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Peijun Ma, PhD
Peijun Ma, PhD

Peijun Ma, PhD

Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty



Postdoctoral Fellowship – Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA
PhD (Biological Sciences) – Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Research Interests

My research focuses on identifying genetic markers for the development of effective therapies to treat bacterial infections associated with antibiotic resistance and persistence, especially for the better treatment of pediatric patients with compromised immune systems. Using bacterial single-cell transcriptomics, we will: 

  • Investigate the drug-induced bacterial heterogeneity and its impact on the evolution of antibiotic resistance and persistence
  • Characterize the microbiome to understand the evolution of antibiotic resistance and persistence in the context of the host microenvironment
  • Develop innovative sequencing technology to study bacterial heterogeneity at the single-cell level and genome-wide scales. 

Selected Publications

Ma P, Amemiya HM, He LL, Gandhi SJ, Nicol R, Bhattacharyya RP, Smillie CS, Hung DT. Bacterial droplet-based single-cell RNA-seq reveals antibiotic-associated heterogeneous cellular states. Cell 186:877–891, 2023..

Zhang S, Ma P, et al., High-throughput neutralization and serology assays reveal correlated but highly variable humoral immune responses in a large population of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the US between March and August 2020. mBio e03523-22, 2023.

Germanio CD, Simmons G, Kelly K, Martinelli R, Darst O, Azimpouran M, Stone M, Hazegh K, Grebe E, Zhang S, Ma P, et al. SARS‐CoV‐2 Antibody persistence in COVID‐19 convalescent plasma donors: Dependency on assay format and applicability to serosurveillance. Transfusion Sep;61(9):2677-2687, 2021. doi: 10.1111/trf.16555 PMID 34121205

Ma P, He LL, Pironti A, Laibinis HH, Ernst CM, Manson A, Bhattacharyya RP, Earl AM, Livny J, Hung DT. Genetic determinants facilitating the evolution of carbapenem resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae. eLife 10:e67310, 2021. doi: 10.7554/eLife.67310

Bhattacharyya RP, Bandyopadhyay N, Ma P, et al. Simultaneous detection of genotype and phenotype enables rapid and accurate antibiotic susceptibility determination. Nature Medicine Dec;25(12):1858-1864, 2019. doi:10.1038/s41591-019-0650-9

Bhattacharyya R, Walker M, Boykin R, Son SS, Liu J, Hachey A, Ma P, et al. Rapid identification and phylogenetic classification of diverse bacterial pathogens in a multiplexed hybridization assay targeting ribosomal RNA. Scientific Reports 9(1):4516, 2019.

Ma P, Laibinis HH, Ernst CM, Hung DT. Carbapenem resistance caused by high-level expression of OXA-663 β-lactamase in an OmpK36-deficient Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 62:e01281-18, 2018. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01281-18

Ma P, Mori T, Zhao C, Thiel T, Johnson CH. Evolution of KaiC-dependent timekeepers: a proto-circadian timing mechanism confers adaptive fitness in the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris. PLoS Genet 12(3):e1005922, 2016. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005922

Xu Y, Ma P, Shah P, Rokas A, Liu Y, Johnson CH. Non-optimal codon usage is a mechanism to achieve circadian clock conditionality. Nature 495: 116-20, 2013.

Ma P, Woelfle MA, Johnson CH. An Evolutionary Fitness Enhancement Conferred by the Circadian System in Cyanobacteria. Special issue on “Functionality and Dynamics in Biological Systems." Chaos, Solitons & Fractals 50:65-74, 2013.

Yu J, Ma P, Shi D-J, Li S-M, Wang C-L. Homologous comparison of photosynthetic system I genes among cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 50(8):929-940, 2008.

Last update: March 2023