Mark K. Larson, Ph.D.
Dr. Larson teaches Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Introductory Biology for biology majors. He also teaches a Capstone class on the biology and visualization of race with Dr. Lindsay Twa, assistant professor of art. Dr. Larson is the co-director of the biochemistry major, along with Dr. Jared Mays, assistant professor of biochemistry. In addition, Dr. Larson coordinates Augustana’s Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) grant. Learn more about this program.
2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197
Toll-Free 800.727.2844 ext. 4700
Ph. D. Pharmacology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 2003
Dissertation: Mechanisms and functions of the collagen receptor glycoprotein VI-mediated Rap1 small GTPase activation in platelets. Advisor: Leslie V. Parise.
B.A. Biology and Chemistry, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, 1998
Undergraduate research: Sequencing and characterization of the class II pilin gene in Neisseria meningitidis (at Concordia). Identification of novel Protein Kinase A anchoring proteins (AKAPs) in airway epithelial cells (NSF REU at UNC-Chapel Hill).
Associate Professor, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, 2012 to present
Assistant Professor, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, 2006 to 2012
Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2004-2006 Advisor: Steve P. Watson
Summer Research team 2013
Anna Kollasch ’15 (Mt Marty College) Lance Shaull ’15, Dr. Larson, and Betsy McCue ‘15
Undergraduate Research Opportunities with Dr. Larson
Dr. Larson’s work focuses on the function and biogenesis of human platelets. Platelets are the key cellular component in blood clotting, and are a major focus of therapies designed to prevent adverse cardiovascular events. He collaborates with Dr. Bill Harris of Omegaquant, Inc. and Dr. Greg Shearer of Sanford Research in Sioux Falls to study the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on platelet function. Recent work with Anna Kollasch ’15 (Mt Marty College) Lance Shaull ’15, and Betsy McCue ‘15 examined how omega-3 fatty acids alter platelet catalysis of thrombin generation. He also collaborates and makes frequent visits to Dr. Owen McCarty’s lab at Oregon Health and Science University to explore links between platelet function and overall blood coagulation.
Dr. Larson also works with Dr. Joe Italiano, Jr. at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston on the process of platelet biogenesis. Alumni Matt Braithwaite '11 and Jordan Anderson–Daniels '10 spent eight weeks with Dr. Larson in Boston working on how tissue matrix proteins in the bone marrow influence platelet development from precursor cells called megakaryocytes.
Matt Braithwaite, Dr. Larson and Jordan Anderson–Daniels working at Brigham and Women's Hospital with Dr. Joe Italiano, Jr
Larson Lab Research Alumni and current location
- Dr. Joe Ashmore '08: PhD, Nutrition, Penn State University; Postdoc, Molecular Epidemiology, Washington State University
- Dr. Tina Harris '08: PhD, Nutrition, Penn State University
- Dr. Jessica Vogelaar ’09: MD, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Pediatrics resident, Mayo Clinic
- Dr. Amanda Korth ’09: OD, Pacific University; Optometry resident, Lexington, KY VA Medical Center
- Erika Graslie '10: Physical Therapy, Regis University, Denver
- Jordan Anderson–Daniels '10: Graduate School, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University
- Jillian Tholen, '10: MS, Nutrition, University of Minnesota; Graduate School (PhD Program), Kinesiology, University of Minnesota
- Matt Braithwaite '11: Medical School, University of Iowa
- Mercedes Hodges '12, South Dakota State University
- Rebecca Niewohner '12, South Dakota State University
- Leah McComas '12: Dental Hygiene Program, University of Minnesota
- Carl Hjelmen '13: Graduate School, Ecology and Entomology, Texas A&M University
- Nicole Ensz '13: Engineering bachelor’s completion program, Washington University
- Lucinda Weaver ’13: Medical School, University of South Dakota
- Kristen Luepke '14, undergraduate
- Betsy McCue ’15, undergraduate
- Lance Shaull ’15, undergraduate
- Anna Kollasch ’15, undergraduate (Mt. Marty College)
Dr. Larson specializes in cell biology and biochemistry, with interests in the intersection of science and society. He designs his class labs to maximize the use of the department’s substantial research equipment, including the confocal microscope, the flow cytometer, the tissues culture suite, and the DNA/protein imager, among others. He favors the process of research projects in the lab, including identifying new platelet agonists in pharmacology, a semester-long enzyme purification and characterization in biochemistry, and a month-long breast cancer cell culture unit in cell biology.
