Dr. Markos Leggas
Dr. Markos Leggas

Associate Professor

Dr. Leggas joined the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 2004 and his research efforts have focused on preclinical and clinical pharmacology and translational projects to develop drugs or repurpose clinically approved ones. Currently, Dr. Leggas' research is supported by funding from the NIH and the Department of Defense. His laboratory emphasizes the use of molecular and cellular biology along with classical pharmacology tools like pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic experiments, modeling and simulation to rapidly and rationally accelerate drug development. A major research focus of the Leggas laboratory is placed on discovering and developing drug that inhibit oncogenic transcription factors. Dr. Leggas is also serving as the leader for the Translational studies core in the Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation, which facilitates preclinical and clinical drug development efforts across Kentucky.


  • Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Anticancer Drugs
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Targeting transcription factors
  • Gastrointestinal Physiology, Muscle Physiology, Bone Physiology, Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics

Recent Publications

  • Shaaban K A, Elshahawi S I, Wang X, Horn J, Kharel M K, Leggas Markos, Thorson Jon S. (2015). Cytotoxic indolocarbazoles from Actinomadura melliaura ATCC 39691. Journal of Natural Products, 78(7), 1723-9.
  • Wang Yi-Tin, Liu X, Pijut S S, Li J, Horn J, Bradford E M, Leggas Markos, Barrett Terrence Anthony, Graf Gregory A. (2015). The combination of ezetimibe and ursodiol promotes fecal sterol excretion and reveals a G5G8-independent pathway for cholesterol elimination. Journal of lipid research,
  • Bada-Ellzey Henrietta S, Sithisarn Thitinart, Gibson Jacqueline S, Garlitz K, Caldwell R, Capilouto Gilson J, Li Y, Leggas Markos, Breheny Patrick John. (2015). Morphine versus clonidine in neonatal abstinence syndrome: A randomized trial and pilot study. Pediatrics, 135(2), e383-e391.
  • Chen J M, Shepherd M D, Horn J, Leggas Markos, Rohr Jurgen. (2014). Enzymatic methylation and structure-activity-relationship studies on polycarcin v, a gilvocarcin-type antitumor agent. Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology, 15(18), 2729-35.
  • Tsakalozou E, Adane E D, Liang Ying, Arnold Susanne Markesbery, Leggas Markos. (2014). Protracted dosing of the lipophilic camptothecin analogue AR-67 in non-small cell lung cancer xenografts and humans. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology, 74(1), 45-54.
  • Shu Y, Pi F, Sharma A, Rajabi M, Haque Farzin, Shu Dan, Leggas Markos, Evers B Mark, Guo Peixuan. (2014). Stable RNA nanoparticles as potential new generation drugs for cancer therapy. Advanced drug delivery reviews, 66C, 74-89.
  • Ahmed T A, Hayslip John Watson, Leggas Markos. (2014). 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), 1350-7.
  • Penthala N R, Sonar V N, Horn J, Leggas Markos, Yadlapalli J S, Crooks Peter A. (2013). Synthesis and evaluation of a series of benzothiophene acrylonitrile analogs as anticancer agents. MedChemComm, 4(7), 1073-1078.
  • Evers B Mark, Li Tonglei, Hollis C P, Weiss Heidi L, Leggas Markos, Gemeinhart R A. (2013). Biodistribution and bioimaging studies of hybrid paclitaxel nanocrystals: Lessons Learned of the EPR effect and image-guided drug delivery. Journal of Controlled Release, 172, 12-21.
  • Rinehart John J, Arnold Susanne Markesbery, Kloecker G, Lim A, Zaydan M, Baeker T, Masheshwari J, Carloss H, Shelton Brent J, Slone S, Croley J, Kvale E, Brooks M, Leggas Markos. (2013). 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), 1375-83.