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Marilyn Mackiewicz standing in front of a grey backdrop.

Marilyn Rampersad Mackiewicz

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry

Marilyn Rampersad Mackiewicz

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry


The Mackiewicz lab consists of modern-day explorers of the molecular world and architects of nanoscale materials. Our research focuses on two primary agendas: developing safe nanomaterials (NMs) for clinical translation, and constructing a systems-level understanding of nanoparticle-biological interactions (NBIs) and toxicity. To solve multivariate challenges in nanotechnologies, we have iteratively evolved NMs closer to clinical translation, by designing NMs with bioinspired ligands enabling tunable libraries of NMs for the nanomedicine community. We have also discovered parameters for safer NMs design with minimal human and environmental impact. The importance of our findings on nanomaterials on the environment and human health has been shared with the scientific community and the public through outreach activities. The lab is a training space for students in bionanomaterials design and study.


Ph. D. (2005) Chemistry, Texas A&M University

B. A. (2001) Hunter College the City University of New York

B.A. (1999) Psychology, Hunter College the City University of New York


  • Mackiewicz, M.R.*; Hosbein, K.; Mason, D.; and Ajjarapu, R. “Integrating Scientific Growth and Professional Development Skills in Research Environments to Aid in the Persistence of Marginalized Students”. J. . Chem. Educ. 2023, 100, 1, 199–208.
  • Marquart, Grant. W; Stoddard, Jonathan; McGill, Trevor. J.; Kinnison, Karen.; Zhou, Felicia.; Hugo, Richard.; Ryals, Renee.; Schubert, S.; Mackiewicz, M.R.* “Increasing the Efficacy of Gold Nanorod Uptake in Stem Cell-Derived Therapeutic Cells: Implications for Stem Cell Labeling and Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging”. ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2022, 5, 5, 6995–7008.
  • Dent, S. E.; King, D. P.; Osterberg, V. R.; Adams, E. K.; Mackiewicz, M. R.; Weissman, T. A.; Unni, V. K. “Phosphorylation of the aggregate-forming protein alpha-synuclein on serine-129 inhibits its DNA-bending properties”. Journal of Biological Chemistry (5.157), 2022, 298 (2), 101552.
  • Cunningham, B.; Engstrom, A. M.; Harper, B. J.; Harper, S. L.; Mackiewicz, M. R., Silver Nanoparticles Stable to Oxidation and Silver Ion Release Show Size-Dependent Toxicity In Vivo. Nanomaterials 2021, 11 (6), 1516.
  • Marriott, L. K.; Raz Link, A.; Anitori, R. P.; Blackwell, E. A.; Blas, A.; Brock, J.; Burke, T. K.; Burrows, J. A.; Cabrera, A. P.; Helsham, D.; Liban, L. B.; Mackiewicz, M. R.; Maruyama, M.; Milligan-Myhre, K. C. A.; Panelinan, P. J. C.; Hattori-Uchima, M.; Reed, R.; Simon, B. E.; Solomon, B.; Trinidad, A. M. O.; Wyatt, L. R.; Delgado Covarrubias, A.; Zell, A.; Keller, T. E.; Morris, C.; Crespo, C. J., Supporting Biomedical Research Training for Historically Underrepresented Undergraduates Using Interprofessional, Nonformal Education Structures. JoSoTL 2021, 21 (1), 241-286.
  • Engstrom A. M; Faase, Ryan; Marquart G. W; Baio J.E; Mackiewicz M.R*; Harper S.L. “Size-Dependent Interactions of Lipid-Coated Gold Nanoparticles: Developing a Better Mechanistic Understanding Through Model Cell Membranes and in vivo Toxicity”. Int J Nanomedicine (4.471), 2020,15:4091-4104.
  • Engstrom, A. M.; Wu, H.; Mackiewicz, M. R.*; Harper, S. L. “Controlling Silver Ion Release of Silver Nanoparticles with Hybrid Lipid Membranes with Long-Chain Hydrophobic Thiol Anchors Decreases in vivo Toxicity”. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (5.179), 2020,10:12-28.
  • Miesen, T.J.; Engstrom, A. M.; Frost, D.C.; Ajjarapu, R.; Ajjarapu, R.; Nieves Lira, C.; Mackiewicz, M.R.* “Hybrid lipid-membrane coating “shape-lock” silver nanoparticles to prevent surface oxidation and silver ion dissolution”. RSC Advances (3.36), 2020, 10, 15677-15693.
  • Virca, C. N.; Winter, H. M.; Goforth, A. M.; Mackiewicz, M. Rampersad; McCormick, T. M. “Photocatalytic water reduction using a polymer-coated carbon quantum dot sensitizer and a nickel nanoparticle catalyst”. Nanotechnology (3.874), 2017, 28 (19), 195402.
  • Ho Wu, R.; Nguyen, T.P.; Marquart, G. M.; Miesen, T. J.; Mau, T.; Mackiewicz, M. R.*, “A facile route to tailoring peptide-stabilized gold nanoparticles using glutathione as a synthon.” Molecules (4.411), 2014, 19 (5):6754-75.
  • Sinche, F., Ho Wu, R., Gowrishankar, M.: Marquart, G. W.: Mackiewicz, M. R.*: Harper, B.: and S. L. Harper. “The impact of the synthesis method and purity on the toxicity of glutathione-coated gold nanoparticles”. Nanomaterials (5.346), 2013, 4 (2), 355-371.
  • Mackiewicz, M. R.; Hodges, H. L.; Brown, A. L.; Reed. S. M. “Nanoparticle-Enhanced Assay for Detection of C - reactive Protein with Phosphatidylcholine ligands.” Journal of Physical Chemistry B (2.991), 2010, 114 (16), 5556–5562.
  • Norris, C.; Rencit, P. R.; Mackiewicz, M.R; Reed, S. M. “A Simple Synthesis of Gold-Core, Silver-Shell Nanoeggs Using Minimal Formaldehyde.” Chemistry of Materials (9.881), 2010, 22 (12), 3637–3645.
  • Situala, S.; Mackiewicz, M. Rampersad; Reed. Scott M. “Gold Nanoparticles Become Stable to Cyanide Etch when Coated with Hybrid Lipid Bilayers.” Chemical Communications (6.222), 2008, 3013–3015.
  • Mackiewicz, M.R.; Ayres, Benjamin R.; Reed, Scott M. “Reversible, Reagentless Solubility Changes in Phosphatidylcholine-stabilized Gold Nanoparticles.” Nanotechnology (3.874), 2008, 19, 115607-115613.


