Mark Ericson, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Mark Ericson


Office Phone
Office Address

8-174 Weaver Densford Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Lab Address

8-184 Weaver Densford Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry


PhD, Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, University of Iowa

Chemistry, Carleton College


University of Iowa MNPC Fellowship (2007-2008)

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Our laboratory focuses on understanding and modulating the signaling of class A G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We use a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating peptide and chemical synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, computer-assisted modeling, chemical biology, molecular biology, pharmacology, physiology, and neuroscience to develop novel molecular probes to investigate ligand-receptor interactions and design new tool molecules that can be utilized in developing therapies for obesity, weight management, and pain.

Awards & Recognition

  • Robert M Scarborough Graduate/Postgraduate Award for Excellence in Medicinal Chemistry (2016), awarded by the American Chemical Society and the Medicinal Chemistry Division
  • NIH F32DK108402 Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2018)
  • American Peptide Symposium Travel Grant (2015)
  • University of Iowa College of Pharmacy Dissertation Award Fellow (2012)
  • MNPC Graduate Student Travel Award (2012)
  • AFPE Fellowship (2009-2012)
  • NIH Predoctoral Fellowship in Biotechnology (2008-2011)


  1. Ericson, M. D.; Koerperich, Z. M.; Freeman, K. T.; Fleming, K. A.; Haskell-Luevano, C. Arg-Phe-Phe d-amino scid stereochemistry scan in the macrocyclic agouti-related protein antagonist scaffold c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Xxx-Ala-Phe-DPro] results in unanticipated melanocortin-1 receptor agonist profiles. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2018, 9, 3015-3023.
  2. Fleming, K. A.; Freeman, K. T.; Ericson, M. D.; Haskell-Luevano, C. Synergistic multiresidue substitutions of a macrocyclic c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe-dPro] agouti-related protein (AGRP) scaffold yield potent and >600-fold MC4R versus MC3R selective melanocortin receptor antagonists. J. Med. Chem. 2018, 61, 7729-7740.
  3. Ericson, M. D.; Haskell-Luevano, C. A review of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in orexigenic neuropeptides targeting G protein-coupled receptors. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2018, 9, 1235-1246.
  4. Fleming, K. A.; Ericson, M. D.; Freeman, K. T.; Adank, D. N.; Lunzer, M. M.; Wilber, S. L.; Haskell-Luevano, C. Structure-activity relationship studies of a macrocyclic AGRP-mimetic scaffold c[Pro-Arg-Phe-Phe-Asn-Ala-Phe-DPro] yield potent and selective melanocortin-4 receptor antagonists and melanocortin-5 receptor inverse agonists that increase food intake in mice. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2018, 9, 1141-1151.
  5. Ericson, M. D.; Singh, A.; Tala, S. R.; Haslach, E. M.; Dirain, M. L. S.; Schaub, J. W.; Flores, V.; Eick, N.; Lensing, C. J.; Freeman, K. T.; Smeester, B. A.; Adank, D. N.; Wilber, S. L.; Speth, R.; Haskell-Luevano, C. Human beta-defensin 1 and beta-defensin 3 (mouse ortholog mBD14) function as full endogenous agonists at select melanocortin receptors. J. Med. Chem. 2018, 61, 3738-3744.