Dr. Ma received her Bachelors degree from Beijing University in 2009. She obtained her PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2015, where she discovered new mechanisms for stem cell fate determination in Dr. Erika Matunis lab. She is the 2015 winner of the Hans Joaquim Prochaska Research Award. Dr. Ma did her post-doctoral training at the Stanford University under Dr. Howard Chang, where she investigated the function of long non-coding RNAs. She was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship from Stanford University. In 2019, she joined the faculty at SIAT.

Research Areas

The Ma Laboratory is focused on the non-coding genome using various systems. Particular interests include identifying functional non-coding regions during development and under disease conditions, dissection of non-coding genome function by genome redesign and synthetic genomes.


Ang CE#, Ma Q#, Wapinski O#, Fan S, Flynn R, Coe B, Onoguchi M, Do B, Dukes-Rimsky L, Xu J, Lee Q, Wang L, Eichler E, Penninger J, Eichler EE, Srivastava A, Wernig M*, Chang HY*.  The novel lncRNA lnc-NR2F1 is pro-neurogenic and mutated in human neurodevelopmental disorders, Elife, 2019, 8: e41770.  (highlighted by Elife,#co-first authors)

Fang J#, Ma Q#, Li L, Chu C, Batista P, Li R, Qu K*, Chang HY*, PIRCh-seq: functional classification of non-coding RNAs associated with distinct histone modifications (accepted by Genome Biology,#co-first authors)

Ma Q, Chang HY. Single-cell profiling of lncRNAs in the developing human brain, Genome Biology, 2016, 17(1): 68. 

Ma Q, de Cuevas M, Matunis E. Chinmo is sufficient to induce male fate in somatic cells of the adult Drosophila ovary, Development, 2016, 143(5): 754-763. 

Ma Q, Wawersik M, Matunis E. The Jak-STAT target Chinmo prevents sex transformation of adult stem cells in the Drosophila testis niche, Developmental Cell, 2014, 31: 474-486. (Cover article, highlighted by Nature Review Genetics, Developmental Cell and Biology of Reproduction.)

Li Y, Ma Q, Cherry CM, Matunis E. Steroid signaling promotes stem cell maintenance in the Drosophila Testis, Developmental Biology, 2014, 394: 129-141.