St. Paul’s Hospital

Short Bio:

I received a BSc in Honours Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics from Mercyhurst University. I earned a PhD from the University of Washington, as part of the Biomolecular Structure and Design Program. I subsequently completed a Clinical Chemistry fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. For my PhD thesis I explored protein misfolding pathways and focused on the pathological mechanisms (misfolding, aggregation and replication) involved in human prion diseases. This interest in amyloidosis and neurodegeneration has carried over to my clinical work, where I am pursuing assay development to support diagnostic and research efforts in these areas. Another active area of research is the application of mass spectrometry to tackle challenging diagnostic problems in Laboratory Medicine.

Academic Backgrounds:
  • Clinical Chemistry Fellowship, Washington University School of Medicine. 2013
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Complex Carbohydrate Research Center), University of Georgia. 2010
  • PhD (Medicinal Chemistry, Biomolecular Structure and Design Program), University of Washington. 2006
  • BSc (Honors Biochemistry), Mercyhurst College. 2001
Awards & Recognition:
  •  SYCL Travel Grant, American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). 2013
  • Young Investigator Award, Mass Spectrometry: Applications in the Clinical Lab. 2013
  • General Research Grant, AACC/Van Slyke Foundation. 2012-2013
  • Clinical Pathology Resident/Fellow Lecture Award, Washington University. 2012
  • Industry Division Best Abstract Award, AACC. 2012
  • Richard Marshall Education Award, AACC Midwest Section. 2012
  • Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Award, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists. 2012
Selected Publications
  • DeMarco, M.L. & Ford, B.A. Beyond Identification: Emerging and Future Uses for MALDI-TOF in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, 2013.
  • DeMarco, M.L. Three Dimensional Structure of Glycolipids in Biological Membranes. Biochemistry, 51, 5725-5732, 2012.
  • DeMarco, M.L., and Woods. From agonist to antagonist: Structure and dynamics of innate immune glycoprotein MD-2 upon recognition of variably acylated bacterial endotoxins. Molecular Immunology, 49, 124-133, 2011.
  • DeMarco, M.L., Woods, R.J., Prestegard, J.H. and Tian, F. Presentation of Membrane-Anchored Glycosphingolipids Determined from Molecular Dynamics Simulations and NMR Paramagnetic Relaxation Rate Enhancement. , Journal of the American Chemical Society, 132, 1334-1338, 2010.
  • DeMarco, M.L. and Daggett, V. Characterization of cell-surface prion protein relative to its recombinant analogue: Insights from molecular dynamics simulations of diglycosylated, membrane-bound human prion protein. Journal of Neurochemistry, 109, 60-73, 2009.
  • DeMarco, M.L. and Woods, R.J. Atomic-resolution conformational analysis of GM3 ganglioside in a lipid bilayer, and its implications for ganglioside-protein recognition at membrane surfaces. Glycobiology, 9, 344-355, 2009.   Image selected for 2010 journal covers of Glycobiology.
  • DeMarco, M.L. and Woods, R.J. Bridging Computational Biology and Glycobiology: A Game of Snakes and Ladders. Glycobiology (invited review), 18, 426-440, 2008.
  • Tessier, M.B., DeMarco, M.L., Yongye, A.B. and Woods, R.J. Extension of the GLYCAM06 Biomolecular Force Field to Lipids, Lipid Bilayers and Glycolipids. Molecular Simulations, Molecular Simulation (Special Edition: Molecular Modelling of Carbohydrates), 34, 349-364, 2008.
  • DeMarco, M.L. and Daggett, V. . Molecular Mechanism for Low pH-Triggered Misfolding of the Human Prion Protein. Biochemistry, 46, 3045-3054, 2007.  Biochemistry “Hot Article”.
  • DeMarco, M.L., Silveira, J., Caughey, B. and Daggett, V. Structural Properties of Prion Protofibrils and Fibrils: An Experimental Assessment of Atomic Models. Biochemistry, 45, 15573-15582, 2006.
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Method development
  • Protein misfolding and aggregation