Kwang Mook Jung

picture of Kwang Mook Jung

Associate Adjunct Professor, Anatomy & Neurobiology
School of Medicine

Ph.D., Chung-Ang University, South Korea, 1999, Pharmacy
M.S., Chung-Ang University, South Korea, 1995, Pharmacy
B.Pharm., Chung-Ang University, South Korea, 1993, Pharmacy

ORCiD: 0000-0003-4096-6953

Phone: (949) 824-7080
Fax: (949) 824-6305

University of California, Irvine
Gillespie Neurosciences Reseach Facility
Room 3105
Mail Code: 4260
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
endocannabinoids, lipid molecules, pathogenesis, neurological diseases
2000-2004, Columbia University, Postdoc, Molecular and Cell Biology
Research Abstract
Bioactive lipids are produced and metabolized in the body through the catalysis by lipid-modifying enzymes, which is orchestrated by delicate regulatory mechanisms. Recent evidences on the endocannabinoids (eCB) indicate that the novel class of endogenous lipid molecules has fundamental roles in the regulation of various biological activities. My current research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying the physiological regulation of eCB and, in particular, their relevance to the pathogenesis of certain neurological diseases.
Awards and Honors
1999 Intern Scientist Grant, National Research Foundation of Korea
2012 Faculty Computer Initiative, University of California, Irvine
2015 Faculty Computer Initiative, University of California, Irvine
2016 NIEHS/NIH Travel Award, The 16th International Winter Eicosanoid Conference
Short Biography
I am dedicated to medicinal science research, and my special interest lies in bioactive lipid signaling. My unique research expertise, which ranges from protein biochemistry and molecular biology to molecular pathology of neurological disorders, qualifies me as a competent scientist who can address the role of eCBs in brain disorders.
I have studied Pharmacology and Protein biochemistry at the Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea (with Dr. Dae Kyong Kim) and received postdoctoral training at the Columbia University in New York, in the area of Molecular pathology of neurological disorders (with Dr. Tae-Wan Kim). Then, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Daniele Piomelli, at the UC Irvine, where I am now an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of anatomy and neurobiology. Combining my expertise in molecular sciences with the medicinal chemistry and animal behavior assets of the Piomelli lab has been producing a synergism for scientific excellence. Our research using a combined biochemical, lipidomic, pharmacological and animal behavioral approach has contributed to a comprehensive understanding on the role of endocannabinoid 2-AG signaling in the brain and the periphery. In the current position, I am devoting the majority of my time to biomedical research and the rest for graduate teaching. From 2018, I am serving as the Assistant Director of the Animal Core for ICAL (Impact of Cannabinoids Across the Lifespan), a NIDA Research Center of Excellence at UC Irvine.
Selected Publications:

Jung, K.M., and Kim, D.K. (2000) Purification and Characterization of a membrane-associated 48-kilodalton phospholipase A2 in leaves of bload bean. Plant Physiol, 123(3):1057-1067.

Lee, H.J.*, Jung, K.-M.*, Huang, Y.Z., Bennett, L.B., Lee, J.S., Mei, L., and Kim, T.-W. (2002) Presenilin-dependent gamma-secretase-like intramembrane cleavage of ErbB4. J. Biol. Chem., 277(8):6318-6323. (*; Equal contribution)

Jung, K.-M., Tan, S., Landman, N., Petrova, K., Murray, S., Lewis, R., Kim, P., Kim, D.S., Ryu, S.H., Chao, M.V., and Kim, T.-W. (2003) Regulated intramembrane proteolysis of the p75 neurotrophin receptor modulates its association with the TrkA receptor. J. Biol. Chem., 278(43):42161-42169.

Jung, K.-M., Mangieri, R., Stapleton, C., Kim, J., Fegley, D., Wallace, M., Mackie, K., Piomelli, D. (2005) Stimulation of endocannabinoid formation in brain slice cultures through activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Mol. Pharmacol. 68(5):1196-1202.

