Michael E. Jung

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States

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Publications (264)973.65 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The LXR-regulated E3 ubiquitin ligase IDOL controls LDLR receptor stability independent of SREBP and PCSK9, but its relevance to plasma lipid levels is unknown. Here we demonstrate that the effects of the LXR-IDOL axis are both tissue and species specific. In mice, LXR agonist induces Idol transcript levels in peripheral tissues but not in liver, and does not change plasma LDL levels. Accordingly, Idol-deficient mice exhibit elevated LDLR protein levels in peripheral tissues, but not in the liver. By contrast, LXR activation in cynomolgus monkeys induces hepatic IDOL expression, reduces LDLR protein levels, and raises plasma LDL levels. Knockdown of IDOL in monkeys with an antisense oligonucleotide blunts the effect of LXR agonist on LDL levels. These results implicate IDOL as a modulator of plasma lipid levels in primates and support further investigation into IDOL inhibition as a potential strategy for LDL lowering in humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell metabolism. 11/2014; 20(5):910-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we have shown that small molecule dCK inhibitors in combination with pharmacological perturbations of de novo dNTP biosynthetic pathways could eliminate acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells in animal models. However, our previous lead compound had a short half-life in vivo. Therefore, we set out to develop dCK inhibitors with favorable pharmacokinetic properties. We delineated the sites of the inhibitor for modification, guided by crystal structures of dCK in complex with the lead compound and with derivatives. Crystal structure of the complex between dCK and the racemic mixture of our new lead compound indicated that the R-isomer is responsible for kinase inhibition. This was corroborated by kinetic analysis of the purified enantiomers, which showed that the R-isomer has >60-fold higher affinity than the S-isomer for dCK. This new lead compound has significantly improved metabolic stability, making it a prime candidate for dCK-inhibitor based therapies against hematological malignancies and, potentially, other cancers.
    Journal of medicinal chemistry. 10/2014;
  • Michael E Jung, Gloria S Lee
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    ABSTRACT: Trifluoromethanesulfonic acid and other electrophiles promote formation of the adamantanone core from the readily accessible 1,5-dimethyl-3,7-dimethylenebicyclo[3.3.1]nonan-9-one 2. Since the adamantyl cation 3 can be trapped by a range of nucleophiles, including aromatic and heteroaromatic rings, alcohol, nitriles, and halides, access to a wide variety of functionality at the newly formed tertiary position is provided.
    The Journal of organic chemistry. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We compare the duplex stabilizing properties of 2'-fluorinated nucleic acid analogs with furanose and non-furanose ring systems and dissect the relative contributions of hydration, sugar conformation and fluorine configuration towards overall Tm. We find that the stabilization imparted by fluorine substitution is additive over that obtained by restricting the conformation of the sugar ring itself. Our studies support further evaluation of fluorinated nucleic acid analogs with non-furanose sugar rings as surrogates of 2'-F RNA for therapeutic antisense applications.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 08/2014; · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The efficient synthesis, antiviral activity, and duplex-stabilizing properties of both isomers of the 2′-fluoro analogue of Northern methanocarbathymidine (N-MCT), 2 and 3, are reported. We show that 2′-F incorporation on the N-MCT scaffold has a strong stabilizing effect on duplex thermal stability.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 07/2014; · 13.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metabolism and ageing are intimately linked. Compared with ad libitum feeding, dietary restriction consistently extends lifespan and delays age-related diseases in evolutionarily diverse organisms. Similar conditions of nutrient limitation and genetic or pharmacological perturbations of nutrient or energy metabolism also have longevity benefits. Recently, several metabolites have been identified that modulate ageing; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying this are largely undefined. Here we show that α-ketoglutarate (α-KG), a tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, extends the lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans. ATP synthase subunit β is identified as a novel binding protein of α-KG using a small-molecule target identification strategy termed drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS). The ATP synthase, also known as complex V of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, is the main cellular energy-generating machinery and is highly conserved throughout evolution. Although complete loss of mitochondrial function is detrimental, partial suppression of the electron transport chain has been shown to extend C. elegans lifespan. We show that α-KG inhibits ATP synthase and, similar to ATP synthase knockdown, inhibition by α-KG leads to reduced ATP content, decreased oxygen consumption, and increased autophagy in both C. elegans and mammalian cells. We provide evidence that the lifespan increase by α-KG requires ATP synthase subunit β and is dependent on target of rapamycin (TOR) downstream. Endogenous α-KG levels are increased on starvation and α-KG does not extend the lifespan of dietary-restricted animals, indicating that α-KG is a key metabolite that mediates longevity by dietary restriction. Our analyses uncover new molecular links between a common metabolite, a universal cellular energy generator and dietary restriction in the regulation of organismal lifespan, thus suggesting new strategies for the prevention and treatment of ageing and age-related diseases.