In the classroom, Dr. Larson closely examines real-world applications of biology, including the relationship of cancer treatments to cell function, the acquisition of knowledge for clinical medicine, and how science can often get misconstrued in and out of the laboratory. He encourages students to ask questions at every level, since it is the heart of all scientific endeavor.
Mouse megakaryocyte forming proplatelets, the first stage of platelet develpment from
the mega karyocyte precursor cell (top photo).
After megakaryocytes form proplatelets, the proplatelets are shed and start to cleave into smaller,
platelet-sized swellings (bottom photo).
Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on platelet function and blood coagulation.
Mechanisms of platelet production from megakaryocytes.
Grants Supporting Undergraduate Research with Dr. Larson
NIH Grant Number 2 P20 RR016479 from the INBRE Prog ram of the National Center for Research Resources (SD BRIN grant, 2001-present). Title: Development of the Biomedical Research Infrastructure of South Dakota. Amount (for Augustana as a whole): $474,000 per year.
GlaxoSmithKline Research Grant (2008) Title: Effects of Lovaza and Aspirin, alone and in combination, on Platelet Activation in Healthy Subjects (in collaboration with Dr. Bill Harris, Sanford Research/University of South Dakota). Amount: $42,000.
Reliant Pharmaceuticals Research Grant (2007) Title: Effects of Omacor and Aspirin, Alone and in Combination, on Platelet Function in Healthy Subjects: A Pilot Study (in collaboration with Dr. Bill Harris, Sanford Research/University of South Dakota). Amount: $43,000.
Selected Publications (*Asterisk denotes Augustana undergraduate)
Larson, M.K., Tormoen, G.W., *Weaver, L.J., *Luepke, K.J., Patel, I.A., *Hjelmen, C.E., *Ensz, N.M., *McComas, L.S., McCarty, O.J.T. Exogenous modification of platelet membranes with EPA and DHA reduces platelet procoagulant activity and thrombus formation. Amer. J. Phys – Cell Phys., 2013; 304:C273-C279
Keenan, A.H., Pedersen, T.L., Fillaus, K., Larson, M.K., Shearer, G.C., Newman, J.W. Basal omega-3 fatty acid status affects fatty acid and oxylipin responses to high-dose n3 HUFA in healthy volunteers. J. Lipid Res, 2012; 53:1662-1669.
Block, R.C., Dier, U., Calderon Artero, P., Shearer, G.C., Kakinami, L., Larson, M.K., Harris, W.S., Georas, S., Mousa, S.A. The Effects of EPA+DHA and Aspirin on Inflammatory Cytokines and Angiogenesis Factors. World J Cardiovasc Dis, 2012; 2:14-19
Larson, M.K., Shearer, G.C., Ashmore, J.H., *Anderson-Daniels, J.M., *Graslie, E.L., *Tholen, J.T., *Vogelaar, J.L., *Korth, A.J., Nareddy, V., Sprehe, M., Harris, W.S. Omega-3 fatty acids modulate collagen signaling in human platelets. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2011; 84:93-98.
Thon, J.N., Montalvo, A., Patel-Hett, S.R., Devine, M.T., Richardson, J.L., Ehrlicher, A., Larson, M.K., Hoffmeister, K., Hartwig, J.H., Italiano Jr., J.E. Identification of intermediate stages in proplatelet maturation and a mechanism of platelet release. J. Cell Biol., 2010; 191:861-74.
