Averil Ma, MD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Address||513 Parnassus Ave, Med Sci|
San Francisco CA 94122
|Columbia Medical School||M.D.||1984|
|2010||Chief, UCSF Division of Gastroenterology|
||2012||Chair, NIH CMI-A study section|
|2001||AGA/GRG Young Investigator Award|
|1997||Cancer Research Institute Scholar|
|1989||James McDonnell Scholar|
Dr. Ma is Director of the UCSF IBD Center and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology.
He oversees translational and basic research in IBD and related inflammatory diseases.
His laboratory studies ubiquitin modifying enzymes that regulate inflammation and carcinogenesis. Two prominent molecules are A20 and its binding partner, ABIN-1 (A20 Binding Inhibitor of NF?B). They discovered that these proteins are potent regulators of innate immunity and are genetically linked to human intestinal diseases, including IBD, sprue, Behcet’s disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, sprue, asthma, and lymphomas. They utilize genetic engineering, cellular, and biochemical approaches to understand the mechanisms by which these proteins prevent inflammation. Their studies have revealed critical roles of A20 in restricting NFkB signals.
In addition to restricting NFkB signals, they have found that A20 prevents inflammasome activity and multiple forms of cell death. Hence, A20 may also protect tissues from damage. These fundamental processes are now being studies in the context of innate immune, and host – microbial interactions in the intestine. Ongoing studies focus on the cellular and biochemical mechanisms by which A20 and ABIN-1 (and related proteins) restrict ubiquitin dependent inflammatory signals, and intestinal immune homeostasis. They are also pursuing novel approaches of modifying the functions of these proteins for therapeutic benefit.
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