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Honorable Mentions

Ma cited for research on inflammatory bowel disease

Dr. Thomas Ma
Dr. Thomas Ma

Dr. Thomas Ma

Dr. Thomas Y. Ma, director of the Center for Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico, received the National Institute of Health's prestigious National Research Service Award for Outstanding Basic-Clinical Research.

Ma, who is also chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at UNM, is recognized internationally for his research on defective intestinal barriers as one of the causes of inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

He was specifically cited for his pioneering work in intestinal tight junction barriers and the introduction of innovative technical approaches and paradigm-shifting scientific concepts that have greatly advanced the field.

Tight junctions are complexes of proteins found in epithelial cells, including those lining the intestines. They help hold cells together and control the passage of molecules between cells, acting as a barrier to maintain normal cell function.

Ma's work has been continually funded through VA Merit Review Awards since 1990.

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