    Nature 05/2014; · 38.60 Impact Factor
  • Michael E Jung, Gloria S Lee, Hung V Pham, K N Houk
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    ABSTRACT: The exomethylenes of 2,6-disubstituted bicyclo[3.3.1]nonan-9-ones 2 are readily isomerized over a palladium catalyst under an atmosphere of hydrogen to predominantly form the isomer 3 with C2 symmetry with very little formation of the analogous product with Cs symmetry. A hydrogen source is essential to effect the rearrangement.
    Organic Letters 04/2014; · 6.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: EGA, 1, prevents the entry of multiple viruses and bacterial toxins into mammalian cells by inhibiting vesicular trafficking. The cellular target of 1 is unknown, and a structure-activity relationship study was conducted in order to develop a strategy for target identification. A compound with midnanomolar potency was identified (2), and three photoaffinity labels were synthesized (3-5). For this series, the expected photochemistry of the phenyl azide moiety is a more important factor than the IC50 of the photoprobe in obtaining a successful photolabeling event. While 3 was the most effective reversible inhibitor of the series, it provided no protection to cells against anthrax lethal toxin (LT) following UV irradiation. Conversely, 5, which possessed weak bioactivity in the standard assay, conferred robust irreversible protection vs LT to cells upon UV photolysis.
    ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 04/2014; 5(4):363-367. · 3.31 Impact Factor
  • Michael E Jung, Gang Deng
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    ABSTRACT: Both alkylarylalkynes and diarylalkynes 1 are converted into the α-diketones 2 in good yield by the use of mercuric salts, e.g., mercuric nitrate hydrate or mercuric triflate, in the presence of water. Other mercuric salts, e.g., sulfate, chloride, acetate, or trifluoroacetate, do not provide the diketone product. A possible mechanism is proposed.
    Organic Letters 04/2014; · 6.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The liver X receptors (LXRs) are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily that regulate sterol metabolism and inflammation. We sought to identify previously unknown genes regulated by LXRs in macrophages and to determine their contribution to atherogenesis. Here we characterize a novel LXR target gene the lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) gene. Surprisingly, the ability of LXRs to control LBP expression is cell-type specific, occurring in macrophages but not liver. Treatment of macrophages with oxysterols or loading with modified LDL induces LBP in an LXR-dependent manner, suggesting a potential role for LBP in the cellular response to cholesterol overload. To investigate this further, we performed bone marrow transplant studies. After 18 weeks of western diet feeding, atherosclerotic lesion burden was assessed revealing markedly smaller lesions in the LBP-/- recipients. Furthermore, loss of bone marrow LBP expression increased apoptosis in atherosclerotic lesions as determined by TUNEL staining. Supporting in vitro studies with isolated macrophages showed that LBP expression does not affect cholesterol efflux but promotes the survival of macrophages in the setting of cholesterol loading. The LBP gene is a macrophage LXR target that promotes foam cell survival and atherogenesis.
