutralisation properties in vitro. In addition, GG-elafin showed improved anti-inflammatory activity in a mouse model of LPS-induced acute lung inflammation. Inflammatory cell infiltration into the lung was reduced in lungs of mice treated with GG-elafin; predominantly neutrophilic infiltration. A reduction in MCP-1 levels in GG-elafin treated mice compared to the LPS alone treatment group was also demonstrated. GG-elafin showed increased functionality when compared to WT-elafin and may be of future therapeutic relevance in the treatment of lung diseases characterized by a protease burden.Molecular Therapy (2014); doi:10.1038/mt.2014.162.
    Thorax 09/2014; · 8.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein interactions play key roles throughout all subcellular compartments. In the present paper, we report the visualization of protein interactions throughout living mammalian cells using two oligomerizing MV (measles virus) transmembrane glycoproteins, the H (haemagglutinin) and the F (fusion) glycoproteins, which mediate MV entry into permissive cells. BiFC (bimolecular fluorescence complementation) has been used to examine the dimerization of these viral glycoproteins. The H glycoprotein is a type II membrane-receptor-binding homodimeric glycoprotein and the F glycoprotein is a type I disulfide-linked membrane glycoprotein which homotrimerizes. Together they co-operate to allow the enveloped virus to enter a cell by fusing the viral and cellular membranes. We generated a pair of chimaeric H glycoproteins linked to complementary fragments of EGFP (enhanced green fluorescent protein)--haptoEGFPs--which, on association, generate fluorescence. Homodimerization of H glycoproteins specifically drives this association, leading to the generation of a fluorescent signal in the ER (endoplasmic reticulum), the Golgi and at the plasma membrane. Similarly, the generation of a pair of corresponding F glycoprotein-haptoEGFP chimaeras also produced a comparable fluorescent signal. Co-expression of H and F glycoprotein chimaeras linked to complementary haptoEGFPs led to the formation of fluorescent fusion complexes at the cell surface which retained their biological activity as evidenced by cell-to-cell fusion.
    Bioscience Reports 03/2012; 32(3):333-43. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic commonly used for treating Pseudomonas infections, but its use is limited by a relatively short half-life. In this investigation, developed a controlled-release gentamicin formulation using poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles. We demonstrate that entrapment of the hydrophilic drug into a hydrophobic PLGA polymer can be improved by increasing the pH of the formulation, reducing the hydrophilicity of the drug and thus enhancing entrapment, achieving levels of up to 22.4 µg/mg PLGA. Under standard incubation conditions, these particles exhibited controlled release of gentamicin for up to 16 days. These particles were tested against both planktonic and biofilm cultures of P. aeruginosa PA01 in vitro, as well as in a 96-hour peritoneal murine infection model. In this model, the particles elicited significantly improved antimicrobial effects as determined by lower plasma and peritoneal lavage colony-forming units and corresponding reductions of the surrogate inflammatory indicators interleukin-6 and myeloperoxidase compared to free drug administration by 96 hours. These data highlight that the controlled release of gentamicin may be applicable for treating Pseudomonas infections.
    International Journal of Nanomedicine 01/2012; · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic commonly used for treating Pseudomonas infections, but its use is limited by a relatively short half-life. In this investigation, developed a controlled-release gentamicin formulation using poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles. We demonstrate that entrapment of the hydrophilic drug into a hydrophobic PLGA polymer can be improved by increasing the pH of the formulation, reducing the hydrophilicity of the drug and thus enhancing entrapment, achieving levels of up to 22.4 μg/mg PLGA. Under standard incubation conditions, these particles exhibited controlled release of gentamicin for up to 16 days. These particles were tested against both planktonic and biofilm cultures of P. aeruginosa PA01 in vitro, as well as in a 96-hour peritoneal murine infection model. In this model, the particles elicited significantly improved antimicrobial effects as determined by lower plasma and peritoneal lavage colony-forming units and corresponding reductions of the surrogate inflammatory indicators interleukin-6 and myeloperoxidase compared to free drug administration by 96 hours. These data highlight that the controlled release of gentamicin may be applicable for treating Pseudomonas infections.
