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Dengke Ma, PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentCardiovascular Research Inst
Address555 Mission Bay Blvd South
San Francisco CA 94158
Phone415-502-3386
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology Postdoctoral2014Department of Biology
    Johns Hopkins University School of MedicinePh.D.2009Department of Neuroscience
    Tsinghua UniversityB.S.2002Department of Physics
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    2016Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering
    2016Pew Scholar
    2016Sloan Research Fellowship
    2015 - 2018Klingenstein Fellowship in Neuroscience
    2014 - 2018NIH Pathway-to-Independent Award (K99/R00)
    2013Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience
    2010 - 2013Helen Hey Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
    2009Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    We study how genes control life processes in homeostasis and organismic responses to extreme physical chemical conditions. Low temperature (hypothermia) and reduced oxygen (hypoxia) pervasively affect cellular metabolism and physiology, decelerate organismic biological time and trigger instinctive animal behaviors. Many species in nature have evolved unique traits to respond and adapt to severe hypothermia/hyperthermia/hypoxia. We use 1) genetically tractable C. elegans mutants isolated from large-scale screens with abnormal behavioral and extremophile-like phenotypes and 2) Mangrove Killifish, the only known self-fertilizing vertebrate with genetics similar to that of C. elegans and known extreme physiological phenotypes, as discovery tools. We also culture mammalian neural stem cells ex vivo from hibernating ground squirrels to unravel cellular intrinsic mechanisms of hypoxia/hypothermia tolerance. With multidisciplinary approaches and technologies, our long-term goal is to understand how animals integrate interoceptive states with environmental stimuli through nervous/vascular/respiratory systems to coordinate internal homeostasis and tolerance of severe abiotic stresses. This will identify new mechanisms of extreme physiology and general principles of biological adaptation, with potential applications in organ transplantation, reversible cryo-preservation and novel therapeutics to treat metabolic, neurological and ischemic disorders.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Dissecting a Novel Genetic Pathway for Fatty Acid Desaturation and Temperature Adaptation
    NIH R01GM117461Sep 1, 2016 - Jul 31, 2021
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Control of Anoxia-Reoxygenation Responses by the O2-sensing Enzyme EGL-9 Pathway
    NIH R00HL116654May 1, 2014 - Jan 31, 2018
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Control of Anoxia-Reoxygenation Responses by the O2-sensing Enzyme EGL-9 Pathway
    NIH K99HL116654May 1, 2014 - Apr 30, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
    Collapse Websites
    Collapse In The News
    Collapse Featured Publications

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Dallière N, Bhatla N, Luedtke Z, Ma DK, Woolman J, Walker RJ, Holden-Dye L, O'Connor V. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability. FASEB J. 2016 Feb; 30(2):836-48. PMID: 26514165.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Ma DK, Li Z, Lu AY, Sun F, Chen S, Rothe M, Menzel R, Sun F, Horvitz HR. Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Drives Heat Adaptation by Sequestering Fatty Acids. Cell. 2015 May 21; 161(5):1152-63. PMID: 25981666; PMCID: PMC4441829 [Available on 05/21/16].
    3. Keller J, Ellieva A, Ma DK, Ju J, Nehk E, Konkel A, Falck JR, Schunck WH, Menzel R. CYP-13A12 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a PUFA-epoxygenase involved in behavioural response to reoxygenation. Biochem J. 2014 Nov 15; 464(1):61-71. PMID: 25138176.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Ma DK, Rothe M, Zheng S, Bhatla N, Pender CL, Menzel R, Horvitz HR. Cytochrome P450 drives a HIF-regulated behavioral response to reoxygenation by C. elegans. Science. 2013 Aug 2; 341(6145):554-8. PMID: 23811225; PMCID: PMC3969381.
