University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Mark Burkard, MD, PHD



MADISON, WI 53705-2275

(608) 262-2803


  • 1994-2002
    MD and PhD in Chemistry
    University of Rochester
    Focus: RNA folding and thermodynamics
  • 1990-1994
    BS Mathematical Physics
    SUNY at Buffalo


  • 2002-2004
    Internal Medicine
    New York Presbyterian-Cornell
    New York, NY


  • 2006 - 2008
    Medical Oncology
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    Research focus: Chemical biology of mitotic protein kinases and developmental therapeutics

Current Appointments

  • Assistant Professor
    University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
    Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Section
    Leader, UW Breast Disease Oriented Working Group

Research Interests

Dr. Burkard is a chemical biologist and medical oncologist who specializes the treatment of breast cancer. His research laboratory is focused on using chemical biology to identify and validate mitotic protein kinases as breast cancer drug targets. The laboratory seeks to advance cancer therapy by two approaches-candidate evaluation ("bottom-up") and therapeutic strategy ("top-down"). In the first approach, function of specific kinases is interrogated to determine how these control human cell division and evaluate the potential worth as a cancer drug target. Chemical genetics allows the group to dispense with the arduous task of up-front drug discovery and simply mutate the target kinase to prepare for chemical interrogation of function. In contrast, the top-down approach seeks to selectively target a unique characteristic of cancer cells that sensitize them to specific drugs. For example, the group seeks to develop compounds that specifically block proliferation of cells which harbor excess number of chromosomes; such polyploid cells are commonly found in cancer. The ultimate goal is to identify new drug targets or allow improved selection of patients likely to benefit from existing treatments.

Visit Mark Burkard's  lab website

Search for Mark Burkard's literature abstracts on PubMed


Rocque G, Onitilo A, Engel J, Pettke E, Boshoven A, Kim K, Rishi S, Waack B, Wisinski KB, Tevaarwerk A, Burkard ME. Adjuvant therapy for HER2+ breast cancer: practice, perception, and toxicity. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Jan; 131(2): 713-21. Epub 2011 Nov 8. PMCID: PMC3329126.

Tevaarwerk A, Burkard ME, Wisinski KB, Shafer MM, Davis LA, Gogineni J, Crone E, Hansen KE. Aromatase Inhibitors and Calcium Absorption in Early Stage Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Feb 8 [Epub ahead of print], PMCID: PMC3376688.

Burkard ME, Santamaria A, Jallepalli PV. Enabling and disabling polo-like kinase 1 inhibition through chemical genetics. ACS Chem Biol. 2012 June 15; 7 (6): 978-81. Epub 2012 March 20. PMCID: PMC3376236.