Qiufu Ma, Ph.D.

Title
Associate Professor
Department
Department of Neurobiology
Institution
Harvard University
Address
44 Binney Street
Mailstop: SM1022B
City, State, Zip
Boston, MA 2115
Phone
(617) 632-4594
E-mail
Qiufu_Ma[at]dfci.harvard.edu
Website
http://physicians.dana-farber.org/directory/profile.asp?dbase=main&setsize=10&display=Y&nxtfmt=pc&gs=adf&picture_id=0000035&lookup=Y&pict_id=0000035
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2000

Research

We are interested in investigating the molecular mechanisms that govern the formation and function of pain sensory neurons. In mammals, painful sensory information is detected by a specialized group of sensory neurons called nociceptors. These neurons express a diverse array of ion channels and receptors that underlie the initial reaction to noxious thermal, chemical, and mechanical stimuli. Under pathological conditions - such as inflammation, nerve injuries, or cancer cell invasion - nociceptors can be sensitized, resulting in persistent chronic pain disorders. Few effective medicines are available for neuropathic pain, and over 45% of cancer patients in the United States suffer untreatable pain. A major goal of our research is to understand how distinct classes of nociceptors are specified during development and how nociceptors come to be sensitized during pathological conditions, with the ultimate goal of developing new therapeutic targets for pain treatment.