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Xiaowen Ma

Graduate Student - Ding Lab

Professional Background

I was born in Weihai, a beautiful seaside city located in northeast of China. I earned Bachelor Degree in Clinical Medicine from Shandong University. After graduation, I continued to study in Shandong Provincial Hospital and got my Master Degree in the summer of 2017. While in Master study, I joined a professional liver disease research team, and focused on liver fibrosis with great interest. Intrigued by liver metabolism and pathology, in the Fall 2017, I joined IGPBS program and Dr. Ding's lab at KUMC.

Education and Training
  • B. Med. in Clinical Medicine, Shandong University, China
  • M. Med. in Clinical Medicine, Shandong University, China



Autophagy is an intracellular system that degrades cytosolic proteins and organelles through a double-membrane structure known as the autophagosome. Mitophagy, the specific autophagic elimination of damaged and aged mitochondria, is a selective pathway to protect the cells against these detrimental effects. However, it is unclear how damaged mitochondria are eventually recognized by the autophagosomes in mammalian cells. Mitochondria are dynamic organelles and constantly undergo fission and fusion. Fragmented mitochondria may favor autophagic removal due to its small size. Under Dr. Ding's guidance, I am interested in investigating the mechanism of mitochondrial fission and fusion in drug-induced mitophagy and exploring its implication in liver injury.

School of Medicine

The University of Kansas Medical Center
Pharmacology, Toxicology & Therapeutics
Mailstop 1018
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160