Rosaria Volpini

University of Camerino, Camerino, The Marches, Italy

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Publications (131)326.19 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives We investigated the effects of novel selective and non-selective adenosine receptor agonists (ARs) on cardioprotection.Methods Male rabbits divided into six groups were subjected to 30-min heart ischaemia and 3-h reperfusion: (1) control group, (2) postconditioning (PostC) group, (3) group A: treated with the non-selective agonist (S)-PHPNECA, (4) group B: treated with the A1 agonist CCPA, (5) group C: treated with the A2A agonist VT 7 and (6) group D: treated with the A3 agonist AR 170. The infarcted (I) and the areas at risk (R) were estimated as %I/R. In additional rabbits of all groups, heart samples were taken for determination of Akt, eNOS and STAT 3 at the 10th reperfusion minute.Key findings(S)-PHPNECA and CCPA reduced the infarct size (17.2 ± 2.9% and 17.9 ± 2.0% vs 46.8 ± 1.9% in control, P < 0.05), conferring a benefit similar to PostC (26.4 ± 0.3%). Selective A2A and A3 receptor agonists did not reduce the infarct size (39.5 ± 0.8% and 38.7 ± 3.5%, P = NS vs control). Akt, eNOS and STAT 3 were significantly activated after non-selective A1 ARs and PostC.Conclusions Non-selective and A1 but not A2A and A3 ARs agonists are essential for triggering cardioprotection. The molecular mechanism involves both RISK and the JAK/STAT pathways.
    Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 05/2014;
  • European Neuropsychopharmacology. 01/2014; 24:S23.
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    ABSTRACT: A3 Adenosine receptors are promising drug targets for a number of diseases and intense efforts are dedicated to develop selective agonists and antagonists of these receptors. A series of adenosine derivatives with 2-(ar)-alkynyl chains, with high affinity and different degrees of selectivity for human A3 Adenosine receptors was tested for the ability to inhibit forskolin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase. All these derivatives are partial agonists at A3 Adenosine receptors; their efficacy is not significantly modified by the introduction of small alkyl substituents in the N(6)-position. In contrast, the adenosine-5'-N-ethyluronamide (NECA) analogues of 2-(ar)-alkynyladenosine derivatives are full A3 agonists. Molecular modeling analyses were performed considering both the conformational behavior of the ligands and the impact of 2- and 5'-substituents on ligand-target interaction. The results suggest an explanation for the different agonistic behavior of adenosine and NECA derivatives, respectively. A sub-pocket of the binding site was analyzed as a crucial interaction domain for receptor activation.
    Biochemical pharmacology 10/2013; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Selective adenosine receptor modulators are potential tools for numerous therapeutic applications, including cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, the synthesis and biological evaluation at the four human adenosine receptor subtypes of a series of 9-substituted 8-(2-furyl)adenine derivatives are reported. Results show that 8-(2-furyl)-9-methyladenine is endowed with high affinity at the A2A subtype. Further modification of this compound with introduction of arylacetyl or arylcarbamoyl groups in N(6)-position takes to different effects on the A2A affinity and in particular on the selectivity versus the other three adenosine receptor subtypes. A molecular modelling analysis at three different A2A receptor crystal structures provides an interpretation of the obtained biological results.
    European journal of medicinal chemistry 10/2013; 70C:525-535. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ligands that selectively block P2X3 receptors localized on nociceptive sensory fibres may be useful for the treatment of chronic pain conditions including neuropathic pain, migraine, and inflammatory pain. With the aim at exploring the suitability of adenine moiety as a scaffold for the development of antagonists of this receptor, a series of 9-benzyl-2-aminoadenine derivatives were designed and synthesized. These new compounds were functionally evaluated at rat or human P2X3 receptors expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells and on native P2X3 receptors from mouse trigeminal ganglion sensory neurons using patch clamp recording under voltage clamp configuration. The new molecules behaved as P2X3 antagonists, as they rapidly and reversibly inhibited (IC50 in the low micromolar range) the membrane currents induced via P2X3 receptor activation by the full agonist α,β-methyleneATP. Introduction of a small lipophilic methyl substituent at the 6-amino group enhanced the activity, in comparison to the corresponding unsubstituted derivative, resulting in the 9-(5-iodo-2-isopropyl-4-methoxybenzyl)-N(6)-methyl-9H-purine-2,6-diamine (24), which appears to be a good antagonist on recombinant and native P2X3 receptors with IC50 = 1.74 ± 0.21 μM.