    International Journal of Nanomedicine 01/2012; 7:4053-63. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas elastase (LasB), a metalloprotease virulence factor, is known to play a pivotal role in pseudomonal infection. LasB is secreted at the site of infection, where it exerts a proteolytic action that spans from broad tissue destruction to subtle action on components of the host immune system. The former enhances invasiveness by liberating nutrients for continued growth, while the latter exerts an immunomodulatory effect, manipulating the normal immune response. In addition to the extracellular effects of secreted LasB, it also acts within the bacterial cell to trigger the intracellular pathway that initiates growth as a bacterial biofilm. The key role of LasB in pseudomonal virulence makes it a potential target for the development of an inhibitor as an antimicrobial agent. The concept of inhibition of virulence is a recently established antimicrobial strategy, and such agents have been termed "second-generation" antibiotics. This approach holds promise in that it seeks to attenuate virulence processes without bactericidal action and, hence, without selection pressure for the emergence of resistant strains. A potent inhibitor of LasB, N-mercaptoacetyl-Phe-Tyr-amide (K(i) = 41 nM) has been developed, and its ability to block these virulence processes has been assessed. It has been demonstrated that thes compound can completely block the action of LasB on protein targets that are instrumental in biofilm formation and immunomodulation. The novel LasB inhibitor has also been employed in bacterial-cell-based assays, to reduce the growth of pseudomonal biofilms, and to eradicate biofilm completely when used in combination with conventional antibiotics.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 03/2011; 55(6):2670-8. · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Cystic Fibrosis - J CYST FIBROS. 01/2011; 10.
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    ABSTRACT: In this present work we describe a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle formulation for intracellular delivery of plasmid DNA. This formulation was developed to encapsulate DNA within PLGA nanoparticles that combined salting out and emulsion-evaporation processes. This process reduced the requirement for sonication which can induce degradation of the DNA. A monodispersed nanoparticle population with a mean diameter of approximately 240 nm was produced, entrapping a model plasmid DNA in both supercoiled and open circular structures. To induce endosomal escape of the nanoparticles, a superficial cationic charge was introduced using positively charged surfactants cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and dimethyldidodecylammonium bromide (DMAB), which resulted in elevated zeta potentials. As expected, both cationic coatings reduced cell viability, but at equivalent positive zeta potentials, the DMAB coated nanoparticles induced significantly less cytotoxicity than those coated with CTAB. Fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that the DMAB coated cationic nanoparticles were able to evade the endosomal lumen and localise in the cytosol of treated cells. Consequently, DMAB coated PLGA nanoparticles loaded with a GFP reporter plasmid exhibited significant improvements in transfection efficiencies with comparison to non-modified particles, highlighting their functional usefulness. These nanoparticles may be useful in delivery of gene therapies to targeted cells.
    Biomaterials 02/2010; 31(14):4214-22. · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal inherited disease of Caucasians, affecting about 1 in 3000 births. Patients with CF have a recessive mutation in the gene encoding the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR is expressed in the epithelium of many organs throughout the exocrine system, however, inflammation and damage of the airways as a result of persistent progressive endobronchial infection is a central feature of CF. The inflammatory response to infection brings about a sustained recruitment of neutrophils to the site of infection. These neutrophils release various pro-inflammatory compounds including proteases, which when expressed at aberrant levels can overcome the endogenous antiprotease defence mechanisms of the lung. Unregulated, these proteases can exacerbate inflammation and result in the degradation of structural proteins and tissue damage leading to bronchiectasis and loss of respiratory function. Other host-derived and bacterial proteases may also contribute to the inflammation and lung destruction observed in the CF lung. Antiprotease strategies to dampen the excessive inflammatory response and concomitant damage to the airways remains an attractive therapeutic option for CF patients.
    The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal 01/2010; 4:20-31.
