Mark K. Larson, Ph.D.

Dr. Larson teaches Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Drug Design and Development. Dr. Larson is the co-director of the biochemistry major, along with Dr. Jared Mays, associate professor of chemistry.

Mark Larson  Professor
  Biology Department
  Augustana College
  2001 S. Summit Ave.
  Sioux Falls, SD 57197
  Toll-Free 800.727.2844 ext. 4700
  Fax 605.274.4718


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).


Professor, Augustana University, Sioux Falls, SD, 2019 to present

Associate Professor, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, 2012 to 2019
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

 Kollasch, Shaull, Larson, McCue         

Summer Research team 2013
Anna Kollasch ’15 (Mt Marty College) Lance Shaull ’15, Dr. Larson, and Betsy McCue ‘15


Current Research

Platelets are small, anucleate cells that circulate through the vasculature and are critical for normal hemostasis and contribute to disease-causing thrombosis. Given this pivotal role in human health, platelets are a focal point for study and treatment of occlusive cardiovascular disease. Central to their role in responding to vascular damage is the ability for platelets to recognize microenvironmental perturbations after injury via receptor-mediated cell signaling. Released chemical mediators and exposed proteins following injury bind to platelet receptors and result in platelet adhesion, self-aggregation, and recruitment of clotting and inflammatory mediators to facilitate repair.

My lab focuses in two elements of this platelet response.  First, we study how the platelet response to environmental mediators is integrated. Even though we know many of the individual protein players that facilitate the response, how these proteins form larger communication networks is still largely unknown. To better characterize how alterations in the platelet environment change overall platelet function, I am using a systems approach to platelet signaling that merges platelet responses measured at the lab bench with proteomic tools. My main goal is to use computational models to make detailed maps of platelet signaling.

Second, we aim to understand how genetic variation influences platelet function.  My lab has been obtaining blood samples from Native Americans and measuring their platelet phenotypes. We aim to correlate the phenotypes with the underlying genotypes with the goal of finding genetic signatures that correlate to variable platelet function. This project may help address some of the disparities in cardiovascular health in Native Americans, as the platelet responses may help inform treatment options. 

Matt Braithwaite, Dr. Larson and Jordan Anderson Daniels

Matt Braithwaite, Dr. Larson and Jordan Anderson–Daniels working at Brigham and Women's Hospital with Dr. Joe Italiano, Jr

Selected Publications (*Asterisk denotes Augustana undergraduate)


Platelet small G-protein signaling


1. Holly, S.P., Larson, M.K. and Parise, L.V. The unique N-terminus of R-ras is required for Rac activation and precise regulation of cell migration. Mol. Biol. Cell 16:2458-2469, 2005.

2. Larson, M.K., Chen, H., Kahn, M.L., *Taylor, A.M., Fabre, J.-E., Mortensen, R.M., Conley, P.B., and Parise, L.V. Identification of P2Y12-dependent and independent mechanisms of glycoprotein VI-mediated Rap1 activation in platelets. Blood 101:1409-1415, 2003.

3. McCarty, O.J.T., Larson, M.K., Auger, J.M., Kalia, N., Atkinson, B.T., Pearce, A.C., Ruf, S., Henderson, R.B., Tybulewicz, V.L.J., Machesky, L.M., and Watson, S.P. Rac1 is essential for platelet lamellipodia formation and aggregate stability under flow. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 39474-39484, 2005.

4. 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. 7:693-700, 2009.


Megakaryocyte development and signaling


1. Larson, M.K., and Watson, S. P. Regulation of proplatelet formation and platelet release by integrin alpha IIb beta 3. Blood 108:1509-1514, 2006.

2. Larson, M.K., and Watson, S. P. A product of their environment: do megakaryocytes rely on extracellular cues for proplatelet formation? Platelets 17:435-440, 2006.

3. 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.

4. 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. 191:861-874, 2010


Omega-3 fatty acids and platelet function


1. 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. 100:634-41, 2008.

2. 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. 82:87-95, 2010.

3. 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 84:93-98, 2011.

4. Block, R.C., Dier, U., CalderonArtero, 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. 2:14-19, 2012.

5. 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. 53:1662-1669, 2012.

6. 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. 304:C273-C279, 2013.

7. Wachira, J.K., Larson, M.K., Harris, W.S. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Hemostasis But Do Not Increase Risk for Bleeding: Clinical Observations and Mechanistic Insights Br. J. Nutr. 111:1652-62, 2014.