    European journal of medicinal chemistry 04/2013; 65C:41-50. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A liquid chromatographic stationary phase containing immobilized membranes from cells expressing A(2A) adenosine receptor (A(2A)AR) is firstly described. Cellular membranes from CHO cells stably transfected with human A(2A)AR vector (A(2A)(+)) and from the same cell line transfected with the corresponding empty vector (A(2A)(-)) were entrapped on immobilized artificial membrane (IAM) support and packed into 6.6 mm I.D. glass columns to create A(2A)(+)-IAM and A(2A)(-)-IAM stationary phases. Frontal chromatography experiments on both A(2A)(+)-IAM and A(2A)(-)-IAM columns demonstrated the presence of a low specific interaction with the receptor. However, immobilized A(2A) retained its ability to specifically bind known ligands as demonstrated by the agreement of the calculated K (d) values with two different chromatographic protocols in comparison to previously reported data. In order to maximize the specific interaction, the same cellular membranes were immobilized on the inner surface of a silica capillary (40 cm × 100 μm I.D.) by non-covalent interactions using the avidin-biotin coupling system to create two open tubular columns A(2A)(+)-OT and A(2A)(-)-OT. The open tubular system was characterized by ranking experiments for affinity studies in mixture useful for the selection of new potential candidates.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 09/2012; · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the effect of two A(2A) adenosine receptor (AR) agonists, CGS 21680 and VT 7, on high-palatability food (HPF) intake in a model of binge eating in sated rats and on low-palatability food (LPF) intake in food-deprived rats. Binge eating was induced in female rats by three 8-day cycles of food restriction/refeeding, followed by acute stress. Two groups of rats were used: NR+NS rats normally fed and not stressed and R+S rats exposed to cycles of food restriction/refeeding and then stressed. R+S rats had higher intake of HPF than the NR+NS controls. The two A(2A)AR agonists were tested at doses of 0.1 and 0.05 mg/kg intraperitoneally; VT 7 did not modify locomotor activity at either dose, whereas CGS 21680 only slightly reduced it at the higher dose tested. The injection of 0.1 mg/kg of both agonists markedly reduced HPF intake both in R+S and in NR+NS rats. The dose of 0.05 mg/kg was inactive. CGS 21680 and VT 7, 0.1 mg/kg, also reduced the standard LPF intake in 24 h food-deprived rats; however, they did not reduce water intake, indicating that their effect on food intake is selective. The dose of 0.05 mg/kg was inactive. Thus, A(2A)AR agonists exert a rather general effect on food intake, inhibiting both HPF intake in sated rats and LPF intake in food-deprived rats. They may potentially be useful pharmacological agents to control binge-related eating disorders and to reduce food overconsumption associated with obesity.
    Behavioural pharmacology 06/2012; 23(5-6):567-74. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RationaleA2A adenosine receptors (A2AARs) have been proposed to be involved in drug addiction; however, preclinical studies about the effects of A2AAR ligands on alcohol consumption have provided inconsistent results. ObjectivesThe present study evaluated the effect of intraperitoneal injections of the A2AAR antagonist ANR 94, and the A2AAR agonists CGS 21680 and VT 7 on voluntary drinking and operant self-administration of 10% ethanol in Marchigian Sardinian alcohol-preferring (msP) rats. ResultsVoluntary ethanol drinking was increased by ANR 94 in acute and subchronic experiments, while it was reduced by A2AAR agonists. The effect of CGS 21680 was abolished by a low dose of ANR 94, confirming its mediation by A2AARs. Ethanol self-administration was reduced by CGS 21680 and VT 7, while ANR 94 slightly but significantly increased it. Blood alcohol levels were not modified by A2AAR agonists, indicating that their effect is not related to ethanol pharmacokinetics. The effect of VT 7 on ethanol drinking was behaviourally selective; ethanol and food intake were reduced, but water intake was increased, and total fluid intake was not different from that of controls. Moreover, VT 7 did not affect locomotor activity. CGS 21680 (0.1mg/kg) did not modify total fluid intake, but 0.2 and 0.3mg/kg reduced total fluid intake and locomotor activity. ConclusionThese results provide evidence that A2AAR agonists reduce ethanol consumption in msP rats, which represent an animal model of alcohol abuse related to stress, anxiety and depression. A2AARs may represent a potential target for treatment of alcohol abuse. KeywordsA2A Adenosine receptor–A2A Adenosine receptor agonist–A2A Adenosine receptor antagonist–Alcohol intake–Alcohol self-administration–Alcohol-preferring rats