    The Journal of Lipid Research 03/2014; · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteogenic factors are often used in orthopedics to promote bone growth, improve fracture healing, and induce spine fusion. Osteogenic oxysterols are naturally occurring molecules that were shown to induce osteogenic differentiation in vitro and promote spine fusion in vivo. The purpose of this study was to identify an osteogenic oxysterol more suitable for clinical development than those previously reported, and evaluate its ability to promote osteogenesis in vitro and spine fusion in rats in vivo. Among more than 100 oxysterol analogues synthesized, Oxy133 induced significant expression of osteogenic markers Runx2, osterix (OSX), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and osteocalcin (OCN) in C3H10T1/2 mouse embryonic fibroblasts and in M2-10B4 mouse marrow stromal cells. Oxy133-induced activation of an 8X-Gli luciferase reporter, its direct binding to Smoothened, and the inhibition of Oxy133-induced osteogenic effects by the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor, cyclopamine, demonstrated the role of Hh pathway in mediating osteogenic responses to Oxy133. Oxy133 did not stimulate osteogenesis via BMP or Wnt signaling. Oxy133 induced the expression of OSX, BSP, and OCN and stimulated robust mineralization in primary human mesenchymal stem cells. In vivo, bilateral spine fusion occurred through endochondral ossification and was observed in animals treated with Oxy133 at the fusion site on xray after 4 weeks and confirmed with manual assessment, micro CT (µCT), and histology after 8 weeks, with equal efficiency to recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2). Unlike rhBMP-2, Oxy133 did not induce adipogenesis in the fusion mass and resulted in denser bone evidenced by greater BV/TV ratio and smaller trabecular separation. Findings here suggest that Oxy133 has significant potential as an osteogenic molecule with greater ease of synthesis and improved time to fusion compared to previously studied oxysterols. Small molecule osteogenic oxysterols may serve as the next generation of bone anabolic agents for therapeutic development. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 03/2014; · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacological targeting of metabolic processes in cancer must overcome redundancy in biosynthetic pathways. Deoxycytidine (dC) triphosphate (dCTP) can be produced both by the de novo pathway (DNP) and by the nucleoside salvage pathway (NSP). However, the role of the NSP in dCTP production and DNA synthesis in cancer cells is currently not well understood. We show that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells avoid lethal replication stress after thymidine (dT)-induced inhibition of DNP dCTP synthesis by switching to NSP-mediated dCTP production. The metabolic switch in dCTP production triggered by DNP inhibition is accompanied by NSP up-regulation and can be prevented using DI-39, a new high-affinity small-molecule inhibitor of the NSP rate-limiting enzyme dC kinase (dCK). Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was useful for following both the duration and degree of dCK inhibition by DI-39 treatment in vivo, thus providing a companion pharmacodynamic biomarker. Pharmacological co-targeting of the DNP with dT and the NSP with DI-39 was efficacious against ALL models in mice, without detectable host toxicity. These findings advance our understanding of nucleotide metabolism in leukemic cells, and identify dCTP biosynthesis as a potential new therapeutic target for metabolic interventions in ALL and possibly other hematological malignancies.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 02/2014; · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sortase cysteine transpeptidases covalently attach proteins to the bacterial cell wall or assemble fiber-like pili that promote bacterial adhesion. Members of this enzyme superfamily are widely distributed in Gram-positive bacteria which frequently utilize multiple sortases to elaborate their peptidoglycan. Sortases catalyze transpeptidation using a conserved active site His-Cys-Arg triad that joins a sorting signal located at the C-terminus of their protein substrate to an amino nucleophile located on the cell surface. However, despite extensive study, the catalytic mechanism and molecular basis of substrate recognition remains poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structure of the Staphylococcus aureus Sortase B enzyme (SrtB) in a covalent complex with an analog of its NPQTN sorting signal substrate, revealing the structural basis through which it displays the IsdC protein involved in heme-iron scavenging from human hemoglobin. The results of computational modeling, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and targeted amino acid mutagenesis indicate that the backbone amide of Glu224 and the side chain of Arg233 form an oxyanion hole in SrtB that stabilizes high-energy tetrahedral catalytic intermediates. Surprisingly, a highly conserved threonine residue within the bound sorting signal substrate facilitates construction of the oxyanion hole by stabilizing the position of the active site arginine residue via hydrogen bonding. MD simulations and primary sequence conservation suggest that the sorting signal-stabilized oxyanion hole is a universal feature of enzymes within the sortase superfamily.