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Qiufu Ma, Ph.D.

TitleProfessor of Neurobiology
InstitutionDana-Farber Cancer Institute
DepartmentNeurobiology
AddressDana Farber Cancer Institute
Cancer Biology/MA, Smith 1022
44 Binney St
Boston MA 02115
Phone617/632-4594

 Mentoring 
 current student opportunities
Available: 06/01/12, Expires: 06/02/15

Itch can be suppressed by painful stimuli. That is why we scratch at an itch. In human patients suffering chronic itch, pain-induced itch inhibition was abolished. It is also well known by clinicians that pain relief by opioids can sometimes induce itch side effects. The goal of this project is to dissect the neural circuits that mediate itch inhibition by pain. To do this, the students will be part of a team to use mouse genetic manipulations to ablate or silence specific populations of excitatory or inhibitory neurons in the dorsal spinal cord, followed by determining whether or not pain-induced itch inhibition is affected.


 Bibliographic 
 selected publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Xu Y, Lopes C, Wende H, Guo Z, Cheng L, Birchmeier C, Ma Q. Ontogeny of excitatory spinal neurons processing distinct somatic sensory modalities. J Neurosci. 2013 Sep 11; 33(37):14738-48.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Roberson DP, Gudes S, Sprague JM, Patoski HA, Robson VK, Blasl F, Duan B, Oh SB, Bean BP, Ma Q, Binshtok AM, Woolf CJ. Activity-dependent silencing reveals functionally distinct itch-generating sensory neurons. Nat Neurosci. 2013 May 19; 16(7):910-8.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Lou S, Duan B, Vong L, Lowell BB, Ma Q. Runx1 Controls Terminal Morphology and Mechanosensitivity of VGLUT3-expressing C-Mechanoreceptors. J Neurosci. 2013 Jan 16; 33(3):870-82.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Herriges JC, Yi L, Hines EA, Harvey JF, Xu G, Gray PA, Ma Q, Sun X. Genome-scale study of transcription factor expression in the branching mouse lung. Dev Dyn. 2012 Sep; 241(9):1432-53.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Lopes C, Liu Z, Xu Y, Ma Q. Tlx3 and Runx1 act in combination to coordinate the development of a cohort of nociceptors, thermoceptors, and pruriceptors. J Neurosci. 2012 Jul 11; 32(28):9706-15.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Liu T, Berta T, Xu ZZ, Park CK, Zhang L, Lü N, Liu Q, Liu Y, Gao YJ, Liu YC, Ma Q, Dong X, Ji RR. TLR3 deficiency impairs spinal cord synaptic transmission, central sensitization, and pruritus in mice. J Clin Invest. 2012 Jun 1; 122(6):2195-207.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Yu J, Valerius MT, Duah M, Staser K, Hansard JK, Guo JJ, McMahon J, Vaughan J, Faria D, Georgas K, Rumballe B, Ren Q, Krautzberger AM, Junker JP, Thiagarajan RD, Machanick P, Gray PA, van Oudenaarden A, Rowitch DH, Stiles CD, Ma Q, Grimmond SM, Bailey TL, Little MH, McMahon AP. Identification of molecular compartments and genetic circuitry in the developing mammalian kidney. Development. 2012 May; 139(10):1863-73.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Ma Q. Population coding of somatic sensations. Neurosci Bull. 2012 Apr; 28(2):91-9.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Mar L, Yang FC, Ma Q. Genetic marking and characterization of Tac2-expressing neurons in the central and peripheral nervous system. Mol Brain. 2012; 5:3.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Wang T, Molliver DC, Jing X, Schwartz ES, Yang FC, Samad OA, Ma Q, Davis BM. Phenotypic switching of nonpeptidergic cutaneous sensory neurons following peripheral nerve injury. PLoS One. 2011; 6(12):e28908.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Liu Y, Abdel Samad O, Zhang L, Duan B, Tong Q, Lopes C, Ji RR, Lowell BB, Ma Q. VGLUT2-dependent glutamate release from nociceptors is required to sense pain and suppress itch. Neuron. 2010 Nov 4; 68(3):543-56.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Ma Q. Labeled lines meet and talk: population coding of somatic sensations. J Clin Invest. 2010 Nov; 120(11):3773-8.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Liu Y, Ma Q. Generation of somatic sensory neuron diversity and implications on sensory coding. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Feb; 21(1):52-60.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Abdel Samad O, Liu Y, Yang FC, Kramer I, Arber S, Ma Q. Characterization of two Runx1-dependent nociceptor differentiation programs necessary for inflammatory versus neuropathic pain. Mol Pain. 2010; 6:45.