    Psychopharmacology 02/2012; 219(4):945-957. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nucleoside analogues may represent good candidates for the discovery of new antibacterial agents, therefore, a library of adenosine analogues was assessed for their antibacterial activity, and the relationship between the structure and activity of these molecules was outlined. Antibacterial activity was evaluated against that of reference strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We tested 54 adenosine analogues, modified both at ribose and base moieties, including adenine and 1/3-deazaadenine derivatives substituted in the 2- and/or N(6)-positions and bearing N-9 sugar moieties, such as ribose, 2'-deoxyribose, 3'-deoxyribose, 2',3'-dideoxyribose or cycloalkyl groups like cyclopentane. The data obtained, MIC and minimal bactericidal concentrations demonstrated that the presence of bulky substituents such as cycloheptyl and cyclooctyl rings on the N(6)-amino, together with a chlorine atom in the 2-position, conferred antibacterial activity against the Gram-positive group with MIC values ranging from 16 to 128 mg l(-1). The intact sugar moiety seemed to be not essential for antimicrobial activity and nucleosides bearing deoxyribose or cyclopentyl groups associated with bulky substituents in N(6)-position showed good antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, N-1 proved to be non-crucial and the 2-chloro-N(6)-cyclooctyl-1-deaza-3'-deoxyadenosine and 2',3'-dideoxyadenosine compounds were among the more active in the series with an MIC of 32 mg l(-1) against Staph. aureus and Strep. pneumoniae. None of the analogues was active against the two gram-negative species tested. Hence, adenosine derivatives bearing bulky substituents in the N(6)-position may represent good lead compounds for the future discovery of a novel series of antibacterial agents.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 12/2011; 61(Pt 4):525-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new series of 9-methyladenines, bearing different bulky groups at the 8-position, were prepared and their affinity for the four human adenosine receptor subtypes were evaluated. All the synthesized compounds showed affinities at the A1, A2A, and A3AR subtypes ranging from nanomolar to micromolar levels with different degrees of A1 selectivity, while they resulted nearly inactive at A2BAR. In particular, 9-methyl-8-[4-(4-methylbenzyloxy)phenyl]-adenine showed A1AR affinity in the nanomolar range and good levels of selectivity versus the other receptor subtypes. Furthermore, a functional assay at mouse ileum allowed to assess the potency of selected compounds at A1AR subtype. Results showed that all the tested derivatives are neutral antagonists and their Kb values are in good agreement with the Ki values from radioligand binding assay at human A1AR, confirming that the effect is due to inhibition of this subtype.
    Collection of Czechoslovak Chemical Communications 11/2011; 76(11):1379. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, an innovative and non-radioactive functional cAMP assay was validated at the GPR17 receptor. This assay provides a simple and powerful new system to monitor G protein-coupled receptor activity through change in the intracellular cAMP concentration by using a mutant form of Photinus pyralis luciferase into which a cAMP-binding protein moiety has been inserted. Results, expressed as EC(50) or IC(50) values for agonists and antagonists, respectively, showed a strong correlation with those obtained with [(35)S]GTPγS binding assay, thus confirming the validity of this approach in the study of new ligands for GPR17. Moreover, this method allowed confirming that GPR17 is coupled with a G(αi).
    Purinergic Signalling 07/2011; 7(4):463-8. · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Guanosine, released extracellularly from neurons and glial cells, plays important roles in the central nervous system, including neuroprotection. The innovative DELFIA Eu-GTP binding assay was optimized for characterization of the putative guanosine receptor binding site at rat brain membranes by using a series of novel and known guanosine derivatives. These nucleosides were prepared by modifying the purine and sugar moieties of guanosine at the 6- and 5'-positions, respectively. Results of these experiments prove that guanosine, 6-thioguanosine, and their derivatives activate a G protein-coupled receptor that is different from the well-characterized adenosine receptors.