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is the main underlying cause of major cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Oxidized phospholipids such as oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-Glycero-3-phosphorylcholine (OxPAPC) accumulate in lesions of and promote atherosclerosis. OxPAPC activates endothelial cells, a critical early event of atherogenesis. Epoxyisoprostane E2 (EI) is an oxidized fatty acid contained at the sn-2 position of 1-palmitoyl-2-epoxyisoprostane E2-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine (PEIPC), the most active component of OxPAPC in regulating inflammation. OxPAPC and its components including PEIPC activate endothelial cells to express an array of genes in different categories including oxidative stress response genes such as tumor suppressor gene OKL38 and Hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1). EI can be released by lipase from PEIPC. In this study, we examined the ability of EI to stimulate oxidative stress response in endothelial cells. EI released from OxPAPC and synthetic EI stimulated the expression of oxidative stress response gene OKL38 and antioxidant gene HO-1. Treatment of endothelial cells with EI increased the production of superoxide. NADPH oxidase inhibitor Apocynin and superoxide scavenger N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) significantly attenuated EI-stimulated expression of OKL38 and HO-1. We further demonstrated that EI activated oxidative stress-sensitive transcription factor Nrf2. Silencing of Nrf2 with siRNA significantly reduced EI stimulated expression of OKL38 and HO-1. Thus, we demonstrated that EI induced oxidative stress in endothelial cells leading to increased expression of oxidative stress response gene OKL38 and HO-1 via Nrf2 signaling pathway relevant to atherosclerosis.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Orai1 is the pore subunit of Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channels that stimulate downstream signaling pathways crucial for T cell activation. CRAC channels are an attractive therapeutic target for alleviation of autoimmune diseases. Using high-throughput chemical library screening targeting Orai1, we identified a novel class of small molecules that inhibit CRAC channel activity. One of these molecules, compound 5D, inhibited CRAC channel activity by blocking ion permeation. When included during differentiation, Th17 cells showed higher sensitivity to compound 5D than Th1 and Th2 cells. The selectivity was attributable to high dependence of promoters of retinoic-acid-receptor-related orphan receptors on the Ca(2+)-NFAT pathway. Blocking of CRAC channels drastically decreased recruitment of NFAT and histone modifications within key gene loci involved in Th17 differentiation. The impairment in Th17 differentiation by treatment with CRAC channel blocker was recapitulated in Orai1-deficient T cells, which could be rescued by exogenous expression of retinoic-acid-receptor-related orphan receptors or a constitutive active mutant of NFAT. In vivo administration of CRAC channel blockers effectively reduced the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by suppression of differentiation of inflammatory T cells. These results suggest that CRAC channel blockers can be considered as chemical templates for the development of therapeutic agents to suppress inflammatory responses.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rigid Amphipathic Fusion Inhibitors (RAFIs) are lipophilic inverted cone-shaped molecules thought to antagonize the membrane curvature transitions that occur during virus-cell fusion, and are broad-spectrum anti-virals against enveloped viruses (Broad-SAVE). Here, we show that RAFIs act like membrane-binding photosensitizers: their antiviral effect is dependent on light and the generation of singlet oxygen ((1)O2), similar to the mechanistic paradigm established for LJ001, a chemically unrelated class of Broad-SAVE. Photosensitization of viral membranes is a common mechanism that underlies these Broad-SAVE.