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Ross SE, Mardinly AR, McCord AE, Zurawski J, Cohen S, Jung C, Hu L, Mok SI, Shah A, Savner EM, Tolias C, Corfas R, Chen S, Inquimbert P, Xu Y, McInnes RR, Rice FL, Corfas G, Ma Q, Woolf CJ, Greenberg ME. Loss of inhibitory interneurons in the dorsal spinal cord and elevated itch in Bhlhb5 mutant mice. Neuron. 2010 Mar 25; 65(6):886-98.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Ma Q. RETouching upon mechanoreceptors. Neuron. 2009 Dec 24; 64(6):773-6.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Fu H, Cai J, Clevers H, Fast E, Gray S, Greenberg R, Jain MK, Ma Q, Qiu M, Rowitch DH, Taylor CM, Stiles CD. A genome-wide screen for spatially restricted expression patterns identifies transcription factors that regulate glial development. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 9; 29(36):11399-408.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Gao YJ, Zhang L, Samad OA, Suter MR, Yasuhiko K, Xu ZZ, Park JY, Lind AL, Ma Q, Ji RR. JNK-induced MCP-1 production in spinal cord astrocytes contributes to central sensitization and neuropathic pain. J Neurosci. 2009 Apr 1; 29(13):4096-108.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Schüller U, Heine VM, Mao J, Kho AT, Dillon AK, Han YG, Huillard E, Sun T, Ligon AH, Qian Y, Ma Q, Alvarez-Buylla A, McMahon AP, Rowitch DH, Ligon KL. Acquisition of granule neuron precursor identity is a critical determinant of progenitor cell competence to form Shh-induced medulloblastoma. Cancer Cell. 2008 Aug 12; 14(2):123-34.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Ma YC, Song MR, Park JP, Henry Ho HY, Hu L, Kurtev MV, Zieg J, Ma Q, Pfaff SL, Greenberg ME. Regulation of motor neuron specification by phosphorylation of neurogenin 2. Neuron. 2008 Apr 10; 58(1):65-77.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Xu Y, Lopes C, Qian Y, Liu Y, Cheng L, Goulding M, Turner EE, Lima D, Ma Q. Tlx1 and Tlx3 coordinate specification of dorsal horn pain-modulatory peptidergic neurons. J Neurosci. 2008 Apr 9; 28(15):4037-46.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Liu Y, Yang FC, Okuda T, Dong X, Zylka MJ, Chen CL, Anderson DJ, Kuner R, Ma Q. Mechanisms of compartmentalized expression of Mrg class G-protein-coupled sensory receptors. J Neurosci. 2008 Jan 2; 28(1):125-32.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Woolf CJ, Ma Q. Nociceptors--noxious stimulus detectors. Neuron. 2007 Aug 2; 55(3):353-64.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Schüller U, Kho AT, Zhao Q, Ma Q, Rowitch DH. Cerebellar 'transcriptome' reveals cell-type and stage-specific expression during postnatal development and tumorigenesis. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2006 Nov; 33(3):247-59.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Ma Q. Transcriptional regulation of neuronal phenotype in mammals. J Physiol. 2006 Sep 1; 575(Pt 2):379-87.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Chen CL, Broom DC, Liu Y, de Nooij JC, Li Z, Cen C, Samad OA, Jessell TM, Woolf CJ, Ma Q. Runx1 determines nociceptive sensory neuron phenotype and is required for thermal and neuropathic pain. Neuron. 2006 Feb 2; 49(3):365-77.
    View in: PubMed
  27. Cheng L, Samad OA, Xu Y, Mizuguchi R, Luo P, Shirasawa S, Goulding M, Ma Q. Lbx1 and Tlx3 are opposing switches in determining GABAergic versus glutamatergic transmitter phenotypes. Nat Neurosci. 2005 Nov; 8(11):1510-5.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Gray PA, Fu H, Luo P, Zhao Q, Yu J, Ferrari A, Tenzen T, Yuk DI, Tsung EF, Cai Z, Alberta JA, Cheng LP, Liu Y, Stenman JM, Valerius MT, Billings N, Kim HA, Greenberg ME, McMahon AP, Rowitch DH, Stiles CD, Ma Q. Mouse brain organization revealed through direct genome-scale TF expression analysis. Science. 2004 Dec 24; 306(5705):2255-7.
    View in: PubMed
  29. Cheng L, Arata A, Mizuguchi R, Qian Y, Karunaratne A, Gray PA, Arata S, Shirasawa S, Bouchard M, Luo P, Chen CL, Busslinger M, Goulding M, Onimaru H, Ma Q. Tlx3 and Tlx1 are post-mitotic selector genes determining glutamatergic over GABAergic cell fates. Nat Neurosci. 2004 May; 7(5):510-7.
    View in: PubMed
  30. Cheng L, Chen CL, Luo P, Tan M, Qiu M, Johnson R, Ma Q. Lmx1b, Pet-1, and Nkx2.2 coordinately specify serotonergic neurotransmitter phenotype. J Neurosci. 2003 Nov 5; 23(31):9961-7.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Qian Y, Shirasawa S, Chen CL, Cheng L, Ma Q. Proper development of relay somatic sensory neurons and D2/D4 interneurons requires homeobox genes Rnx/Tlx-3 and Tlx-1. Genes Dev. 2002 May 15; 16(10):1220-33.
    View in: PubMed
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