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Personal profile

Research Interests

Regulation of Motor Neuron and Dopaminergic Neuron Function in Development and Disease -------- Spinal Motor Neuron Development, Function and Degeneration in SMA and ALS: Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are characterized by the selective degeneration of spinal motor neurons. As the leading genetic cause of infant mortality, SMA affects one in every eight thousand live births. Our group is interested in studying mechanism regulating motor neuron development and function, as well as why motor neurons specifically degenerate in SMA and ALS. To address these questions, we use a combination of genetic, biochemical and cell biological approaches, and utilize genetically modified mice, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells reprogrammed from fibroblasts, and zebrafish as model systems. We focus on the regulation of mitochondrial functions in SMA and ALS pathogenesis. Based on our findings, we hope to develop new therapeutic strategies for treating these diseases.

Dopaminergic Neuron Function and Degeneration in Parkinson's Disease: Dopaminergic neurons located in the ventral midbrain control movement, emotional behavior and reward mechanisms. Dysfunction of these neurons is implicated in Parkinson’s disease, drug addiction, depression and schizophrenia. Our group is interested in the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating dopaminergic neuron functions in disease and aging conditions. We are particularly interested in how aging and mitochondrial oxidative stress contribute to dopaminergic neuron degeneration in Parkinson's disease through transcriptional and epigenetic regulations. We use mouse models, cultured neurons and iPS cells for these studies.

Training Experience

2008Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Medical School

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

… → 2002

Research interests

  • Aging
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Neurogenetics
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Yongchao Ma is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 2 Similar Profiles
Motor Neurons Medicine & Life Sciences
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Medicine & Life Sciences
src-Family Kinases Medicine & Life Sciences
Dopaminergic Neurons Medicine & Life Sciences
Phosphorylation Medicine & Life Sciences
GTP-Binding Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Nerve Degeneration Medicine & Life Sciences
Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Medicine & Life Sciences

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Grants 2009 2021

Research Output 1998 2019

  • 1677 Citations
  • 25 Article
  • 5 Review article

Defective expression of mitochondrial, vacuolar H+-ATPase and histone genes in a C. Elegans Model of SMA

Gao, X., Xu, J., Chen, H., Xue, D., Pan, W., Zhou, C., Ma, Y. & Ma, L., Jan 1 2019, In : Frontiers in Genetics. 10, MAY, 410.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
RNA Splice Sites
5 Citations (Scopus)

FMRP Modulates Neural Differentiation through m6A-Dependent mRNA Nuclear Export

Edens, B. M., Vissers, C., Su, J., Arumugam, S., Xu, Z., Shi, H., Miller, N., Rojas Ringeling, F., Ming, G. L., He, C., Song, H. & Ma, Y. C., Jul 23 2019, In : Cell reports. 28, 4, p. 845-854.e5

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein
Cell Nucleus Active Transport
Messenger RNA
Knockout Mice
2 Citations (Scopus)

The RNA-binding protein FMRP facilitates the nuclear export of N6-methyladenosine–containing mRNAs

Hsu, P. J., Shi, H., Zhu, A. C., Lu, Z., Miller, N., Edens, B. M., Ma, Y. C. & He, C., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294, 52, p. 19889-19895 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein
RNA-Binding Proteins
Cell Nucleus Active Transport
Messenger RNA
2 Citations (Scopus)

RBM-5 modulates U2AF large subunit-dependent alternative splicing in C. elegans

Zhou, C., Gao, X., Hu, S., Gan, W., Xu, J., Ma, Y. C. & Ma, L., Oct 3 2018, In : RNA biology. 15, 10, p. 1295-1308 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alternative Splicing
2 Citations (Scopus)

The utility of stem cells in pediatric urinary bladder regeneration

Iannaccone, P. M., Galat, V., Bury, M. I., Ma, Y. C. & Sharma, A. K., Jan 1 2018, In : Pediatric Research. 83, 1-2, p. 258-266 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Urinary Bladder
Stem Cells
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells