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Markos Leggas, PhD
Markos Leggas, PhD

Markos Leggas, PhD

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Director, Center for Translational Pharmacology



PhD (Biomedical Engineering) - University of Tennessee Health Science Center and University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
MSc (Biomedical Engineering) - University of Tennessee Health Science Center and
University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
BA (Chemistry) - Union University, Jackson, TN, USA

Research Interests

  • Pharmacometabolomic Methods to Improve Therapeutic Outcomes and Minimize Toxicity in the Context of Pediatric Clinical Trials
  • Pharmacometric and Systems Pharmacology Approaches to Enable Drug Development and Guide Therapy
  • Development of Transcription Factor Pharmacologic Inhibitors
  • Biomarkers and Treatment of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Selected Publications

Rivas JR, Liu Y, Alhakeem SS, Eckenrode JM, Marti F, Collard JP, Zhang Y, Shaaban KA, Muthusamy N, Hildebrandt GC, Fleischman RA, Chen L, Thorson JS, Leggas M, Bondada S. Interleukin-10 suppression enhances T-cell antitumor immunity and responses to checkpoint blockade in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Leukemia 2021. DOI: 10.1038/s41375-021-01217-1

Tang F, Ng CM, Bada HS, Leggas M. Clinical pharmacology and dosing regimen optimization of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome treatments. Clin Transl Sci 14(4):1231-1249, 2021. DOI: 10.1111/cts.12994. PMC8301571

Hedrick SL, Luo D, Kaska S, Niloy KK, Jackson K, Sarma R, Horn J, Baynard C, Leggas M, Butelman ER, Kreek MJ, Prisinzano TE. Design, synthesis, and preliminary evaluation of a potential synthetic opioid rescue agent. J Biomed Sci 28(1):62, 2021. DOI: 10.1186/s12929-021-00758-y

Liu Y, Eckenrode JM, Zhang Y, Zhang J, Hayden RC, Kyomuhangi A, Ponomareva LV, Cui Z, Rohr J, Tsodikov OV, Van Lanen SG, Shaaban KA, Leggas M, Thorson JS. Mithramycin 2'-Oximes with Improved Selectivity, Pharmacokinetics, and Ewing Sarcoma Antitumor Efficacy. J Med Chem 63(22):14067-14086, 2020. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c01526. PMC7810150

Hughes RR, Shaaban KA, Ponomareva LV, Horn J, Zhang C, Zhan CG, Voss SR, Leggas M, Thorson JS. OleD Loki as a Catalyst for Hydroxamate Glycosylation. Chembiochem 21(7):952-957, 2020. DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201900601. PMC7124993

Arnold SM, Chansky K, Baggstrom MQ, Thompson MA, Sanborn RE, Villano JL, Waqar SN, Hamm J, Leggas M, Willis M, Rosales J, Crowley JJ. Phase II Trial of Carfilzomib Plus Irinotecan in Patients with Small-cell Lung Cancer Who Have Progressed on Prior Platinum-based Chemotherapy. Clin Lung Cancer 21(4):357-364.e7, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.cllc.2020.01.006.

Ye Q, Zhang Y, Cao Y, Wang X, Guo Y, Chen J, Horn J, Ponomareva LV, Chaiswing L, Shaaban KA, Wei Q, Anderson BD, St Clair DK, Zhu H, Leggas M, Thorson JS, She QB. Frenolicin B Targets Peroxiredoxin 1 and Glutaredoxin 3 to Trigger ROS/4E-BP1-Mediated Antitumor Effects. Cell Chem Biol 26(3):366-377.e12, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2018.11.013. PMC6557261

Tang F, Tsakalozou E, Arnold SM, Ng CM, Leggas M. Population pharmacokinetic analysis of AR-67, a lactone stable camptothecin analogue, in cancer patients with solid tumors. Invest New Drugs 37(6):1218-1230, 2019. DOI: 10.1007/s10637-019-00744-0. PMC6713628

Tang F, Bada H, Ng CM, Leggas M. Validation of a HPLC/MS method for simultaneous quantification of clonidine, morphine and its metabolites in human plasma. Biomed Chromatogr 33(7):e4527, 2019. DOI: 10.1002/bmc.4527. PMC6559858

Liu X, Adane E, Tang F, Leggas M. Pharmacokinetic modeling of the blood-stable camptothecin analog AR-67 in two different formulations. Biopharm Drug Dispos 40(8):265-275, 2019. DOI: 10.1002/bdd.2199.

Lee NR, Zheng G, Leggas M, Janganati V, Nickell JR, Crooks PA, Bardo MT, Dwoskin LP. GZ-11608, a Vesicular Monoamine Transporter-2 Inhibitor, Decreases the Neurochemical and Behavioral Effects of Methamphetamine. J Pharmacol 371(2):526-543, 2019. DOI: 10.1124/jpet.119.258699. PMC6863457

Hayden RC, Leggas M. Novel Drug Treatments for Ewing Sarcoma. Current Molecular Biology Reports. Molecular Biology Reports 5(4):153-166, 2019.

Eckenrode JM, Mitra P, Rohr J, Leggas M. Bioanalytical method for quantitative determination of mithramycin analogs in mouse plasma by HPLC-QTOF. Biomed Chromatogr 33(8):e4544, 2019. DOI: 10.1002/bmc.4544.