Jung, K.-M.*, Astarita, G.*, Zhu, C., Wallace, M., Mackie, K., Piomelli, D. (2007) A key role for diacylglycerol lipase-alpha in metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent endocannabinoid mobilization. Mol. Pharmacol. 72(3):612-621. (*; Equal contribution)

Jung, K.-M., Astarita, G., Thongkham, D., Piomelli, D. (2011) Diacylglycerol lipase-a and -ß control neurite outgrowth in Neuro-2a cells through distinct molecular mechanisms. Mol. Pharmacol. 80:60-67.

Jung, K.-M., Clapper, J.R., Fu, J., D’Agostino, G., Guijarro, A., Thongkham, D., Avanesian, A., Astarita, G., DiPatrizio, N.V., Frontini, A., Cinti, S., Diano, S., Piomelli, D. (2012) 2-arachidonoylglycerol signaling in forebrain regulates systemic energy metabolism. Cell Metab. 15(3):299-310.

Gregg, L.C.*, Jung, K.-M.*, Spradley, J.M., Nyilas, R., Suplita II, R.L., Zimmer, A., Watanabe, M., Mackie, K., Katona, I., Piomelli, D., Hohmann, A.G. (2012) Activation of type-5 metabotropic glutamate receptors and diacylglycerol lipase-a initiates 2-arachidonoylglycerol formation and endocannabinoid-mediated analgesia. J. Neurosci. 32(28):9457-9468. (*; Equal contribution)

Jung, K.-M.*, Astarita, G.*, Yasar, S., Vasilevko, V., Cribbs, D.H., Head, E., Cotman, C.W., Piomelli, D. (2012) An amyloid ß42-dependent deficit in anandamide mobilization is associated with cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol. Aging, 33(8):1522-1532. (*; Equal contribution)

Jung, K.-M.*, Sepers, M.*, Henstridge, C.*, Lassalle, O., Neuhofe, D., Martin, H., Ginger, M., Frick, A., DiPatrizio, N.V., Mackie, K., Katona, I., Piomelli, D.#, Manzoni O.J. # (2012) Uncoupling of the endocannabinoid signaling complex in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. Nat. Commun. 3:1080. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2045. (*,#; Equal contribution)

Wei, D., Lee, D., Li, D., Daglian, J., Jung, K.M., Piomelli, D. (2016) A role for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol for social and high-fat food reward in male mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 233(10):1911-9.

Brindisi, M., Maramai, S., Gemma, S., Brogi, S., Grillo, A., Di Cesare Mannelli, L., Gabellieri, E., Lamponi, S., Saponara, S., Gorelli, B., Tedesco, D., Bonfiglio, T., Landry, C., Jung, K.M., Armirotti, A., Luongo, L., Ligresti, A., Piscitelli, F., Bertucci, C., Dehouck, M.P., Campiani, G., Maione, S., Ghelardini, C., Pittaluga, A., Piomelli, D., Di Marzo, V., Butini, S. (2016) Development and Pharmacological Characterization of Selective Blockers of 2-Arachidonoyl Glycerol Degradation with Efficacy in Rodent Models of Multiple Sclerosis and Pain. J Med Chem. 59 (6):2612-32.

Jung K.M.#, Piomelli D. (2016) Assay of Monoacylglycerol Lipase Activity. Methods Mol Biol. 1412:157-168. (#: corresponding author)

Migliore, M., Pontis, S., Fuentes de Arriba, A.L., Realini, N., Torrente, E., Armirotti, A., Romeo, E., Di Martino, S., Russo, D., Pizzirani, D., Summa, M., Lanfranco, M., Ottonello, G., Busquet, P., Jung, K.M., Garcia-Guzman, M., Heim, R., Scarpelli, R., Piomelli, D. (2016) Second-Generation Non-Covalent NAAA Inhibitors are Protective in a Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 55(37):11193-7.

Scalvini, L., Vacondio, F., Bassi, M., Pala, D., Lodola, A., Rivara, S., Jung, K.M., Piomelli, D., Mor, M. (2016) Free-energy studies reveal a possible mechanism for oxidation-dependent inhibition of MGL. Scientific reports. 6:31046.

Wang, W., Trieu, B.H., Palmer, L.C., Jia, Y., Pham, D.T., Jung, K.M., Karsten, C.A., Merrill, C.B., Mackie, K., Gall, C.M., Piomelli, D., Lynch, G. (2016) A Primary Cortical Input to Hippocampus Expresses a Pathway-Specific and Endocannabinoid-Dependent Form of Long-Term Potentiation. eNeuro. 3(4).

