GRM Biosketch

Garland R. Marshall, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has been a WUSM faculty member since 1966. Prof. Marshall was born and raised in Texas where he graduated from Rusk High School in Rusk, Texas in 1958. He attended the California Institute of Technology on a National Merit Scholarship and received a B.S. in Biology in 1962. He was the first graduate student under the mentorship of R. Bruce Merrifield, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1984, at Rockefeller University, and worked on the early development of solid-phase peptide chemistry.

Garland was recruited as an Instructor in Physiology & Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in 1966 with a joint appointment in Biological Chemistry. Upon his arrival, Marshall constructed the second automated peptide synthesizer; the first being on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. In 1967, he began to utilize the primitive computers (2K of 12-bit words) available for molecular graphics and conformational analysis. This pioneering effort led to a software package SYBYL for computer-aided drug design that was licensed to Tripos, Inc., a software company that he founded in 1979. He terminated his participation in Tripos in 1987 to devote his full attention to his academic research and the development of inhibitors of HIV protease  for the treatment of AIDS. In 1995, he founded Metaphore Pharmaceuticals, Inc. focused on metal-based therapeutics, and developed a drug-like enzyme mimetic of superoxide dismutase, licensed from Monsanto/Searle, through FDA IND approval and Phase II clinical studies ending in 2006.



The LINC developed at MIT by the Computer Systems Laboratory before their move to WU in 1965 and host to CHEMAST, a molecular modeling systems, vintage 1967. The LINC had an oscilloscope for output that required each point comprising a line calculated in order to be displayed.


Prof. Marshall taught endocrine physiology to first-year medical students until 1985 when he became a Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology. In 2000, he moved his lab to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and focused on teaching graduate courses in molecular modeling and computational biology. Garland has served on both Medical School and DBBS admissions committees. He has been very active in MSTP and Ph.D. graduate training, having served on both graduate program steering committees and many graduate-student advisory committees. He was selected for the inaugural ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame. Awards in peptide chemistry include the Vincent du Vigneaud Award, the Cathay Award (Chinese Peptide Society) and the Merrifield Award. Prof. Marshall’s research currently focuses on novel antibiotics targeting two-component regulatory systems that control virulence, on inhibitors of dimerization of ErbB-family tyrosine kinase transmembrane receptors for applications in oncology, on protein-structure analysis/prediction, and on structure-based drug discovery.