    ChemMedChem 06/2011; 6(6):1074-80. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of purinergic P2 receptors under ischemia, we studied the effect of P2 receptor antagonists on synaptic transmission and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation under oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in rat hippocampal slices. The effect of the P2 antagonists pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonate (PPADS, unselective, 30 μm), N( 6) -methyl-2'-deoxyadenosine-3',5'-bisphosphate (MRS2179, selective for P2Y(1) receptor, 10 μm), Brilliant Blue G (BBG, selective for P2X(7) receptor, 1 μm), and 5-[[[(3-phenoxyphenyl)methyl][(1S)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-naphthalenyl]amino]carbonyl]-1,2,4-benzenetricarboxylic acid (A-317491, selective for P2X(3) receptor, 10 μm), and of the newly synthesized P2X(3) receptor antagonists 2-amino-9-(5-iodo-2-isopropyl-4-methoxybenzyl)adenine (PX21, 1 μm) and 2-amino-9-(5-iodo-2-isopropyl-4-methoxybenzyl)-N( 6)-methyladenine (PX24, 1 μm), on the depression of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and anoxic depolarization (AD) elicited by 7 min of OGD were evaluated. All antagonists significantly prevented these effects. The extent of CA1 cell injury was assessed 3 h after the end of 7 min of OGD by propidium iodide staining. Substantial CA1 pyramidal neuronal damage, detected in untreated slices exposed to OGD injury, was significantly prevented by PPADS (30 μm), MRS2179 (10 μm), and BBG (1 μm). Western blot analysis showed that, 10 min after the end of the 7 min of OGD, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 MAPK activation was significantly increased. MRS2179, BBG, PPADS and A-317491 significantly counteracted ERK1/2 activation. Hippocampal slices incubated with the ERK1/2 inhibitors 1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)butadiene (U0126, 10 μm) and α-[amino[(4-aminophenyl)thio]methylene]-2-(trifluoromethyl) benzeneacetonitrile (SL327, 10 μm) showed significant fEPSP recovery after OGD and delayed AD, supporting the involvement of ERK1/2 in neuronal damage induced by OGD. These results indicate that subtypes of hippocampal P2 purinergic receptors have a harmful effect on neurotransmission in the CA1 hippocampus by participating in AD appearance and activation of ERK1/2.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 04/2011; 33(12):2203-15. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The first demonstrations in the early seventies that adenosine had marked effects in the cerebral cortex, which were independent of its role in intermediary metabolism and could be antagonised by methylxanthines, were followed by the observations that other purine derivatives, notably ATP, may also play a critical role in cell function. In 1978 Burnstock first introduced the terms Pl for the nucleoside receptors and P2 for the nucleotide receptors, based on the most fundamental divisions of purine receptors between those for nucleosides such as adenosine and those for nucleotides such as ATP. At present, the P1 (adenosine) receptor family presents 4 subtypes, while the P2 (ATP, ADP and UTP) receptor family has been divided into P2X ionotropic receptors and P2Y metabotropic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). While knowledge on the purinergic receptor pharmacology was increasing, the development of potent and selective ligands for these receptors has been a target of medicinal chemistry research for several decades. In particular, synthesis of 2-substituted adenosines was carried out in many laboratories starting from seventies aimed at finding adenosine derivatives more resistant than the parent nucleoside to rapid uptake into cells, to deamination by adenosine deaminase, and to phosphorylation by adenosine kinase. In the present review the synthesis of alkynyl derivatives of adenine, adenosine, N-alkylcarboxamidoadenosine, and adenine nucleotides, which have been tested on purinergic receptors, will be summarized. Furthermore, the contribution of chemistry, molecular modelling, and pharmacology to the development of structure-activity relationships in this class of purinergic receptor ligands will be outlined.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 03/2011; 18(10):1444-63. · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a 20-amino acid peptide of great interest due to its possible involvement in several biological processes, including food intake, locomotion, wakefulness, arousal, and anxiety. Structure-activity relationship studies of NPS have identified key points for structural modifications with the goal of modulating NPS receptor (NPSR) agonist activity or achieving antagonism at the same receptor. Only limited information is available for nonpeptide NPSR antagonists. In the last year, several studies have been reported in literature which present various series of small molecules as antagonists of this receptor. The results allow a comparison of the structures and activities of these molecules, leading to the design of new ligands with increased potency and improved pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profiles. This work presents a brief overview of the available information regarding structural features and pharmacological characterization of published nonpeptide NPSR antagonists.
    ChemMedChem 03/2011; 6(7):1163-71. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene delivery to eukaryotic cells is the technique to study the regulation of gene expression. Human astrocytoma cell line 1321N1 could be useful to study G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Different transient transfection methods, namely calcium phosphate, Lipofectamine, FuGENE, Arrest-In, and microporation (Microporator), were investigated. Results were analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and fluorescence microscope using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a reporter gene. To verify the transfection efficiency of these techniques, the expression of human GPR17 gene (hgpr17) was analyzed by transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Microporation resulted in the best method to promote enriched hgpr17 delivery into the human astrocytoma cell line.
