Marv joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at the University of Colorado in 1973. His chief scientific achievement was his groundbreaking research in nucleic acid chemistry, which led to the efficient and automated chemical synthesis of DNA and RNA. When combined with other biotechnology breakthroughs, this work reshaped research in biotechnology, biology, and pharmacology, and paved the way for developing many life-improving and life-saving drugs.

Marv, several other research scientists and three venture capitalists founded Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology company. He also co-founded Applied Biosystems and locally directed the early development of Array BioPharma, Dhamacon and miRagen.