    5. Ma DK, Ringstad N. The neurobiology of sensing respiratory gases for the control of animal behavior. Front Biol (Beijing). 2012 Jun; 7(3):246-253. PMID: 22876258.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Ma DK, Vozdek R, Bhatla N, Horvitz HR. CYSL-1 interacts with the O2-sensing hydroxylase EGL-9 to promote H2S-modulated hypoxia-induced behavioral plasticity in C. elegans. Neuron. 2012 Mar 8; 73(5):925-40. PMID: 22405203; PMCID: PMC3305813.
    7. Guo JU, Ma DK, Mo H, Ball MP, Jang MH, Bonaguidi MA, Balazer JA, Eaves HL, Xie B, Ford E, Zhang K, Ming GL, Gao Y, Song H. Neuronal activity modifies the DNA methylation landscape in the adult brain. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct; 14(10):1345-51. PMID: 21874013; PMCID: PMC3183401.
    8. Ma DK, Marchetto MC, Guo JU, Ming GL, Gage FH, Song H. Epigenetic choreographers of neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain. Nat Neurosci. 2010 Nov; 13(11):1338-44. PMID: 20975758; PMCID: PMC3324277.
    9. Ma DK, Ming GL, Song H. Oxysterols drive dopaminergic neurogenesis from stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2009 Oct 2; 5(4):343-4. PMID: 19796609.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Ma DK, Kim WR, Ming GL, Song H. Activity-dependent extrinsic regulation of adult olfactory bulb and hippocampal neurogenesis. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul; 1170:664-73. PMID: 19686209; PMCID: PMC2729764.
    11. Ma DK, Ponnusamy K, Song MR, Ming GL, Song H. Molecular genetic analysis of FGFR1 signalling reveals distinct roles of MAPK and PLCgamma1 activation for self-renewal of adult neural stem cells. Mol Brain. 2009; 2:16. PMID: 19505325; PMCID: PMC2700800.
    12. Ma DK, Bonaguidi MA, Ming GL, Song H. Adult neural stem cells in the mammalian central nervous system. Cell Res. 2009 Jun; 19(6):672-82. PMID: 19436263; PMCID: PMC2738865.
    13. Ma DK, Guo JU, Ming GL, Song H. DNA excision repair proteins and Gadd45 as molecular players for active DNA demethylation. Cell Cycle. 2009 May 15; 8(10):1526-31. PMID: 19377292; PMCID: PMC2738863.
    14. Ma DK, Jang MH, Guo JU, Kitabatake Y, Chang ML, Pow-Anpongkul N, Flavell RA, Lu B, Ming GL, Song H. Neuronal activity-induced Gadd45b promotes epigenetic DNA demethylation and adult neurogenesis. Science. 2009 Feb 20; 323(5917):1074-7. PMID: 19119186; PMCID: PMC2726986.
    15. Ma DK, Chiang CH, Ponnusamy K, Ming GL, Song H. G9a and Jhdm2a regulate embryonic stem cell fusion-induced reprogramming of adult neural stem cells. Stem Cells. 2008 Aug; 26(8):2131-41. PMID: 18535151; PMCID: PMC4059405.
    16. Jordan JD, Ma DK, Ming GL, Song H. Cellular niches for endogenous neural stem cells in the adult brain. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2007 Oct; 6(5):336-41. PMID: 18045162.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Duan X, Chang JH, Ge S, Faulkner RL, Kim JY, Kitabatake Y, Liu XB, Yang CH, Jordan JD, Ma DK, Liu CY, Ganesan S, Cheng HJ, Ming GL, Lu B, Song H. Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 regulates integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain. Cell. 2007 Sep 21; 130(6):1146-58. PMID: 17825401; PMCID: PMC2002573.
    18. Ma DK, Ming GL, Song H. Glial influences on neural stem cell development: cellular niches for adult neurogenesis. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Oct; 15(5):514-20. PMID: 16144763.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Goh EL, Ma D, Ming GL, Song H. Adult neural stem cells and repair of the adult central nervous system. J Hematother Stem Cell Res. 2003 Dec; 12(6):671-9. PMID: 14977476.
      View in: PubMed
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