    Analytical Biochemistry 02/2011; 414(2):300-2. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenosine A(3) receptor (A(3)AR) is involved in a variety of key physio-pathological processes and its agonists are potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, dry eye disorders, asthma, as anti-inflammatory agents, and in cancer therapy. Recently reported MECA (5'-N-methylcarboxamidoadenosine) derivatives bearing a methyl group in N(6)-position and an arylethynyl substituent in 2-position demonstrated to possess sub-nanomolar affinity and remarkable selectivity for the human A(3)AR, behaving as full agonists of this receptor. In this study, we made an attempt to get a rationalization of the high affinities and selectivities of these molecules for the human A(3)AR, by using adenosine receptor (AR) structural models based on the A(2A)AR crystal structure and molecular docking analysis. Post-docking analysis allowed to evaluate the ability of modeling tools in predicting AA(3)R affinity and in providing interpretation of compound substituents effect on the A(3)AR affinity and selectivity.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 09/2010; 18(22):7923-30. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We characterized the role of adenosine receptor (AR) subtypes in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission by the chemokine fractalkine (CX3CL1) in mouse hippocampal CA1 neurons. CX(3)CL1 causes a reversible depression of excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC), which is abolished by the A(3)R antagonist MRS1523, but not by A(1)R (DPCPX) or A(2A)R (SCH58261) antagonists. Consistently, CX3CL1-induced EPSC depression is absent in slices from A(3)R(-/-) but not A(1)R(-/-) or A(2A)R(-/-) mice. Further, A(3)R stimulation causes similar EPSC depression. In cultured neurons, CX3CL1-induced depression of AMPA current shows A(1)R-A(3)R pharmacology. We conclude that glutamatergic depression induced by released adenosine requires the stimulation of different ARs.
    Journal of neuroimmunology 07/2010; 224(1-2):85-92. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For a long time, there have been no experimentally determined structural data for any adenosine receptor (AR) and the only approach available for making structure/function correlations about these proteins has been homology modeling. While the early attempts to model these receptors followed the crystallization of bacteriorhodopsin, the cryomicroscopy studies of bovine and frog rhodopsin, and the modeling of a Cα-template for the TM helices in the rhodopsin family of GPCRs, the crystallization of bovine rhodopsin by Palczewski was of extreme importance as it first provided the crystal structure of an eukaryotic GPCR to be used as template for more realistic homology models. Since then, rhodopsin-based modeling became the routine approach to develop AR structural models that proved to be useful for interpretation of site-directed mutagenesis data and for molecular docking studies. The recently reported crystal structures of the adrenergic beta1 and beta2 receptors only partially confirmed the structural features showed by bovine rhodopsin, raising a question about which template would have been better for further modeling of ARs. Such question remained actually not-answered, due to the publication in late 2008 of the crystal structure of human adenosine A2A receptor (AA2AR). Since its publication, this structure has been used for ligands docking analysis and has provided a high similarity template for homology modeling of the other AR subtypes. Still, the AA2AR crystal structure allows to verify the hypotheses that were made on the basis of the previously reported homology modeling and molecular docking.
    Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 06/2010; 10(10):993-1018. · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The application of frontal affinity chromatography-mass spectrometry (FAC-MS), along with molecular modeling studies, to the screening of potential drug candidates toward the recently deorphanized G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) GPR17 is shown. GPR17 is dually activated by uracil nucleotides and cysteinyl-leukotrienes, and is expressed in organs typically undergoing ischemic damage (i.e., brain, heart and kidney), thus representing a new pharmacological target for acute and chronic neurodegeneration. GPR17 was entrapped on an immobilized artificial membrane (IAM), and this stationary phase was used to screen a library of nucleotide derivatives by FAC-MS to select high affinity ligands. The chromatographic results have been validated with a reference functional assay ([(35)S]GTPgammaS binding assay). The receptor nucleotide-binding site was studied by setting up a column where a mutated GPR17 receptor (Arg255Ile) has been immobilized. The chromatographic behavior of the tested nucleotide derivatives together with in silico studies have been used to gain insights into the structure requirement of GPR17 ligands.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2010; 53(9):3489-501. · 5.61 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

969 Citations
326.19 Total Impact Points


  • 1993–2014
    • University of Camerino
      • • Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche
      • • Dipartimento Scienze Morfologiche e Biochimiche Comparate
      Camerino, The Marches, Italy
  • 2009
    • University of Rochester
      • Department of Chemistry
      Rochester, NY, United States
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Cleveland, OH, United States
  • 1999–2007
    • University of Wuerzburg
      • Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany