Yupo Ma, a hematopathologist nationally recognized for his research in the diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma, as well as the potential of using adult stem cells in treating hemophilia and other diseases, has joined Stony Brook University Medical Center. Appointed by Kenneth R. Shroyer, Chair of the Department of Pathology, Ma will join the department’s clinical services as a hematopathologist and serve as Medical Director of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory and as a professor of pathology.
Ma comes to SBUMC from the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas, where he was Chief of Hematopathology, Head of the Stem Cell Program, and Director of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory. For more than 20 years, Ma has practiced clinical pathology and conducted research at numerous universities in China and the United States.
“The appointment of Dr. Ma will greatly add to the depth of our translational research endeavors at Stony Brook University Medical Center,” said Shroyer. “His experience and insight into diagnosing leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood disorders, as well as his innovative and promising genetic and stem cell research, will help us to discover more effective treatments for cancer and other diseases.”
Ma discovered that a gene, SALL4, is linked to cancer stem cell growth and when overexpressed is a critical factor in the progression of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with expansion of leukemic stem cells. He has received multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and numerous other sources to conduct additional research investigating SALL4 as a major therapeutic target for the treatment of MDS and AML.
Ma’s recent studies are focused on a stem cell therapy by using adult somatic cells and turning back the development of these cells so they act like embryonic cells. This process, called retrodifferentiation, produces pluripotent stem cells. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) in combination with growth factors can then be redifferentiated into cells that may be used to treat specific diseases.
“Because Stony Brook University Medical Center has an enriching research environment and is a bustling center of basic and clinical research, as well as patient care, I believe our research will flourish and lead to better treatments for many patients,” said Ma.