University of Nebraska Medical Center

Luis A Marky, PhD

Director, Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program


Luis A Marky
Research Activities/Interests
The research interests of Dr. Marky are in the area of the biophysics of nucleic acids. The main focus is on the molecular forces that control the conformational stability and flexibility of nucleic acids, including short and long linear duplexes; duplexes with single and double hairpins, bulges, mismatches, internal loops; bent duplexes; three and four-way immobile junctions; uni- bi- and tri-molecular triplexes; G-quadruplexes; i-motif tetraplexes and hemiprotonated cytosine duplexes; complexes containing joint duplex and triplex motifs; pseudoknots and duplexes containing modified nucleotides (adducts). He is also investigating the interaction of ligands (including clinical agents) with nucleic acids as a function of binding mode, nucleic acid conformation, sequence specificity, and solution conditions. Furthermore, he is investigating the targeting of non-canonical DNA and RNA structures with complementary strands and the interaction of oligonucleotides with polycationic micelles for oligonucleotide cellular delivery to block the expression of genes. Lastly, the role of water on the conformational stability of biomolecules is being studied by examining sequence hydration effects in nucleic acids, drug-nucleic acid complexes, DNA covalent adducts, and protein-DNA interactions.
Teaching Activities
At the professional level, Dr. Marky lectures in Pharmaceutical Biochemistry where he is the course coordinator, and one elective course Therapeutic Applications of Proteins and Nucleic Acids. At the graduate level, Dr. Marky is the course coordinator for Quantitative Pharmaceutical Analysis and Biophysical Chemistry. In addition, he lectures in Physical Pharmacy and Advanced Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Marky is a former Fulbright Scholar (Peru-98).