NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIBIB Analytical Chemist Ma Remembered

Dr. Ying Ma wearing white lab coat sits in front of computer workstation
Dr. Ying Ma

Photo:  Credit Chia-Chi Charlie Chang

Dr. Ying Ma, staff scientist in the Molecular Tracer and Imaging Core Facility at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), passed away on Nov. 20. His career at NIH spanned three decades on the Bethesda campus. 

Ma was born in January 1964 in Shanxi Province, China. He earned his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Beijing Medical University, in 1992. 

Beginning in 1993, Ma was a visiting scholar at NIH, where he conducted postdoctoral research in analytical chemistry at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Eye Institute (NEI). In this period, he developed separation methods for biologically active molecules. His NHLBI mentors included Dr. Henry Fales, a renowned mass spectrometry expert, and Dr. Yoichiro Ito, an innovative countercurrent chromatography scientist. 

In 1999, Ma joined the Clinical Center’s positron emission tomography (PET) department and in 2004, his group moved to NIBIB as one of its first intramural components.

An expert in mass spectrometry techniques, Ma was a valued collaborator on a broad range of research topics, including small molecule metabolites, nanobody adducts, antibody functionalization and nanomaterial characterizations. He obtained two patents on chiral separation and affinity countercurrent chromatography and contributed to more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific publications. 

“Ying was a dedicated mentor who was always eager to share his knowledge,” said NIBIB Scientific Director Dr. Richard Leapman, at Ma’s memorial service. “His influence was felt not only at NIH, but also in the wider scientific community through his publications and presentations.”

Dr. Dale Kiesewetter, chief of NIBIB’s Molecular Tracer and Imaging Core Facility, also remembered Ma at the service, “Ying was a colleague, collaborator and a friend.” 

Ma is survived by his wife, Lin Qi, his parents, brother and extended family.  

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

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