8. Adili, R., *Voigt, E.M., *Bormann, J.L., *Foss, K.N., *Hurley, L.J., *Meyer, E.S., *Veldman, A.J., Mast, K.A., Whiteheart, S.W., Holinstat, M., and Larson, M.K. In vivo modeling of DHA- and EPA-mediated inhibition of both platelet function and accumulation in arterial thrombi. Platelets 30:271-279, 2019.

9. Walker, R.E., Jackson, K.H., Tintle, N.L, Shearer, G.C., Bernasconi, A., Masson, S., Latini, R., Heydari, B., Kwong, R.Y., Flock, M., Kris-Etherton, P.M., Hedengran, A., Carney, R.M., Skulas-Ray, A., Gidding, S.S., Dewel, A., Gardner, C.D., Grenon, S.M., Sarter, B., Newman, J.W., Pedersen, T.L., Larson, M.K., Harris, W. Predicting the Effects of Supplemental EPA and DHA on the Omega-3 Index. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 110:1034-1040, 2019.


Larson Lab Research Alumni and further schooling/employment

  • Dr. Joe Ashmore '08: PhD, Nutrition, Penn State University; Postdoc, Molecular Epidemiology, Washington State University
  • Dr. Tina (Harris) Jackson '08: PhD, Nutrition, Penn State University
  • Dr. Jessica (Vogelaar) Olcott ’09:  MD, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Pediatrics Resident, Mayo Clinic
  • Dr. Amanda Korth ’09: OD, Pacific University; Optometry resident, Lexington, KY VA Medical Center
  • Dr. Erika Graslie '10: DPT, Regis University
  • Dr. Jordan Anderson–Daniels '10: Graduate School, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University; Postdoc, Virology, Vanderbilt
  • Jillian Tholen, '10:  MS, Nutrition, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Matt Braithwaite '11: MD, University of Iowa; Internal Medicine Resident, University of Utah
  • Mercedes Hodges '16: BS, Neuroscience, Georgia State University
  • Rebecca (Niewohner) Silker '12: BS, South Dakota State University
  • Dr. Leah McComas '12: DDS, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Carl Hjelmen '13: PhD, Ecology and Entomology, Texas A&M University; Postdoc, Entomology, Texas A&M University
  • Nicole Ensz '13:  BS, Biomedical Engineering, Washington University
  • Dr. Lucinda Weaver ’13: MD, University of South Dakota; Pediatrics Resident, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Dr. Kristen (Luepke) Schroeder '14 Pharm. D., South Dakota State University
  • Betsy McCue ’15: MS, Global Health; Global Health Research Associate, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr. Lance Shaull ’15, Medical School, Rush Medical College (’20), Resident, Boston U., Emergency Med.
  • Anna Kollasch ’15, BS, Mt. Marty College; MLS, St. Luke's Hospital; Graduate student in Healthcare Admin, UIowa
  • Jordan Bormann '17: Medical School, University of South Dakota
  • Evan Meyer '17: BA, Medical School, University of South Dakota
  • Ellen Voigt '17: Research Associate, Sanford Research; MD/PhD program, University of Iowa
  • Kaitlynn (Foss) Bakk '17, Research Associate, Sanford Research; BioTechne
  • Luke Hurley, '18, Medical School, University of South Dakota
  • Amber Veldman '18, Medical School, University of South Dakota
  • Katelyn (Graber) Hurley, '18, Graduate School Biology and Microbiology, SDSU
  • Kirby Hora, '19, Medical School, University of South Dakota
  • Tania Rodezno, '19, Research Associate, Gubbels Lab, PhD student, University of Alberta
  • Sarah Stein, '20, PhD program, Pathology, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Kendall Cornick, ‘20, Medical School, University of Iowa
  • Benjamin Kelvington, ’20, PhD program, Pharmacology, University of Iowa
  • Matt Pohlmann, ’20, Medical School, University of South Dakota
  • Tesla Cheek, ’19 BA University of Sioux Falls
  • Krista Goerger, ’21 USF current undergraduate
  • Grace (Valen) Gatrost, ’21 current undergraduate
  • Brady Williquett, ’21 current undergraduate
  • Lauren Ostlie, ’22 current undergraduate
  • Peyton Baker, ’22 current undergraduate