    Journal of Virology 11/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Earlier in vitro work demonstrated that PARP inhibition induces cell death in PTEN-null endometrial cancer cell lines, but the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of these agents against endometrial cancer remains unknown. Here, we test the efficacy of AZD2281 (olaparib), an oral PARP inhibitor, in the therapy of PTEN-null endometrial tumors in a preclinical endometrial cancer mouse model. Primary endometrial tumors were generated by epithelial loss of PTEN using an in vivo model. This model recapitulates epithelial-specific loss of PTEN seen in human tumors, and histologically resembles endometrioid carcinomas, the predominant subtype of human endometrial cancers. Olaparib was administered orally to tumor-bearing mice in two hormonal extremes: high or low estrogen. Olaparib treatment achieved a significant reduction in tumor size in a low estrogenic milieu. In striking contrast, no response to olaparib was seen in tumors exposed to high levels of estrogen. Two key observations were made when estrogen levels were dropped: (i) the serum concentration of olaparib was significantly increased, resulting in sustained PARP inhibition at the tumor bed; and (ii) the homologous recombination pathway was compromised, as evidenced by decreased Rad51 protein expression and function. These two mechanisms may account for the sensitization of PTEN-null tumors to olaparib with estrogen deprivation. Results of this preclinical trial suggest that orally administered PARP inhibitors in a low estrogenic hormonal milieu can effectively target PTEN-null endometrial tumors. Extension of this work to clinical trials could personalize the therapy of women afflicted with advanced endometrial cancer using well-tolerated orally administered therapeutic agents. Mol Cancer Ther; 1-12. ©2013 AACR.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 11/2013; · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The fatty acyl composition of phospholipids determines the biophysical character of membranes and impacts the function of membrane proteins. Here, we define a nuclear receptor pathway for the dynamic modulation of membrane composition in response to changes in cellular lipid metabolism. Ligand activation of liver X receptors (LXRs) preferentially drives the incorporation of polyunsaturated fatty acids into phospholipids through induction of the remodeling enzyme Lpcat3. Promotion of Lpcat3 activity ameliorates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induced by saturated free fatty acids in vitro or by hepatic lipid accumulation in vivo. Conversely, Lpcat3 knockdown in liver exacerbates ER stress and inflammation. Mechanistically, Lpcat3 modulates inflammation both by regulating inflammatory kinase activation through changes in membrane composition and by affecting substrate availability for inflammatory mediator production. These results outline an endogenous mechanism for the preservation of membrane homeostasis during lipid stress and identify Lpcat3 as an important mediator of LXR effects on metabolism.
    Cell metabolism 11/2013; 18(5):685-97. · 17.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pathogenic microorganisms and toxins have evolved a variety of mechanisms to gain access to the host-cell cytosol and thereby exert virulent effects upon the host. One common mechanism of cellular entry requires trafficking to an acidified endosome, which promotes translocation across the host membrane. To identify small-molecule inhibitors that block this process, a library of 30,000 small molecules was screened for inhibitors of anthrax lethal toxin. Here we report that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone, the most active compound identified in the screen, inhibits intoxication by lethal toxin and blocks the entry of multiple other acid-dependent bacterial toxins and viruses into mammalian cells. This compound, which we named EGA, also delays lysosomal targeting and degradation of the EGF receptor, indicating that it targets host-membrane trafficking. In contrast, EGA does not block endosomal recycling of transferrin, retrograde trafficking of ricin, phagolysosomal trafficking, or phagosome permeabilization by Franciscella tularensis. Furthermore, EGA does not neutralize acidic organelles, demonstrating that its mechanism of action is distinct from pH-raising agents such as ammonium chloride and bafilomycin A1. EGA is a powerful tool for the study of membrane trafficking and represents a class of host-targeted compounds for therapeutic development to treat infectious disease.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of these studies was to determine the effect of 5,6-epoxyisoprostane, EI, on human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). EI can form as a phospholipase product of 1-palmitoyl-2-(5,6-epoxyisoprostane E2)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, PEIPC, a pro-inflammatory molecule that accumulates in sites of inflammation where phospholipases are also increased. To determine the effect of EI on HAEC, we synthesized several stereoisomers of EI using a convergent approach from the individual optically pure building blocks, the epoxyaldehydes 5 and 6 and the bromoenones 14 and 16. The desired stereoisomer of EI can be prepared from these materials in only six operations and thus large amounts of the product can be obtained. The trans/trans isomers had the most potent activity, suggesting specificity in the interaction of EI with the cell surface. EI has potent anti-inflammatory effects in HAEC. EI strongly inhibits the production of MCP-1, a major monocyte chemotactic factor, and either decreases or minimally increases the levels of ten pro-inflammatory molecules increased by PEIPC. EI also strongly downregulates the inflammatory effects of IL-1β, a major inflammatory cytokine. Thus EI, a hydrolytic product of PEIPC, has potent anti-inflammatory function.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2013; · 5.61 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
973.65 Total Impact Points


  • 1976–2014
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
      • • Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
  • 2010
    • University of San Francisco
      • Department of Chemistry
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2001
    • Loyola Marymount University
      • Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 1993
    • Tokyo University of Science
      • Department of Fire Science and Technology
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 1979
    • University of Ottawa
      • Department of Chemistry
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada