Dengke Ma, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Department||Cardiovascular Research Inst|
|Address||555 Mission Bay Blvd South|
San Francisco CA 94158
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology ||Postdoctoral||Department of Biology||2014|
|Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine||Ph.D.||Department of Neuroscience||2009|
|Tsinghua University||B.S.||Department of Physics||2002|
||2018||NIH Pathway-to-Independent Award (K99/R00)|
|2013||Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience|
||2013||Helen Hey Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship|
|2009||Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award|
|2009||The Keystone Symposium Scholarship Award|
||2010||Faculty of 1000 Biology associate member|
|2009||Young Investigator Bae Gyo Jung Research Award, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine|
|2009||Induction to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor society|
|2008||Chinese Government Award for outstanding self-financed students oversea |
||2007||American Heart Association pre-doctoral fellowship (percentile ranked in top 1%)|
We study how genes control life processes in homeostasis as well as organismic responses to, and tolerance of, extreme physical chemical conditions. We use genetically tractable C. elegans (& related extremophile nematodes) and develop a new vertebrate model, Mangrove Killifish, to discover novel mechanisms of hypoxic/hypothermia/hyperthermia tolerance and responses. Mangrove Killifish is the only known self-fertilizing vertebrate with genetics similar to that of C. elegans and has evolved unique biological features to adapt to rather extreme physiological conditions, including hypoxia. We also culture mammalian neural stem cells ex vivo from hibernating ground squirrels to unravel cellular intrinsic mechanisms of hypoxic/cold 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 hypoxia/cold. 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.
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