Lee, S.H., Dudok, B., Parihar, V.K., Jung, K.M., Zöldi, M., Kang, Y.J., Maroso, M., Alexander, A.L., Nelson, G.A., Piomelli, D., Katona, I., Limoli, C.L., Soltesz, I. (2017) Neurophysiology of space travel: energetic solar particles cause cell type-specific plasticity of neurotransmission. Brain Struct Funct. 222(5):2345-2357.

Igarashi, M., Narayanaswami, V., Kimonis, V., Galassetti, P.M., Oveisi, F., Jung, K.M., Piomelli, D. (2017) Dysfunctional oleoylethanolamide signaling in a mouse model of Prader-Willi syndrome. Pharmacol Res. 117:75-81.

Wang W, Jia Y, Pham DT, Palmer LC, Jung KM, Cox CD, Rumbaugh G, Piomelli D, Gall CM, Lynch G. (2017) Atypical Endocannabinoid Signaling Initiates a New Form of Memory-Related Plasticity at a Cortical Input to Hippocampus. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). in press.

Schoch, H., Huerta, M.Y., Ruiz, C.M., Farrell, M.R., Jung, K.M., Huang, J.J., Campbell, R.R., Piomelli, D., Mahler, S.V. (2018) Adolescent cannabinoid exposure effects on natural reward seeking and learning in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 235(1):121-134.

Wang, W., Cox, B.M., Jia, Y., Le, A.A., Cox, C.D., Jung, K.M., Hou, B., Piomelli, D., Gall, C.M., Lynch, G. (2018) Treating a novel plasticity defect rescues episodic memory in Fragile X model mice. Mol Psychiatry. 23(8):1798-1806.

Spadoni, G., Bedini, A., Furiassi, L., Mari, M., Mor, M., Scalvini, L., Lodola, A., Ghidini, A., Lucini, V., Dugnani, S., Scaglione, F., Piomelli, D., Jung, K.M., Supuran, C.T., Lucarini, L., Durante, M., Sgambellone, S., Masini, E., Rivara, S. (2018) Identification of Bivalent Ligands with Melatonin Receptor Agonist and Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) Inhibitory Activity That Exhibit Ocular Hypotensive Effect in the Rabbit. J Med Chem. 61(17):7902-7916.

Castelli R, Scalvini L, Vacondio F, Lodola A, Anselmi M, Vezzosi S, Carmi C, Bassi M, Ferlenghi F, Rivara S, Møller IR, Rand KD, Daglian J, Wei D, Dotsey EY, Ahmed F, Jung KM, Stella N, Singh S, Mor M, Piomelli D. (2020) Benzisothiazolinone Derivatives as Potent Allosteric Monoacylglycerol Lipase Inhibitors That Functionally Mimic Sulfenylation of Regulatory Cysteines. J Med Chem. 63(3):1261-1280.

* Book Chapter
Jung, K.M. and Piomelli, D. (2016) Chapter 58. Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids, in Neuroscience in the 21st Century (Springer New York, 2016, D.W. Pfaff, N.D. Volkow (eds.);, p.1811-1841

Jung K-M, Piomelli D. Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids. In: Pfaff DW, Volkow ND, editors. Neuroscience in the 21st Century: From Basic to Clinical. New York, NY: Springer New York; 2016. p. 1811-41.
Alzheimer's Association, IIRG-08-92000, 09/01/08-08/31/11, $217,922 direct costs, Deficits in anandamide signaling underlie cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease (Role: P.I.)
2010 Faculty Research Grant, University of California, Irvine
2014 Faculty Research Grant, University of California, Irvine
2019 Faculty Research Grant, University of California, Irvine
Professional Societies
2001-present, Society for Neuroscience
2013-present, International Cannabinoid Research Society
Other Experience
Postdoctoral research scientist
Department of Pathology, Columbia University, New York 2000—2004

Assistant Project Scientist
UC Irvine 2004—2009

Assistant Adjunct Professor
UC Irvine 2009—2016

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