Ma Ming


Ming Ma

Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track PI)


Research Areas

Natural Product Biosynthesis


Education & Positions

University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), B.S., 1994

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 2000

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track PI), 2016-present

The Scripps Research Institute (Florida), Research Associate, 2011-2016

Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Assistant Professor, 2006-2011

Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Ph. D., 2003-2006

Faculty Accolades

Youth Scholar of Peking University Health Science Center 2017

L¨¹Ye Bio-Medicine Youth Scholar of Peking University 2017

Third Prize of the 16th Youth Teaching Contest of Peking University (Medical Group) 2017

Excellent Teaching Prize of Peking University Health Science Center 2017

Peking University Excellent Youth Scholar Recruitment Program Awards 2016


Research Interests

Our research focuses on the biosynthesis of natural products from microorganisms, especially actinomycetes that produced majority of antibiotics. Based on the combination of chemical and biological tools and techniques, we answer key biosynthetic questions including which genes are involved in the biosynthesis, what reactions these gene-encoded proteins catalyze, what's the catalytic mechanisms and how we can control these biosynthetic machineries to generate "designed" molecules? We primarily focus on the discovery and biosynthesis of nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) and ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs). We also heavily depend on solving the crystal structures of key biosynthetic enzymes to uncover novel catalytic mechanisms. Currently we are working on the discovery of new NRPs and RiPPs from marine actinomycetes based on chemical investigation and genome mining methods, and the biosynthetic research including gene deletion, heterologous expression and crystallization of key enzymes are ongoing.


Grants and fundings

National Natural Science Foundation, 81673332

National Natural Science Foundation, 81741148

Grant of Peking University Excellent Youth Scholar Recruitment Program



1.    Jing Jin, Xiaoyan Yang, Tan Liu, Hua Xiao, Guiyang Wang, Mengjie Zhou, Fawang Liu, Yingtao Zhang, Dong Liu, Minghua Chen, Wei Cheng, Donghui Yang*, Ming Ma*. Fluostatins M-Q featuring a 6-5-6-6 ring skeleton and high oxidized A-rings from marine Streptomyces sp. PKU-MA00045. Mar. Drugs, 2018, 16, 87.

2.    Ming Ma#, Jeremy R. Lohman#, Tao Liu#, Ben Shen*. C-S bond cleavage by a polyketide synthase domain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S . A., 2015, 112, 10359-10364.

3.    Sheng-Xiong Huang#, Bong-Sik Yun#, Ming Ma#, Hirak S. Basu, Dawn R. Church, Gudrun Ingenhorst, Yong Huang, Dong Yang, Jeremy R. Lohman, Gong-Li Tang, Jianhua Ju, Tao Liu, George Wilding, Ben Shen*. Leinamycin E1 acting as an anticancer prodrug activated by reactive oxygen species. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2015, 112, 8278-8283.

4.    Ming Ma, Mostafa E. Rateb, Qihui Teng, Dong Yang, Jeffrey D. Rudolf, Xiangcheng Zhu, Yong Huang, Li-Xing Zhao, Yi Jiang, Xiuling Li, Christoph Rader, Yanwen Duan, Ben Shen*. Angucyclines and angucyclinones from Streptomyces sp. CB01913 featuring C-ring cleavage and expansion. J. Nat. Prod., 2015, 78, 2471-2480.

5.    Ming Ma#, Thomas Kwong#, Si-kyu Lim, Jianhua Ju, Jeremy R. Lohman, Ben Shen*.  Post-polyketide synthase steps in iso-migrastatin biosynthesis, featuring tailoring  enzymes with broad substrate specificity. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 2489-2492.