PI


About Dr. Ma

Dr. Ma was born in China. His first name "Zhe" means "philosophy" in Chinese, so he was bound to this word. The supporting evidence is that he got the highest score in Philosophy courses in his Department, and he traveled half of the world to get a Doctor of Philosophy!

He has had a long-term goal ever since he was a first-grader in his elementary school, to become a scientist. He probably knew nothing about scientists then, rather heard this word from his parents ("I am Dr. Ma, and I approve this message").

As Philosophy is quite comprehensive, Dr. Ma also has broad training and experience. He studied Bio-engineering (as an Undergraduate), Microbiology (as a Master candidate), Cancer Biology, and Innate immunity (as a Doctoral candidate) until he found his perfect Biology model (as a Postdoc), a virus that suppresses immunity and causes cancer, with no vaccine and limited treatment options.

After being spoiled by his postdoc mentor, Blossom Damania, for 6 years, Dr. Ma joined the University of Florida in May 2020. Dr. Ma is building a research team to investigate the battles between oncogenic herpesviruses and host immune responses. Research projects in Dr. Ma's lab will integrate his research background of Virology, Immunology, and Cancer biology to decipher the pathogenic mechanism of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). The lab's research goal is to better understand how innate immunity is triggered and regulated by tumor viruses and thus developing more specific therapeutic strategies for viral cancer treatment.

Assistant Professor

2020-current

University of Florida

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

http://mgm.ufl.edu/

UF health Cancer Center

https://ufhealth.org/welcome-uf-health-cancer-center

Research Associate

2017-2020

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Laboratory of Dr. Blossom Damania

https://www.damania.org/

Postdoctoral Fellow

2013-2017

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Laboratory of Dr. Blossom Damania

https://www.damania.org/

(This is not a duplicate)

Doctor of Philosophy

2007-2013

University of Miami

Cancer Biology Graduate Program

Laboratory of Dr. Glen Barber

https://www.glenbarberlaboratory.com/

Master of Science

2003-2006

Nankai Univerisity, Tianjin, China

Department of Microbiology

Laboratory of Dr. Qimin Chen (Retired)

Bachelor of Engineering

1999-2003

Tianjin University of Science & Technology , Tianjin, China

Department of Bioengineering

Laboratory of Dr. Lianxiang Du (Retired)

Awards

2018 Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00), National Cancer Institute

2017 Postdoctoral Award for Research Excellence, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2016 Best of 2016 Reviews and Perspectives, Cell host & microbe

2015 Joseph S. Pagano Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill