42394-Ma, Yao-Ying

Yao-Ying Ma, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

MS A418
Indianapolis, IN


Dr. Ma has been investigating the neurobiology mechanism underlying drug addiction and alcohol dependence for 17 years. She received her PhD at Peking University, one of the most prestigious universities in Asia. After moving to the United States in 2006, she was a research fellow with Dr. David Y-W Lee in the Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She went on to a postdoctoral research fellow position with Drs. Christopher Evans and Michael Levin in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA, then served as postdoctoral research associate with Dr. Yan Don in the Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh.

In 2015, Dr. Ma was appointed Assistant Professor in the Behavioral Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychology, Binghamton University-SUNY. She
 joined the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Indiana University School of Medicine in July of 2018 as an Assistant Professor. 

Titles & Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Education
    2006 PhD Peking University
    2001 MD Shanxi Medical University
  • Research

    Dr. Ma's research goals are to explore the synaptic and cellular plasticity in the striatum in mental and neurological disorders, including substance abuse and neurodegenerative diseases, and to rescue or delay the pathological neuroadaptations. This will pave the way not only for understanding the neurobiology mechanism underlying these disorders, but also for providing precise neuronal targets for preventing and treating them.

    Ongoing Project 1: Synaptic adaptations induced by prenatal alcohol exposure. 

    Ongoing Project 2: Adolescent ethanol exposure increases adult anxiety-like behavior. 

    Ongoing Project 3: Role of nucleus accumbens and calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in the pathophysiology of Huntington’s disease.

  • Professional Organizations
    American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Society for Neuroscience
  • Awards
    Org: American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    Desc: ACNP Travel Award
    Scope: National
    Org: The State University of New York at Binghamton-SUNY
    Desc: Dean's Research Semester Award
    Scope: School
    Org: Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
    Desc: NARSAD Young Investigator Award 2016
    Scope: National
    Org: The State University of New York at Binghamton-SUNY
    Desc: Binghamton University Career Champion 2016
    Scope: University

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