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    ABSTRACT: Periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the tissues supporting the teeth, is characterized by an exaggerated host immune and inflammatory response to periopathogenic bacteria. Toll-like receptor activation, cytokine network induction, and accumulation of neutrophils at the site of inflammation are important in the host defense against infection. At the same time, induction of immune tolerance and the clearance of neutrophils from the site of infection are essential in the control of the immune response, resolution of inflammation, and prevention of tissue destruction. Using a human monocytic cell line, we demonstrate that Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is a major etiological factor in periodontal disease, induces only partial immune tolerance, with continued high production of interleukin-8 (IL-8) but diminished secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) after repeated challenge. This cytokine response has functional consequences for other immune cells involved in the response to infection. Primary human neutrophils incubated with P. gingivalis LPS-treated naïve monocyte supernatant displayed a high migration index and increased apoptosis. In contrast, neutrophils treated with P. gingivalis LPS-tolerized monocyte supernatant showed a high migration index but significantly decreased apoptosis. Overall, these findings suggest that induction of an imbalanced immune tolerance in monocytes by P. gingivalis LPS, which favors continued secretion of IL-8 but decreased TNF-α production, may be associated with enhanced migration of neutrophils to the site of infection but also with decreased apoptosis and may play a role in the chronic inflammatory state seen in periodontal disease.
    Infection and immunity 01/2010; 78(5). · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we report on a novel, expedited solid-phase approach for the synthesis of biotinylated and fluorescently tagged irreversible affinity based probes for the chymotrypsin and elastase-like serine proteases. The novel solid-phase biotinylation or fluorescent labeling of the aminoalkane diphenyl phosphonate warhead using commercially available Biotin-PEG-NovaTag or EDANS NovaTag resin permits rapid, facile synthesis of these reagents. We demonstrate the kinetic evaluation and utilization of a number of these irreversible inactivators for chymotrypsin-like (chymotrypsin/human cathepsin G) and elastase-like serine proteases. Encouragingly, these compounds display comparable potency against their target proteases as their N-benzyloxycarbonyl (Cbz)-protected parent compounds, from which they were derived, and function as efficient active site-directed inactivators of their target proteases. We subsequently applied the biotinylated reagents for the sensitive detection of protease species via Western blot, showing that the inactivation of the protease was specifically mediated through the active site serine. Furthermore, we also demonstrate the successful detection of serine protease species with the fluorescently labeled derivatives "in-gel", thus avoiding the need for downstream Western blotting. Finally, we also show the utility of biotinylated and pegylated affinity probes for the isolation/enrichment of serine protease species, via capture with immobilized streptavidin, and their subsequent identification via de novo sequencing. Given their selectivity of action against the serine proteases, we believe that these reagents can be exploited for the direct, rapid, and selective identification of these enzymes from biological milieu containing multiple protease subclasses.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry 10/2009; 20(11):2098-105. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cathepsin S is a cysteine protease that promotes the invasion of tumor and endothelial cells during cancer progression. Here we investigated the potential to target cathepsin S using an antagonistic antibody, Fsn0503, to block these tumorigenic effects. A panel of monoclonal antibodies was raised to human cathepsin S. The effects of a selected antibody were subsequently determined using invasion and proteolysis assays. Endothelial cell tube formation and aorta sprouting assays were done to examine antiangiogenic effects. In vivo effects were also evaluated using HCT116 xenograft studies. A selected cathepsin S antibody, Fsn0503, significantly blocked invasion of a range of tumor cell lines, most significantly HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cells, through inhibition of extracellular cathepsin S-mediated proteolysis. We subsequently found enhanced expression of cathepsin S in colorectal adenocarcinoma biopsies when compared with normal colon tissue. Moreover, Fsn0503 blocked endothelial cell capillary tube formation and aortic microvascular sprouting. We further showed that administration of Fsn0503 resulted in inhibition of tumor growth and neovascularization of HCT116 xenograft tumors. These results show that blocking the invasive and proangiogenic effects of cathepsin S with antibody inhibitors may have therapeutic utility upon further preclinical and clinical evaluation.
