Beyond its traditional functions in calcium homeostasis, vitamin D is involved in the development and progression of a number of diseases and conditions including cancer. Dr. Ma’s main research focus is on understanding the mechanisms of the anti-tumor effects of 1,25D3, the active metabolite of vitamin D, and its analogues, and the development of therapeutic strategies for the utilization of 1,25D3 in cancer care.
Her research interests include 1,25D3 regulation of apoptosis, migration and invasion in cancer. Her current research focuses on the regulation of miRNAs and their target genes involved in bladder cancer cell migration and invasion by 1,25D3, and the potential underlying mechanisms. She is also interested in applying 1,25D3 in the combinational treatment with chemotherapeutic agents to potentiate their anti-tumor effects.
Past and current funding include: RPCI Alliance Foundation.
Ma Y, Hu Q, Luo W, Pratt RN, Glenn ST, Liu S, Trump DL, Johnson CS. 1α,25(OH)2D3 differentially regulates miRNA expression in human bladder cancer cells. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 148: 166-71 (2015)
Ma Y, Yu WD, Su B, Seshadri M, Luo W, Trump DL, Johnson CS. Regulation of Motility, Invasion and Metastatic Potential of Squamous Cell Carcinoma by 1,25D3. Cancer 119: 563 (2013)
Ma Y, Yu WD, Trump DL, Johnson CS. 1,25D3 enhances antitumor activity of gemcitabine and cisplatin in human bladder cancer models. Cancer 116: 3294 (2010)
Ma Y, Yu WD, Hershberger PA, Flynn G, Kong RX, Trump DL, Johnson CS. 1,25D3 potentiates cisplatin antitumor activity by p73 induction in a squamous cell carcinoma model. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 7: 3047 (2008)
Ma Y, Yu WD, Kong RX, Trump DL, Johnson CS. Role of Nongenomic Activation of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/Akt and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Kinase/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase 1/2 Pathways in 1,25D3-Mediated Apoptosis in Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells. Cancer Research 66:8131-8 (2006)