- Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Primary Appointment). Affiliate appointments: Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine and the Integrative Biology Ph.D. program. Memberships: Center for Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, Center of Excellence in Biomedical & Marine Biotechnology and the Neuroscience Program, 08/1993 – 12/2015
- Visiting Scholar, University of Leuven (Fall 2009), Leuven Belgium, Laboratory of Toxicology, sponsor: Prof. Jan Tytgat, 07/2009 - 11/2009
- Visiting Scholar, RMIT University (Spring 2010), Melbourne, Australia, Health Innovations Research Institute, Sponsor: Prof. David J. Adams, 01/2010 – 06/2010
- Instructor of Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center at Worcester, 10/1992 - 07/1993
- NMR Laboratory Manager and Postdoctoral fellow, University of Massachusetts Medical Center at Worcester, 10/1990 - 09/1992
- NMR Specialist and Consultant, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 06/1989 - 09/1990
- NMR Facility Manager, Polymer Science and Engineering Department/Chemistry Department, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 05/1988 – 10/1989
- Pharmacology, Postdoc, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, 1990-1992
- Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1990
- Polymer Science and Engineering, M.S., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1987
- Chemistry, B.S., Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1983
Frank Marí has worked extensively with peptides and proteins of marine origin; especially those from predatory venomous mollusks belonging to the genus Conus (cone snails), using an assortment of bioanalytical techniques to biochemically and functionally characterize components of interest. As part of these efforts, he has developed NMR-based structural techniques to study neuroactive marine peptides using nanomolar quantities directly isolated from their natural sources. Frank is also engaged in the development of mass spectrometry and bioinformatics based workflows for "venomics", a comprehensive approach for the screening and identification of neuroactive compounds from the venom of marine organisms. Through venomics, the aim is to intensify the discovery process of marine compounds of neuropharmacological importance and evaluate their potential in human health applications. Frank leads the recently created Marine Biochemical Sciences Team at Hollings Marine Laboratory. The mission of the team is to perform state-of-the-art bioanalytical measurements in samples of marine origin, particularly those samples that have environmental and human health impact.
Membership and Professional Activities
- Member of the Society for Neuroscience, International Society on Toxinology, Biophysical Society, American Chemical Society
- Organizer of the XII Congress of the Pan-American Section of the International Society on Toxinology, Miami Beach, Florida, 2016
- Keynote Speaker and member of the organizing committee of the Marine Toxins Session of the XI Congress of the Pan-American Section of the International Society on Toxinology, Guarajá, Brazil, 2013
- Faculty mentor in the NSF Undergraduate Research and Mentoring (URM) program at FAU, 2012
- Keynote Speaker, Conodays, international meeting dedicated to cone snail research, sponsored by Conco, Zermatt, Switzerland, 2012
- Keynote Speaker at the FAU Chemistry Club Annual Meeting, 2010
- Profiled in Chemical Biology & Drug Design, February 2007
- Selected Speaker, US-Japan Seminar in Marine Natural Products Research, Park City, UT, 2007
- Selected Speaker, Gordon Research Conference in Marine Natural Products Research, Ventura, CA, 2006
- Selected Speaker, Gordon Research Conference in Marine Natural Products Research, Ventura, CA, 2004
- Researcher of the Year Award (Assistant Professor), Florida Atlantic University, 1997-1998
- National Institute of Health, training fellowship, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, 1992
- Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, new pilot feasibility studies award, 1992
- Rodriguez AM, Dutertre S, Lewis RJ, Marí F. Intraspecific variations in Conus purpurascens injected venom using LC/MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-ESI-TripleTOF-MS. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015 Aug;407(20):6105-16. Epub 2015 Jun 6.
- Heghinian MD, Mejia M, Adams DJ, Godenschwege TA, Marí F. Inhibition of cholinergic pathways in Drosophila melanogaster by α-conotoxins. FASEB J. 2015 Mar;29(3):1011-8. Epub 2014 Dec 2.
- Franco A, Kompella SN, Akondi KB, Melaun C, Daly NL, Luetje CW, Alewood PF, Craik DJ, Adams DJ, Marí F. RegIIA: an α4/7-conotoxin from the venom of Conus regius that potently blocks α3β4 nAChRs. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012 Feb 1;83(3):419-26.
- Akcan M, Clark RJ, Daly NL, Conibear AC, de Faoite A, Heghinian MD, Sahil T, Adams DJ, Marí F, Craik DJ. Transforming conotoxins into cyclotides: Backbone cyclization of P-superfamily conotoxins. Biopolymers. 2015.
- Kompella SN, Hung A, Clark RJ, Marí F, Adams DJ. Alanine scan of α-conotoxin RegIIA reveals a selective α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist. J Biol Chem. 2015 Jan 9;290(2):1039-48.
- Mejia M, Heghinian MD, Marí F, Godenschwege TA. New tools for targeted disruption of cholinergic synaptic transmission in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS One. 2013 May 30;8(5):e64685.
- Möller C, Vanderweit N, Bubis J, Marí F. Comparative analysis of proteases in the injected and dissected venom of cone snail species. Toxicon. 2013 Apr;65:59-67.
- Mejia M, Heghinian MD, Busch A, Marí F, Godenschwege TA. Paired nanoinjection and electrophysiology assay to screen for bioactivity of compounds using the Drosophila melanogaster giant fiber system. J Vis Exp. 2012 Apr 15;(62). pii:3597.
- Rivera-Ortiz JA, Cano H, Marí F. Intraspecies variability and conopeptide profiling of the injected venom of Conus ermineus. Peptides. 2011 Feb;32(2):306-16.
- Möller C, Melaun C, Castillo C, Díaz ME, Renzelman CM, Estrada O, Kuch U, Lokey S, Marí F. Functional hypervariability and gene diversity of cardioactive neuropeptides. J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 24;285(52):40673-80.
- Mejia M, Heghinian MD, Busch A, Armishaw CJ, Marí F, Godenschwege TA. A novel approach for in vivo screening of toxins using the Drosophila Giant Fiber circuit. Toxicon. 2010 Dec;56(8):1398-407.
- Möller C, Marí F. 9.3 KDa components of the injected venom of Conus purpurascens define a new five-disulfide conotoxin framework. Biopolymers. 2011;96(2):158-65.