Dr. Liang Ma is a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University Schools of Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Human Genetics at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2014). He completed postdoctoral research fellowships in genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and UTHealth.
During his graduate program, he studied potential genomic variants that contribute to schizophrenia risk by evaluating the two largest Han GWAS (Ma et al. 2013 Mol Psychiatry), CREB1 signal pathway (Ma et al. 2014 J Psychiatr Res), and mitochondria component NDUFS7 (Ma et al. 2013 Psychiatr Genet). During his fellowship, he studied which schizophrenia-related genomic variations, open chromatin regions, and DNA methylation sites are interacting with each other to influencing gene expression and splicing (Ma et al. 2019 Mol Psychiatry) (Ma et al. 2020 Mol Psychiatry). He has pioneered the analysis of human polygenic diseases that dissect gene structure and link the expression features to disease risk.
His research interest focuses on identifying risk genomic variations, genes, and in particular, splicing transcripts for human polygenic diseases; and investigate how genomic variations affect gene transcriptions and further contribute to diseases’ risk. He specialized in genomics studies (genome-wide association study (GWAS), studies of RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and DNA methylation in combination with whole-genome sequencing (WGS)), and functional studies by employing molecular biology and cell biology approach. He established methods to discover risk splicing expression features and experimentally validate them. Using omics data and the methods he developed, he has identified a list of genes that potentially increase the risk of schizophrenia.
Education & Certifications
B.S., Shanxi Agricultural University, Animal Science (2007)
M.S., Northwest A&F University, Animal Genetics (2010)
Ph.D., University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Human Genetics (2014)