    Clinical Cancer Research 10/2009; 15(19):6042-51. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proto-oncogene Ras undergoes a series of post-translational modifications at its carboxyl-terminal CAAX motif that are essential for its proper membrane localization and function. One step in this process is the cleavage of the CAAX motif by the enzyme Ras-converting enzyme 1 (RCE1). Here we show that the deubiquitinating enzyme USP17 negatively regulates the activity of RCE1. We demonstrate that USP17 expression blocks Ras membrane localization and activation, thereby inhibiting phosphorylation of the downstream kinases MEK and ERK. Furthermore, we show that this effect is caused by the loss of RCE1 catalytic activity as a result of its deubiquitination by USP17. We also show that USP17 and RCE1 co-localize at the endoplasmic reticulum and that USP17 cannot block proliferation or Ras membrane localization in RCE1 null cells. These studies demonstrate that USP17 modulates Ras processing and activation, at least in part, by regulating RCE1 activity.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2009; 284(14):9587-9595. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibody targeting of drug substances can improve the efficacy of the active molecule, improving distribution and concentration of the drug at the site of injury/disease. Encapsulation of drug substances into polymeric nanoparticles can also improve the therapeutic effects of such compounds by protecting the molecule until its action is required. In this current study, we have brought together these two rationales to develop a novel immuno-nanoparticle with improved therapeutic effect against colorectal tumor cells. This nanoparticle comprised a layer of peripheral antibodies (Ab) directed toward the Fas receptor (CD95/Apo-1) covalently attached to poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles (NP) loaded with camptothecin. Variations in surface carboxyl density permitted up to 48.5 microg coupled Ab per mg of NP and analysis of nanoparticulate cores showed efficient camptothecin loading. Fluorescence visualization studies confirmed internalization of nanoconstructs into endocytic compartments of HCT116 cells, an effect not evident in NP without superficial Ab. Cytotoxicity studies were then carried out against HCT116 cells. After 72 h, camptothecin solution resulted in an IC 50 of 21.8 ng mL (-1). Ab-directed delivery of NP-encapsulated camptothecin was shown to be considerably more effective with an IC 50 of 0.37 ng mL (-1). Calculation of synergistic ratios for these nanoconstructs demonstrated synergy of pharmacological relevance. Indeed, the results in this paper suggest that the attachment of anti-Fas antibodies to camptothecin-loaded nanoparticles may result in a therapeutic strategy that could have potential in the treatment of tumors expressing death receptors.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry 08/2008; 19(8):1561-9. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FKBP-like (FKBPL) protein is a novel immunophilin-like protein that plays a role in the cellular stress response. Its three tetratricopeptide repeat motifs are homologous to the heat shock protein 90 interaction sites of other immunophilins that have roles in steroid hormone receptor signaling. In this study, using biomolecular complementation and coimmunoprecipitation techniques, we show that FKBPL also colocalizes and interacts with the components of the heat shock protein 90-glucocorticoid receptor (GR) complex and demonstrate that the PPIase domain of FKBPL is important for the interaction between this complex and the dynein motor protein, dynamitin. Treatment of DU145 cells with the GR ligand, dexamethasone, induced a rapid and coordinated translocation of both GR and FKBPL to the nucleus; this response was perturbed when FKBPL was knocked down with a targeted small interfering RNA. Furthermore, overexpression of FKBPL increased GR protein levels and transactivation of a luciferase reporter gene in response to dexamethasone in DU145 cells. However, these responses were cell line dependent. In summary, these data suggest that FKBPL can be classed as a new member of the FKBP protein family with a role in steroid receptor complexes and signaling.