Block R.C., Duff R., Lawrence P., Kakinami L., Brenna J.T., Shearer G.C., Meednu N., Mousa S., Friedman A., Harris W.S., Larson M., and Georas S. The effects of EPA, DHA, and aspirin ingestion on plasma lysophospholipids and autotaxin. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010; 82:87-95.
Wang, Z., Holly, S.P., Larson, M.K., Liu, J., Yuan, W., Chrzanowska-Wodnicka, M., White II, G.C., and Parise, L.V. Rap1b Is Critical for GPVI- but not ADP Receptor-Mediated alpha 2 beta 1 Activation. J. Thromb. Haemost. 2009; 7:693-700.
Larson, M.K., *Ashmore, J.H., *Harris, K.A., *Vogelaar, J.L., Pottala, J.V., Sprehe, M., and Harris, W.S. Effects of Omega-3 Acid Ethyl Esters and Aspirin, Alone and in Combination, on Platelet Function in Healthy Subjects. Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 2008;100:634-41.
Dhanjal, T.S., Pendaries, C., Ross, E.A., Larson, M.K., Protty, M., Buckley, C.D., and Watson, S.P. A novel role for Pecam-1 in megakaryocytokinesis and recovery of platelet counts in thrombocytopenic mice. Blood, 109: 4237-4244, 2007.
Selected Published Abstracts (*Asterisk denotes Augustana undergraduate)
Larson, M.K., Tormoen, G.W., *Weaver, L.J., *Luepke, K.J., Patel, I.A., *Hjelmen, C.E., *Ensz, N.M., *McComas, L.S., McCarty, O.J.T. Exogenous modification of platelet membranes with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA reduces platelet procoagulant activity and thrombus formation. Poster Presentation (accepted), Gordon Research Conference on the Cell Biology of Megakaryocytes and Platelets, March 2013, Galveston, TX.
Ensz, N.M.,* Hjelmen, C.E.,* McComas, L.S.,* Tormoen, G.W., Patel, I.A.,* McCarty, O.J.T., Larson, M.K. Exogenous modification of platelet membranes with theomega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA impairs thrombogenesis. Poster Presentation, Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, April 2012.
Larson, M.K. Platelet Biogenesis: Blood and (fish) guts: the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on platelets and blood clotting. Oral Presentation, Black Hills State University, September 2011 and Augustana College, February 2012.
Larson MK. Modulation of platelet and whole blood function following exogenousaddition of omega-3 fatty acids. Oral Presentation, IDeA Central Region Biennial Meeting, Omaha, NE, May 2011.
Larson MK, *Hodges M, Niewohner R, Berny MA, Patel IA, Tormoen G, Shearer GC, Harris WS, and McCarty OJT. Modulation of platelet and whole blood function following exogenous addition of omega-3 fatty acids. Poster presentation, Midwest Platelet Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, October 2010.
*Anderson-Daniels JM, *Graslie EL, *Tholen JT, *Ashmore JH, *Korth AJ, Shearer GC, Harris WS, and Larson MK. Inhibition of collagen-mediated platelet reactivity in response to high doses of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Poster Presentation, Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, April 2010.
*Vogelaar JL, *Anderson-Daniels JM, *Graslie EL, *Ashmore JH, Pottala JV, Sprehe M, Harris WS, and Larson MK Effects of omega-3 fatty acids, alone and in combination with aspirin, on platelet function under static and shear conditions. Oral presentation and Poster, Midwest Platelet Conference, Lexington, KY, October 2008.
Larson MK, *Ashmore JH, *Harris KA, *Vogelaar JL, Sprehe M, and Harris WS. Effects of omega-3 fatty acids and aspirin on human platelet function. Poster, 2nd Annual NISBRE Symposium, Washington, DC, August 2008 and Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, San Diego, April 2008.