Andrew R. Marks, MD, received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College where he was the first student in the history of the college to graduate with honors in two subjects (Biology and English), and his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1980. Following an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), he was a post-doctoral fellow in molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School, and then a clinical cardiology fellow at the MGH. In 1987 Dr. Marks joined the Cardiology Division at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He then moved back to his hometown, New York, in 1990, as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In 1995 he was named the Fishberg Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and in 1997 he moved to Columbia University College of Physician & Surgeons as Director of the Center for Molecular Cardiology and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology. In 2003 Dr. Marks was appointed Chair and Professor of the Physiology and Cellular Biophysics Department at Columbia University. From 1997-2000 he was a member of the ASCI Council, and from 2002-2007 Dr. Marks was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. His honors include the Established Investigatorship Award and the Basic Research Prize from the American Heart Association, the Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer in Basic Science at Columbia, and memberships in the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received the Doctor of Science Honoris Causa from Amherst College (2009), the ASCI Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award (2010) and the Pasarow Foundation Award for Cardiovascular Research (2011). Dr. Marks is a member of the advisory committee of the Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease and has served on the NHLBI Advisory Council, the Centocor SAB and the Novartis Science Board. Dr. Marks is chair of the SAB of ARMGO Pharma, Inc. a company he founded in 2006 to develop novel therapeutics for heart and muscle diseases, and is the inventor on six U.S. patents for these new treatments. In 2001 he founded the Summer Program for Under-represented Students (SPURS) at Columbia. SPURS provides mentored research training at Columbia University for minority students from the NY City public colleges and universities.
Dr. Marks’ work on the mechanisms of action of drugs that inhibit vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration has been translated into novel therapeutics including drug-eluting stents for treatment of coronary artery disease that have substantially reduced the incidence of in-stent restenosis, as well as effective therapy to reduce accelerated arteriopathy following cardiac transplantation. Dr. Marks has defined how macromolecular signaling complexes regulate ion channel function in muscle and non-muscle systems. His work has contributed new understandings of fundamental mechanisms that regulate muscle contraction. He discovered that “leaky” intracellular calcium release channels (ryanodine receptors) contribute to heart failure, fatal cardiac arrhythmias, and impaired exercise capacity particularly in muscular dystrophy. Dr. Marks discovered a new class of small molecules (rycals) developed in his laboratory, that effectively treat cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure and muscular dystrophy in pre-clinical studies. His new approach, based on fixing the “leak” in the ryanodine receptor/calcium release channels, is in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmias, and is being developed for the treatment of muscular dystrophy.