    Endocrinology 08/2008; 149(11):5724-34. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have examined the potential of displaying a protease species in vitro using ribosome display and demonstrate specific capture on the basis of its catalytic activity. Using a model bacterial cysteine protease, sortase A (SrtA), we show that this enzyme can be functionally expressed in vitro. By overlap PCR we constructed ribosome display templates with the SrtA open reading frame fused to a C terminal glycine-serine rich flexible linker and a tether derived from eGFP. Using the broad range cysteine protease irreversible inhibitor E-64 linked to acrylic beads, we show that we can isolate SrtA ribosome display ternary complexes, and recover their encoding mRNA by RT-PCR. This recovery was lost when applied to a SrtA catalytically inactive mutant, or could be alleviated by competition with free inhibitor. This sensitive technique could be further developed to allow the screening of proteases against putative inhibitors and/or the identification of novel proteolytic species.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2008; 370(1):77-81. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To prepare a nanoparticulate formulation expressing variable peripheral carboxyl density using non-endcapped and endcapped poly(lactide-co-glycolide), conjugated to antibodies recognising the siglec-7 receptor, which is expressed on most acute myeloid leukaemias. The aim is to exploit this receptor as a therapeutic target by constructing an internalising drug-loaded nanoparticle able to translocate into cytoplasm by siglec receptor-mediated internalisation. Antibodies to the siglec-7 (CD33-like) receptor were conjugated to dye-loaded nanoparticles using carbodiimide chemistry, giving 32.6 microg protein per mg of nanoparticles using 100% of the non-endcapped PLGA. Binding studies using cognate antigen were used to verify preservation of antibody function following conjugation. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts expressing recombinant siglec-7 receptor and exposed to Nile-Red-loaded nanoparticles conjugated to antibody accumulated intracellular fluorescence, which was not observed if either antibody or siglec-7 receptor was absent. Confocal microscopy revealed internalised perinuclear cytoplasmic staining, with an Acridine Orange-based analysis showing red staining in localised foci, indicating localisation within acidic endocytic compartments. Results show antibody-NP constructs are internalised via siglec-7 receptor-mediated internalisation. If loaded with a therapeutic agent, antibody-NP constructs can cross into cytoplasmic space and delivery drugs intracellularly to cells expressing CD33-like receptors, such as natural killer cells and monocytes.
    Pharmaceutical Research 02/2008; 25(1):135-46. · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we report on the synthesis, kinetic characterisation, and application of a novel biotinylated and active site-directed inactivator of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV). Thus, the dipeptide-derived proline diphenyl phosphonate NH(2)-Glu(biotinyl-PEG)-Pro(P)(OPh)(2) has been prepared by a combination of classical solution- and solid-phase methodologies and has been shown to be an irreversible inhibitor of porcine DPP-IV, exhibiting an over all second-order rate constant (k(i)/K(i)) for inhibition of 1.57 x 10(3) M(-1) min(-1). This value compares favourably with previously reported rates of inactivation of DPP-IV by dipeptides containing a P(1) proline diphenyl phosphonate grouping [B. Boduszek, J. Oleksyszyn, C.M. Kam, J. Selzler, R.E. Smith, J.C. Powers, Dipeptide phophonates as inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase IV, J. Med. Chem. 37 (1994) 3969-3976; B.F. Gilmore, J.F. Lynas, C.J. Scott, C. McGoohan, L. Martin, B. Walker, Dipeptide proline diphenyl phosphonates are potent, irreversible inhibitors of seprase (FAPalpha), Biochem, Biophys. Res. Commun. 346 (2006) 436-446.], thus demonstrating that the incorporation of the side-chain modified (N-biotinyl-3-(2-(2-(3-aminopropyloxy)-ethoxy)-ethoxy)-propyl) glutamic acid residue at the P(2) position is compatible with inhibitor efficacy. The utilisation of this probe for the detection of both purified dipeptidyl peptidase IV and the disclosure of a dipeptidyl peptidase IV-like activity from a clinical isolate of Porphyromonas gingivalis, using established electrophoretic and Western blotting techniques previously developed by our group, is also demonstrated.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2006; 347(1):373-9. · 2.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

196 Citations
71.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • • Centre for Infection and Immunity
      • • School of Biological Sciences
      • • School of Pharmacy
      Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States