Mitra P, Eckenrode JM, Mandal A, Jha AK, Salem SM, Leggas M, Rohr J. Development of Mithramycin Analogues with Increased Selectivity toward ETS Transcription Factor Expressing Cancers. J Med Chem 61(17):8001-8016, 2018. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b01107. PMC6888919

Ferrante AB, Lambert J, Leggas M, Black EP. Predicting Student Success Using In-Program Monitoring. Am J Pharm Educ 81(6):111, 2017. DOI: 10.5688/ajpe816111. PMC5607721

El-Refai SM, Brown JD, Arnold SM, Black EP, Leggas M, Talbert JC. Epidemiologic Analysis Along the Mevalonate Pathway Reveals Improved Cancer Survival in Patients Who Receive Statins Alone and in Combination with Bisphosphonates. JCO Clin Cancer Inform 1:1-12, 2017. DOI: 10.1200/cci.17.00010. PMC6467073

Arnold SM, Chansky K, Leggas M, Thompson MA, Villano JL, Hamm J, Sanborn RE, Weiss GJ, Chatta G, Baggstrom MQ. Phase 1b trial of proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib with irinotecan in lung cancer and other irinotecan-sensitive malignancies that have progressed on prior therapy (Onyx IST reference number: CAR-IST-553). Invest New Drugs 35(5):608-615, 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s10637-017-0441-4. PMC5577369

Wang Y, Liu X, Pijut SS, Li J, Horn J, Bradford EM, Leggas M, Barrett TA, Graf GA. The combination of ezetimibe and ursodiol promotes fecal sterol excretion and reveals a G5G8-independent pathway for cholesterol elimination. J Lipid Res 56(4):810-20, 2015. DOI: 10.1194/jlr.M053454. PMC4373739

Shaaban KA, Elshahawi SI, Wang X, Horn J, Kharel MK, Leggas M, Thorson J. Cytotoxic Indolocarbazoles from Actinomadura melliaura ATCC 39691. J Nat Prod 78(7):1723-9, 2015. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00429. PMC4515175

Huang X, Leggas M, Dickson RC. Drug synergy drives conserved pathways to increase fission yeast lifespan. PLoS One 10(3):e0121877, 2015. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121877. PMC4364780

Bada HS, Sithisarn T, Gibson J, Garlitz K, Caldwell R, Capilouto G, Li Y, Leggas M, Breheny P. Morphine versus clonidine for neonatal abstinence syndrome. Pediatrics 135(2):e383-91, 2015. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-2377

Tsakalozou E, Adane ED, Liang Y, Arnold SM, Leggas M. Protracted dosing of the lipophilic camptothecin analogue AR-67 in non-small cell lung cancer xenografts and humans. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol  74(1):45-54, 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s00280-014-2472-2

Shu Y, Pi F, Sharma A, Rajabi M, Haque F, Shu D, Leggas M, Evers BM, Guo P. Stable RNA nanoparticles as potential new generation drugs for cancer therapy. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 66:74-89, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2013.11.006. PMC3955949

Chen JM, Shepherd MD, Horn J, Leggas M, Rohr J. Enzymatic methylation and structure-activity-relationship studies on polycarcin V, a gilvocarcin-type antitumor agent. Chembiochem 15(18):2729-2735, 2014. DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201402426. PMC4266428

Ahmed TA, Hayslip J, Leggas M. Simvastatin interacts synergistically with tipifarnib to induce apoptosis in leukemia cells through the disruption of RAS membrane localization and ERK pathway inhibition. Leuk Res 38(11):1350-1357, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.leukres.2014.09.002. PMC5628615

Tsakalozou E, Adane ED, Kuo KL, Daily A, Moscow JA, Leggas M. The effect of breast cancer resistance protein, multidrug resistant protein 1, and organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B3 on the antitumor efficacy of the lipophilic camptothecin 7-t-butyldimethylsilyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (AR-67) in vitro. Drug Metab Dispos 41(7):1404-1413, 2013. DOI: 10.1124/dmd.112.050021. PMC3684821

Rinehart J, Arnold S, Kloecker G, Lim A, Zaydan MA, Baeker T, Maheshwari JG, Carloss H, Slone S, Shelton B, Croley J, Kvale E, Brooks M, Leggas M. Phase II randomized trial of carboplatin and gemcitabine with or without dexamethasone pre-treatment in patients with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 71(5):1375-1383, 2013. DOI: 10.1007/s00280-013-2111-3.

Penthala NR, Sonar VN, Horn J, Leggas M, Yadlapalli JS, Crooks PA. Synthesis and evaluation of a series of benzothiophene acrylonitrile analogs as anticancer agents. Medchemcomm 4(7):1073-1078, 2013. DOI: 10.1039/c3md00130j. PMC3743125

Huang X, Liu J, Withers BR, Samide AJ, Leggas M, Dickson RC. Reducing signs of aging and increasing lifespan by drug synergy. Aging Cell 12(4):652-60, 2013. DOI: 10.1111/acel.12090. PMC3714353

Hollis CP, Weiss HL, Leggas M, Evers BM, Gemeinhart RA, Li T. Biodistribution and bioimaging studies of hybrid paclitaxel nanocrystals: lessons learned of the EPR effect and image-guided drug delivery. J Control Release 172(1):12-21, 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.06.039. PMC3886194

Ahmed TA, Hayslip J, Leggas M. Pharmacokinetics of high-dose simvastatin in refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 72(6):1369-74, 2013. DOI: 10.1007/s00280-013-2326-3

Last update: April 2022