  • Gender Equity in Leadership, College of Science, 2023
  • Loyd F. Carter Award for Outstanding and Inspirational Teaching in Science for Graduate Students, College of Science, 2023
  • Milton Harris Teaching Award, Department of Chemistry, 2022
  • OSU College of Science Inclusive Excellence Award 2022
  • American Chemistry Society Stanley Israel Award (2020)
  • Adjunct Faculty Research Excellence Award, 2018
  • Presidents Diversity Award, 2017
  • Ronald McNair Mentor Award, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • PSU Faculty Enhancement Travel Award, 2014
  • PSU Sustainability Travel Award, 2015
  • Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Mentor Award
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein-NRSA (NIH) Training Grant, 2004-2005
  • Industry-University Cooperative Chemistry Program (IUCCP) - Best Presenter Award, 2004
  • A.E. Martell Travel Award, Texas A & M University, 2003
  • MARC (Minority Access Research Center) Fellowship, 2000-2001


  • 261st ACS National Meeting, April 5-16, 2021, Mackiewicz, M. R.* “Solving the mystery between silver and silver nanoparticles: Who's toxic?”
  • 259th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, March 22-26, 2020, Zhou, Felica; Caldwell, Adam; Mackiewicz, M. R.* “Optimizing gold nanoparticle-fluorophore Interactions to minimize fluorescence quenching.”
  • 259th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, United States, March 22-26, 2020, Paulin, Kim; Engstrom, Arek M.; Mackiewicz, M. R.* ”Robust nickel nanoparticles shielded from surface oxidation.”
  • 74th Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Portland, OR, United States, June 16-19, 2019, Sawab, Hamzah; Engstrom, Arek M.; Faase, Ryan; Harper, Stacey L.; Baio, Joe; Mackiewicz, M. R.* “Tuning the curvature of hybrid lipid-coated gold nanoparticles to investigate their role in toxicity.”
  • 74th Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Portland, OR, United States, June 16-19, 2019, Marquart, Grant W.; Zhou, Felicia; * Mackiewicz, M. R.* “Teasing apart nanoparticle-protein interactions with hybrid lipid-coated gold nanoparticles.”
  • 74th Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Portland, OR, United States, June 16-19, 2019, Engstrom, Arek M.; Wu, Henry; Mackiewicz, M. R.*; Harper, Stacey L., “Hybrid lipid-coated silver nanoparticles with long-chain hydrophobic thiol surface coatings show decreased toxicity compared to those without robust surface coatings”
  • 74th Northwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Portland, OR, United States, June 16-19, 2019, Mackiewicz, M. R.* “Evolving nanotechnologies for ophthalmology applications.”
  • 257th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Orlando, FL, United States, Mar. 31-Apr. 4, 2019, Wu, Henry; Engstrom, Arek; Harper, Bryan; Harper, Stacey; * Mackiewicz, M. R.* “Teasing apart how specific features of silver nanoparticles contribute to toxicity.”